Penn State Abuse

State Farm pulls Penn State sponsorship


The fallout from the historic sanctions levied on Penn State football continues as expected this morning, with a long-time sponsor of the football program confirming it had severed its ties with the university.

A State Farm spokesperson confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that a decision to pull its sponsorship in the middle of last season will continue on into the 2012 season.  The paper writes that “State Farm no longer will have signs in Beaver Stadium and it will not run commercials on radio broadcasts of home games.”

The official would not divulge how much the company spent on advertising with the school.

“It’s a result of all the information that has been going on with Penn State over the last year,” spokeswoman Arlene Lester said in explaining State Farm’s decision. “The decision was based on our business needs at this time.”

In addition to the punitive measures that directly impact the football program, the university was also fined $60 million by the NCAA — paid out over a five-year period — and will have approximately $13 million in Big Ten bowl revenue withheld from them over the next four years.

Additionally, the Associated Press is reporting that Moody’s Investors Service is considering downgrading the university’s credit rating.  From the AP:

The agency has an ‘Aa1’ rating on Pennsylvania State University’s credit. That is its second-highest possible rating. The firm said a recent report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh and sanctions levied by the NCAA could hurt student enrollment and fundraising for the university, and the school also faces uncertainty in the form of ongoing federal and state investigations.

Penn State has about $1 billion in debt, Moody’s said. A downgrade could make it more expensive for Penn State to borrow money, which would be another long-term cost in a scandal that has already cost the school immeasurably.

The university and its sizable endowment are also bracing for the onslaught of civil lawsuits that will certainly be in the offing in the not-too-distant future.

Red River Rivalry blacked out for some DISH subscribers in Texas

Dish Network
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Today one of college football’s biggest rivalry games will be shown to DISH customers in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and seven other regions in Texas. The reason? Television contract disputes between Tegna and DISH.

Tegna is the largest independent owner of NBC and CBS affiliates in the country, including NBC affiliates in Denver, Washington D.C., Atlanta and Phoenix. The company is in a continued dispute with DISH related to fee disputes, per Variety.

“Our position has been simple: The same fundamental terms that allowed us to reach deals with distributors nationwide should serve as the basis for our deal with Dish,” a statement from Tegna said. “Rather than accepting that fair, market-based approach, Dish has refused to reach an agreement and once again is preventing its customers from accessing valued channels, even as customers continue to pay for that content.”

Now the dispute carries a concern for some fans wanting to watch Oklahoma and Texas this afternoon.

This should go over well, although there may be some Texas fans who may not want to witness what happens to the Longhorns anyway.

Maryland going back to Perry Hills at QB vs. Buckeyes

Perry Hills
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Heading into what could be his final game as head coach of the Maryland Terrapins, Randy Edsall will reportedly go with Perry Hills as his starting quarterback.

Hills, a junior, got the start for the first two games of the season but the leash was short. Edsall made a change to Caleb Rowe following a loss at home to Bowling Green. Hills has completed 52.9 percent of his passes for 306 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. Rowe has been a disaster at the position, completing just 44.0 percent of his attempts for 428 yards, four touchdowns and an astounding 12 interceptions in five games. Daxx Garman has struggled as well with a completion percentage of just 33.0.

Maryland take son No. 1 Ohio State this afternoon in Columbus.