The Rose Bowl matchup has generated considerable excitement across the Nittany Nation. We’re proud of Penn State’s resiliency, our fans, our faculty, our coaches and our team. Perhaps we should remember how we got here.
In July 2012, the Freeh Report was released. Shortly thereafter PSU received draconian NCAA sanctions. That week, Sue Paterno asked me to meet her, as I had just been elected to the board of trustees. She asked me to lodge an appeal of the NCAA sanctions. Shortly thereafter, I wrote a letter to the PSU board of trustees and lodged the appeal. The story evolved with alumni trustees joining what became the “Paterno Suit.” Sen. Jake Corman eventually filed suit. These collective actions resulted in the NCAA lifting the sanctions against Penn State.
The point of this retelling is — if not for Sue Paterno, we would now be in the fifth year of sanctions and still banned from bowl appearances. If not for Sue and her courage to challenge the NCAA, we would begin recruiting and rebuilding this storied program next year!
On Monday, when we cheer on our Lions, we should be proud of coach James Franklin and his entire staff, our players and our fans. Their talent, loyalty and courage sustained our school pride — but let’s remember how we got here — because of the courage and love of this university by one woman — Sue Paterno. We should be hugely thankful that Sue remains a part of our team!
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Ryan J. McCombie, State College