General Motors is re-evaluating its sponsorship of Penn State following the child sex abuse scandal that has wrapped the educational institution in a morass of problems. GM spokesman Tom Henderson said that the automaker is reviewing whether to continue sponsoring the Nittany Lions but couldn’t comment on if or when the decision would be made.
Henderson added that GM supports “a number of teams” in the NCAA, although no exact figure was provided, and that sponsorships such as Penn State are made by GM’s regional offices. Specific terms of GM’s Penn State funding were not disclosed.
GM’s re-evaluation of Penn State support comes on the heels of penalties levied by the NCAA, the governing body of college sports, after a report by former FBI Director Louis Freech concluded that top Penn State administrators, including head coach Joe Paterno, hid allegations of child sex abuse against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. The organization fined Penn State $60 million, issues the program a four-year bowl ban, drastically reduced its number of available scholarships, and forced the school to vacate all games played from 1998 to 2011.
While General Motors has not yet announced a decision about its sponsorship of the institution, State Farm insurance has already decided that it would no longer air ads during Penn State’s televised home football games. The insurance company will continue to run commercials during away games.
“We will not directly support Penn State football this year,” State Farm spokesman Dave Phillips told the AP. “We just feel it was the best decision.”
In June, 68 year-old Sundusky was found guilty on 45 charges of child-sex abuse. While Sandusky has not been sentenced yet, it’s widely expected that he will spend the rest of his life in prison, hopefully the maximum sentence of 442 years.