State Farm is pulling its ads from Penn State football broadcasts, while General Motors is reconsidering its sponsorship deal and Wall Street is threatening to downgrade the school's credit rating, suggesting the price of the sexual abuse scandal could go well beyond the $60 million fine and other penalties imposed by the NCAA.
Bloomington, Ill.-based State Farm said it had been reviewing its connection to Penn State since the arrest of retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky last November. The insurance company said it will pull ads from broadcasts of Nittany Lion home homes but continue to advertise during Penn State's away games.
``We will not directly support Penn State football this year,'' State Farm spokesman Dave Phillips said Tuesday. ``We just feel it was the best decision.''
The NCAA imposed unprecedented sanctions against Penn State on Monday, including the fine, a four-year bowl ban and a sharp reduction in the number of football scholarships it may offer.
The governing body also erased 14 years of victories, wiping out 111 of coach Joe Paterno's wins and stripping him of his standing as the most successful coach in the history of big-time college football.
NCAA President Mark Emmert said he relied on the conclusions of a report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who found that Paterno and three top officials concealed child sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky more than a decade ago to protect the school and its powerful football program.