June 2012 was a very sad day in Nittany Lion history. The accredited, famous, and respected institute called the Pennsylvania State University was tarnished. Former football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged and convicted of multiple counts of sexual abuse towards children. The charging seemed to come out of left field but some were not surprised.

The Domino Effect

The allegations of sexual misconduct dated back to decades, with multiple people reporting Sandusky but no legal action was taken by the school. Now the institute was plagued with the accusation that they tried to cover it up.

As the media reported daily on the case and the charges, not only did the school face the devastation financially but also socially; the school was seen as a disgrace.

As the story unfolded, beloved football coach Joe Paterno was added to the mix with accusations that he knew about the abuse. Soon enough Paterno, or “Joe-Pa” his well-known synonym, was fired from being coach and the unrest commenced. Students outpoured onto the streets in anger, flipping over news cars and loitering the property


Soon after the NCAA placed sanctions on the university taking away it’s wins from 1998-2011 in addition to a boatload of fines. The school was left in shambles and their reputation was tarnished.

It seemed like there was no bright side or a glimpse of hope for the football program at the university.

As time progressed however, Penn State seemed to go under the radar in the NCAA and remained that way until recent

Bright Side

In September 2014, a day that resonates with the Nittany Lions, the NCAA decided to lift the sanctions placed on Penn State.

With James Franklin as the new head football coach taking over, it seemed like there was so hope for Penn State.

Penn State was finally seeing the light as they began to shake off their troubled past. As things started looking up for Penn State, the 2016 football season may have been the icing on the cake.

Penn State completed the season winning 11 out of 14 games and ranked number 6 in the NCAA college football rankings.

Penn State hadn’t ranked since 2011 and they made the conference for their division! Their success gave them the opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl against USC where they scored touchdowns on seven consecutive possessions in the last half of the game.

Although the lost the Rose Bowl, it was obvious that they won in respect. They have come a long way from their troubled past and showed what the Nittany Lions are capable of. They have a long way to go before full redemption but Penn State is looking like they can overcome it all.