Penn State T-Shirts Lash Out at NCAA while Football Team Attempts to Revamp Image

As the school year approaches, PSU is still determining its post-Sandusky identity.

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Kevin Horne / Onward State

In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal, the Penn State campus is still trying to figure out how to cope. While the football team is trying to find ways to move forward following Sandusky’s conviction and the subsequent penalties imposed on the school by the NCAA — including a 4-year ban on bowl games and a $60 million fine — others are lashing out at the organization for the severity of the punishment. The Student Bookstore, an independent off-campus bookseller, is selling t-shirts that read “NCAA: National Communist Athletic Association.” (NCAA actually stands for National Collegiate Athletic Association.) The “C” is designed to look like the Communist hammer and sickle symbol. On the back, it reads, “Overstepping Their Bounds And Punishing The Innocent” is printed on the back. The shirt is neither licensed nor endorsed by the university.

(MORE: Campus Scandals and College Admissions: What Applicants Should Know)

Meanwhile, the football program has begun its atonement. In addition to the fines and restrictions handed down by the NCAA, the team will wear its apologies on its sleeve: according to a release from the school, the Nittany Lions will sport blue ribbons on their uniforms when they take the field next month to demonstrate their support of victims of child abuse.

The university also plans to update the team’s traditionally austere uniforms: the Lions have worn navy blue and white uniforms every season for the last 60 years featuring only the player’s number and a basic stripe — no names, no logos, no nonsense. The only update in recent memory made them even plainer — players’ numbers were removed from the sides of their helmets in the mid-seventies. But times are changing at Penn State: new uniforms will now feature players’ names, in addition to their numbers.

(MORE: Fans Rally for Penn State Football Team Amid Roster Questions)

According to the release, the players contributed to the decision to alter the old uniforms:

Coach O’Brien says after speaking with some members of the team, they made the decision together to add names to the uniforms. Players indicated the names on their jerseys also mean they will hold each other accountable to uphold the traditions of Penn State football, both on and off the field.

“We want our fans to know and recognize these young men,” O’Brien said. “They have stuck together during tough times, and I commend them for the leadership they have shown. Moving forward, I’m deeply committed to honoring Penn State’s traditions, while building a bright future for our football program.”

Jerry Sandusky, the longtime defensive coordinator under Joe Paterno at Penn State, was convicted of 45 counts of child abuse on June 22. The trial showed that Sandusky abused dozens of children during his time at Penn State and that many incidents took place at Penn State facilities. An investigation commissioned by the university and conducted by former FBI director Louis Freeh accused Paterno, who died in January, and several other university administrators of not responding to and even covering up multiple accusations of sexual abuse against Jerry Sandusky.

(MORE: ‘Every Day Was a Mistake': How Should Penn State Deal with Joe Paterno?)

The NCAA came down hard on Penn State last month: in addition to the fine and bowl game ban, the school also suffered heavy scholarship restrictions. University president Rodney Erickson accepted the sanctions rather than submit to a “death penalty” — a wholesale, multi-year ban on football activities which would likely have killed the program entirely. The NCAA said last week that it will not hear an appeal requested by the Paterno family. However, Penn State trustees announced last week that they intend to appeal the strict NCAA sanctions, citing lack of due process.

As fans air their frustrations and the football program repents, life on campus moves on, and the memories of Sandusky and Paterno, once revered as heroes on campus, are gradually fading. So far nine players have left PSU under relaxed transfer rules that will allow them to play at another school this upcoming season (although more than 100 players, including several dozen walk-ons, attended the first day of preseason practice on Monday). Just off campus, the figure of Jerry Sandusky and the halo around the head of Joe Paterno have been painted over on mural of Penn State notables. The university has also removed a statue of Joe Paterno that stood outside the stadium for decades and plans to remodel the locker room where Sanduksy’s victims testified they had been abused.

MORE: How Penn State Can Move Forward

25 comments
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Chinga_Tu_Madre
Chinga_Tu_Madre

Penn State football just isn't the same without the memory of Coach Paterno. Now the student body and players are being punished for actions with which they did not participate. 

How about we punish individuals, and not whole institutions?

Where's the justice?

Tim Berton
Tim Berton

Too bad Time and other news media missed the real story. The coverup for Sandusky was in 1998, and it was done by law enforcement and child protection agencies, especially the Centre County District Attorney's office and PA Dept.of Public Welfare. They knew Sandusky hugged boys in the showers and did nothing to stop him.

The 1998 report from a licensed psychologist that concluded Sandusky was a "likely pedophile" was buried and an unlicensed counselor made a report that concluded that no molestation had occurred.

The FBI should be called in to find out what really happened in 1998. It looks like Sandusky was protected by his strong connections in the child protection field.

One wonders how many other pedophiles are molesting children while working in the child protection field the way Sandusky did.

 

Tim Berton
Tim Berton

Terrible fact checking. The Sandusky trial did not show he "abused dozens of children." Only 8 victims testified at trial, not dozens.

