Penn State’s road to recovery
Accusations, terminations, investigations and extensive fines have been at the forefront of Penn State’s list of things to deal with since 2011. Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach at Pennsylvania State University, was charged with sexual abuse in 2011. According to CNN Library, Sandusky was originally arraigned on 40 criminal counts, which eventually grew to 48 counts of child sexual abuse.
PSU has been dealing with the fall out and trying to pick up the pieces ever since. Almost 11 months after the grand jury report was released, “Sandusky was sentenced on October 9, 2012 to 30 to 60 years in prison,” according to The Patriot-News, PennLive.
However, Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts.
According to ESPN on Nov. 21, 2011, further internal investigations by Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI, also uncovered the involvement of several PSU administrators as well as football coaching staff. Some of those involved included former PSU President Graham Spanier, Senior vice president Gary Schultz, Athletic Director Tim Curley, and PSU head football coach Joe Paterno for their individual actions regarding knowledge of alleged sexual misconduct by Sandusky.
PSU has been issued several NCAA and Big Ten sanctions including close to $60 million in settlements paid to Sandusky’s victims, according to Charles Thomson, The Patriot-News, PennLive on October 28. Thomson further reported that PSU President Rodney Erickson and PSU trustee’s agreed to these settlements as a way to help with the “healing process.” There are several claims that are still in the mediation process.
Thomson also quoted Erickson having said, “We cannot undo what had been done, but we can and must do everything possible to learn from this and ensure it never happens again at Penn State.”
PSU football ticket sales have declined since the 2011 season. Dipping below 100,000 in attendance in a stadium able to hold well over 108,000 fans, according to sources like featured columnist Tim Tolley for BleacherReport.com on September 20 and John Stuetz, staff writer for The Daily Collegian on October 11.
Stuetz stated, “After averaging 106,440 fans per home game from 2001-2010, Penn State has averaged 97,952 per game since the beginning of the 2011-12 season.”
According to reports by both Tolley and Stuetz, PSU has been running promotions and working to improve “the game day experience” in hopes to get attendance back to where it was prior to the Sandusky scandal.