Pennsylvania State University

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Pennsylvania State University
City: State College, Centre County, Pennsylvania
Type: Semi-Public
Sports: baseball, basketball, cross country, equestrian, football, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, wrestling[1]
Colors: blue, white
Mascot: Nittany Lions

Pennsylvania State University (or Penn State) is a Pennsylvania university founded in 1855.[2] The school is semi-public, technically state related, because it is one of four schools that fall under the Commonwealth System of Higher Education, which allows schools to be independently run and publicly funded. The school ranked #48 in US News's 2008 "National Universities: Top Schools" list.[3]

Sandusky scandal

In 2011, the school was the focus of national attention because of a child abuse scandal involving an undetermined number of children and a former football coach. Jerry Sandusky, who retired from Penn State as coach in 1999 after a previous investigation into alleged sexual abuse of a child, was arrested on November 5, 2011 on 40 counts of sexual abuse. He allegedly molested eight young boys over at least a fifteen-year span. Several of the incidents supposedly occurred in university facilities. Following his conviction, additional alleged victims have come forward alleging abuse dating back to 1970s and 1980s, including his adopted son.[4][5]

In 2002, Mike McQueary, who was then a graduate assistant and is now an assistant coach at the school, reported to Joe Paterno, the head coach of the football program, that he had seen Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy in a Penn State locker room. Paterno reported the incident to university officials, but the assault was never reported to the authorities.

There are also allegations of a cover-up on the part of the university and its officials. Athletic director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President Gary Schultz are charged with failing to report the assault to authorities and lying to a grand jury. On November 9, 2011, the board of trustees fired both the president of the university, Graham Spanier, and Joe Paterno due to the way they handled the situation.

On July 22, 2012, Penn State removed the statue of Paterno from the front of its football stadium in light of a report from former FBI Director Louis Freeh documenting that Paterno had been a part of a cover up of Sandusky's abuse of children.[6] In response to the illegal activity in the football program, the NCAA assessed Penn State with a $60 million sanction, a four-year football postseason ban and removed of all wins dating to 1998. Penn State must also reduce 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period. Unlike the normal NCAA process of using hearings before its Committee on Infractions, the NCAA took immediate action to protect the image of college football.[7] After a subsequent lawsuit was filed, the NCAA partially reversed course and restored the removed wins.


Penn State has 14 men's and 13 women's sports teams.[1] The football program has won 26 bowl games (while losing 12 and tying 2) and 4 national championships.[8]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1
  4. Report: Accusers say abuse pre-'90s. ESPN (July 16, 2012). Retrieved on July 23, 2012.
  5. Sandusky's adopted son told Pennsylvania police of abuse: report. Reuters (June 26, 2012). Retrieved on July 23, 2012.
  6. Yanda, Steve. "NCAA to Punish Penn State with major sanctions", Washington Post, July 23, 2012, p. D3. 
  7. Penn State sanctions: $60M, bowl ban. ESPN (July 23, 2012). Retrieved on July 23, 2012.