STATE COLLEGE (KDKA) — The NCAA sanctions may hurt the Penn State football program, but they don’t appear to be hurting school spirit.
In downtown State College, alumni shopped for school attire saying the NCAA sanctions won’t damper their Penn State pride.
“I’m very happy to be a Penn Stater and a lot of pride with Penn State,” Terry Kerestes said.
There is even pride for the man whose statue used to stand outside Beaver Stadium.
Frank D’Agostino picked up a shirt memorializing Joe Paterno that reads “We are because he was.”
“I think just because the whole time that Frank went to school here he was a legend and despite all of this, he really did bring such honor to Penn State,” Kathleen D’Agostino said.
Other fans picked up a celebrating the once winningest coach in college football as a philanthropist, mentor, leader, icon and legend.
“Everyone’s made mistakes,” Lainey Liotta said. “JoePa’s good has outdone his bad. I think everyone from Penn State sees where he went wrong, but we don’t think that should completely take away his legacy and everything that he’s done for Penn State.”
Signs of a new era at Penn State are already evident, but after Monday, that era won’t start the way many had hoped.
For now, the Nittany Lion family is focused on overcoming a past that their school will pay for in the foreseeable future.
“We are very, very, very school spirited and I think it will increase attendance at our games, increase the student section, the alumni are going to be all over donating money, going to games,” Liotta said.
“Nothing can bring us down period, I don’t care what happens. The rest of the world can frown upon us, but that’s only going to make us stronger.”
One thing echoed by many fans was that they didn’t think the right people were being punished.
But they say that won’t stop them from coming to Beaver Stadium at the start of the football season.