The Northerner

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President vs. Student: pingpong war

President Geoffrey Mearns faces NKU student and reigning pingpong champ, Matt Hepner.

Brad Long

President Geoffrey Mearns faces NKU student and reigning pingpong champ, Matt Hepner.

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President Geoffery Mearns was challenged by NKU student Matt Hepner, reigning intramural ping pong champion on Dec. 2.The buzz began on Twitter after The Northerner published an article where Mearns said he could probably beat Ken Bothof, athletic director, in ping pong or a marathon. Mearns is set to face Bothof Dec. 7 during halftime at the women’s basketball game against Miami of Ohio.

Hepner and Mearns played in the Albright Health Center inside of the gym. Around 50 or more students and NKU affiliates came out to watch the event.

“It’s really cool to see the president interacting with students like this,” said Brad Long, NKU junior. “I feel like with other universities, the president and senior staff are so secluded from the students. It really shows how much President Mearns cares.”

Over Twitter, Hepner told Mearns that he would give him a 10 point handicap for each game and would even buy him lunch in the Student Union if he won.

“He was a gentleman to honor my commitment he made on Twitter for a 10 point handicap,” Mearns said.

Mearns won the first three games with the handicap, 21-16, 21-17 and 21-10. At the end, the two decided to play one match without the handicap. Mearns still came out the victor, winning the match 21-17.

“It was fun,” said Hepner, a senior marketing and sports business major. “It’s the first time I’ve played since orientation so I was a little rusty. He was a heck of a competitor.”

Hepner laughed as he asked for a rematch during the spring semester.

“I had fun and Matt definitely deserves a rematch,” Mearns said.

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President vs. Student: pingpong war