Andrew Kamadulski
Andrew Kamadulski

So what they are saying is that your average Penn Stater is so dumb they don't even understand what the Communism entails? About what I'd expect from a glorified football camp masquerading as an educational institution.

lefthandedmiddlechild
lefthandedmiddlechild

If your average Penn Stater doesn't understand what Communism entails, then perhaps Penn State should spend a bit more on the History Department and less on football.

Chinga_Tu_Madre
Chinga_Tu_Madre

Are YOU so dumb that you don't understand the insult of authoritarian regimens?

Tim Berton
Tim Berton

Communist governments generally did not follow the principles of Communism.

They were usually dictatorships so that really fits with how the NCAA acted in violation of their own rules, with no due process, no investigation of their own and without waiting to see of Curley and Schultz are convicted.

wpencak
wpencak

are these T-shirts made in Third World countries by children who are economically and sexually exploited? wouldn't be surprised, as Penn State still refuses to

join other universities in banning such merchandise -- showing their real attitude --

we opposed child molesters if there's a lot of publicity and we get caught! 

windyhillgal
windyhillgal

 Did you even read the article? 

The Student Bookstore, an independent off-campus bookseller, is selling

t-shirts that read “NCAA: National Communist Athletic Association.”

(NCAA actually stands for National Collegiate Athletic Association.) The

“C” is designed to look like the Communist hammer and sickle symbol. On

the back, it reads, “Overstepping Their Bounds And Punishing The

Innocent” is printed on the back. The shirt is neither licensed nor

endorsed by the university.

Note part 1st sentence:  INDEPENDENT OFF-CAMPUS BOOKSELLER

Note last sentence:   THE SHIRT IS NEITHER LICENSED NOR ENDORSED BY THE UNIVERSITY.

sscarzz
sscarzz

Why the blue ribbons?  Should be red for the pain....

roaminglion
roaminglion

Do you realize the the shirts are not printed or endorsed by Penn State?  And the team is wearing apologies on their sleeve????  What?  What exactly did the players do?

Starshiprarity
Starshiprarity

Funny how communism is the automatic route. Because obviously only communists would punish an organization that allowed the repeated molestation of children. Where are the shirts comparing Penn State to the catholic church?

mpete
mpete

One person who molests children does not constitute an organization.  I'm certain I can't get you to read past the headlines to know there is much more to this story so this will be my last post to point this out.  Read the details and facts on this case.  You won't find an organization that allows repeated molestation.  You may find that this goes a lot deeper than what is being covered in the media today.  There were a lot of mistakes that were made but you won't see any facts that this was covered up or intentional on the part of the PSU administration.

Annie Rae
Annie Rae

"One person who molests children does not constitute an organization." But a group of people in positions of power who allow it to thrive and who covered for the "one person" do an organization make, and a stinky one at that. Have read the details, the reports, the facts... Those who knew better, those who did not have the compulsions and impulses of a pedophile knew a lot, enough to shut Sandusky down or at least make a big enough stink for law enforcement (like, say, maybe the FBI, not the locals) to take notice and act. Yet, they decided to handle the "problem" internally. They allowed that very sick man to use Penn State facilities to do his dirty work and left those poor kids to pay the price. All for football. .. Penn State is paying a very steep price for its own undoing. The child victims paid a steeper one.

ziggypop
ziggypop

"One person who molests children does not constitute an organization."

And countless others knew.

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

If Penn State wants a T-shirt that shows they understand their situation, try:

NCAA = No Child Abuse Allowed

333m
333m

Get your head out of the sand. Don't  be so humble about your writtings.

mpete
mpete

Get a clue Dan.  This has nothing to do with Penn State.  A bookstore is selling shirts that are made by a company that specializes in selling these types of shirts.  I would be willing to bet you have no real understanding of anything that took place at Penn State or why there are many people that are upset by this whole ordeal. 

Dan Bruce
Dan Bruce

The bookstore would not be selling the shirts if there wasn't a market for them. Penn State still has a way to go to root out the "our football ranking is more important than anything else" mentality that allowed the Sandusky situation to thrive in its football program for more than a decade. At least Penn State has made a start. It is now ahead of most other big-name college programs in restoring an academics-first milieu on campus.

Jeff Haley
Jeff Haley

To 

Tim Berton~ Sandusky after "his Retirement" was allowed to keep an office in the football complex for a few more years dude. Which puts JoPa in the land of supporting sexual violence against young boys. This shirt is a disgrace to society.

Tim Berton
Tim Berton

We don't know if the bookstore is selling many of the T-shirts. They may be a flop.

Penn State football has long been academics first.

Sandusky retired from Penn State in 1999 but was still working and abusing boys in The Second Mile until he was put on notice that he was under a Grand Jury investigation. The Second Mile is far more culpable than Penn State because they employed him and they supplied him the boys.

David Daugherty
David Daugherty

Welcome to two weeks ago, TIME. Way to stay on top of things. Slow news day?

Emily Lowrey
Emily Lowrey

 Just got around to re-writing that one from someone else's reporting...