With the shake-up of the New York Jets coaching staff and management, it's unclear if the football team will continue to hold its training camp at SUNY Cortland. Sen. Charles Schumer is already lobbying to keep the football teams summer home in central New York.
Schumer says he has already called Jets owner Woody Johnson to urge him to keep the camp in Cortland. Johnson told him no decision will be made until the club hires both a new head coach and general manager.
"But the good news is he told me he likes Cortland very much," Schumer said. "And the Jets have been very, very happy with the training camp in Cortland and with the cooperation of both the university and the city."
The annual three-week training camp is a big boon to Cortland county's economy, bringing in close to $5 million a year to the area.
“So we’ll have to wait for that new coach, and lobby that new coach and do what we have to do to make it happen,” said Schumer.
SUNY Cortland President Erik Bitterbaum also says it's done a lot to raise the profile of the SUNY school. While helping students move onto campus, Bitterbaum realized how the training camp had impacted incoming students.
"I would say a sixth of everybody who was moving into the dorm first hear about our university through ESPN," Bitterbaum said.
Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin agrees that the economic impact is important, but adds, hosting an NFL team for three weeks a year simply puts Cortland on the map.
"It's given us a lot of positive publicity, of notoriety and we're hopeful that they se the benefit, and they want to come back," Tobin said.
Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) also put out a statement today urging the Jets to continue training in Cortland.