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Can Penn State’s hometown survive NCAA sanctions?
Community » Many worry the penalties of the football program might hurt a lot more.


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Matt Powell, an analyst with SportsOneSource, a Charlotte, N.C.-based provider of sports business information, said apparel sales are dropping, from about $80 million in 2010 to $60 million after the scandal broke last year to possibly $45 million this year.

At the Old State Clothing Co. a block from campus, Paterno is depicted prominently. One poster shows him on Mount "Rush More" with several defensive players. Assistant manager Jonathan Estable said the loyalty of alumni and students makes him doubt that the NCAA sanctions would have much effect on home-game attendance. However, he said it would not surprise him to see a dip in alumni giving or interest from football recruits.

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George Arnold, the executive director of the Downtown State College Improvement District, said that some downtown businesses, particularly Penn State apparel retailers, have probably suffered from the scandal, and that certain events, such as the town’s recent arts festival, may not have been attended quite as well as in other years.

But Arnold, a 1992 Penn State grad, insisted the local economy is much more diverse — including concerts, hiking, fishing and cuisine — than just football tourism.

"I’ve read some folks think all we’re about is football, and that’s not true," Arnold said.

Several Penn State fans, whether they buy tickets or watch on TV, insisted they would not lose interest in the team.

"We will go to every game," said Sam Zamrik, 80, a retired professor of engineering and a season ticket holder for 40 years. "They need our support."




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