Starting my journey at Penn State during the summer of 2012 wasn’t the easiest, but I didn’t expect it to be.
I remember the day our sanctions were officially read on national television.
I remember walking to class and being stopped by reporters asking me what I thought of the scandal and of the sanctions.
I remember hearing classmates say they wouldn’t be returning in the fall because of everything that was happening.
I remember committed football players transferring to other universities because they wouldn’t be receiving scholarships and playing in bowl games.
And as much as all of this should have eaten away at me, it didn’t. The Sandusky scandal and everything that came along with it never made me reconsider my decision to come to Penn State, and I couldn’t fathom how it would affect anyone else’s.
Despite the countless immature remarks from people at other schools about how Penn State was full of “child rapists”, I never stopped defending my school. It was hard for me to understand why the entire world was against anything and everything associated with Penn State just because of one man.
I accepted that I would probably never see a bowl game during my time here, but I hoped we’d still be able to get new recruits and find a great head coach to kick off the season. I was hopeful for Penn State football even when the rest of the world wasn’t. It wasn’t fair that the entire football team was being punished, but I knew nothing was going to change.
We were going to have to make the most of what we had, and that’s exactly what we did.
I bought season tickets every year since I’ve been at Penn State, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There’s truly no experience like being in the student section at Beaver Stadium. Our football program has been through a lot during the past two years, and I think it has really transformed for the better. We don’t expect anything – we work for it because we know we have something to prove.
Today, all of that hard work paid off.
Hearing the news that the NCAA lifted our sanctions was indescribable. I’m so proud of everything Penn State football has accomplished thus far, and I can’t wait to see what we’ll be able to do now without any limitations. I’m so thankful that the members of our team stuck with the program even when we were the underdogs, because now we don’t have to be anymore.
Penn State football is back – and there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s going to be better than ever.