By Jueseppi B.
Blue ribbon to go on Penn State helmets
The Associated Press – Thu, Aug 23, 2012
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Penn State football players will have a blue ribbon on the back of their helmets to show support for child abuse victims.
Acting athletic director Dave Joyner made the announcement on a Penn State football radio show Thursday night. The team had announced earlier this month the addition of the ribbon, but it was not clear exactly where on the uniform it would be placed.
Players’ names are also being added to football jerseys – what amounts to a drastic change at Penn State, where the team has long been associated with plain, blue-and-white, no-name jerseys. The generic look was associated with the buttoned-down style of the late Joe Paterno, who was fired as coach last year after retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested on child molestation charges.
Penn State opponent to wear helmet decals honoring victims of child abuse
By ERIC ADELSON
The Ohio football team will wear special decals on its helmets to honor victims of child abuse when it meets Penn State next Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
The Bobcats’ equipment staff has been working with the Penn State athletic department to design the stickers, which will mirror patches worn by the Nittany Lions throughout the season.
The gesture is meant “to join the Penn State team in showing support for child abuse victims,” Ohio athletic director Jim Schnaus wrote in an email to Yahoo! Sports on Saturday.
The game is Penn State’s first since the conviction of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who was found guilty in June of 45 criminal counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys. It will also be the team’s first game under new coach Bill O’Brien, who said on the first day of practice earlier this month, “We have to understand our responsibilities to children.”
Penn State was dealt major NCAA sanctions after the Sandusky conviction and the ensuing Freeh Commission report, which was ordered by the school itself. The sanctions included a $60 million penalty, a four-year football postseason ban and a vacating of all wins dating back to 1998.
Ohio’s decision to wear the decals was finalized late this week. According to the NCAA, no other teams have thus far requested permission to wear special decals in games against Penn State this season.
Ohio is coming off its first 10-win season since 1968 and its first bowl win, a 24-23 victory over Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Eric Adelson @eric_adelson
Award-winning writer Eric Adelson is a feature writer for Yahoo! Sports. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Eric previously wrote for ESPN the Magazine and is the author of the book “The Sure Thing: The Making and Unmaking of Golf Phenom Michelle Wie.”