As the scandal involving former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky continues to make waves, the drama in Happy Valley is starting to impact incoming Nittany Lions recruits.
For players who are often hounded by assistant coaches, boosters, students and fans through social media outlets during their decision-making process, the attention is beginning to shift their way once more .
Now instead of Nittany Lions supporters begging high school seniors to come to Penn State, they’re begging them not to change their minds and go elsewhere in the wake of the scandal.
Noah Spence, currently ranked No. 4 in the ESPNU 150 for 2012 recruits has yet to commit, and may now look elsewhere.
After a Penn State fan tweeted back at Spence saying it would be his loss, Spence elaborated.
Two Pittsburgh-area recruits are also sticking with their decision. South Allegheny tight end Jesse James and Shaler Area tight end J.P. Holtz have not changed their minds about playing football at Penn State despite the ongoing scandal, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. But Holtz did say that he would “wait to see what happens at Penn State in the near future.”
Catholic Memorial (Mass.) defensive back Armani Reeves also plans to honor his commitment.
And Howland (Ohio) offensive lineman Anthony Stanko’s Twitter handle — @PennStateStanko — seems to indicate he’s still on board with the Nittany Lions.
But as more details about Sandusky’s alleged sexual abuse of young boys hit the airwaves and Penn State’s response remains under the microscope, the 16 current recruits — and those still considering their options — will no doubt have plenty to think about.
More coverage of Penn State and the Jerry Sandusky scandal from The Washington Post:
John Feinstein: Penn State scandal threatens one of sports’ greatest legacies
Eugene Robinson: Where was the leadership?