Penn State puts blue ribbons on uniforms

Aug. 7, 2012 at 4:28 PM
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Aug. 7 (UPI) -- The Penn State football team will have players' names on their uniforms and a blue ribbon in support of child abuse victims this season.

Under longtime Coach Joe Paterno, Penn State famously bucked the trend to put players' names on the uniform. Paterno was fired late last season during the investigation into allegations of child abuse by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Paterno died in January.

Sandusky has since been convicted of 45 counts of child abuse. The NCAA hit Penn State with substantial penalties, including loss of scholarships, a ban on post-season play and a $60 million fine. The fine is to fund programs for the victims of child abuse.

"The Penn State community stands with all victims of child abuse," acting Athletic Director David Joyner said in a release. "Coach Bill O'Brien and his football team made it clear they want to support victims and bring more awareness to this issue, which affects so many."

The decision to put players' names on the uniforms is "in recognition of their resolve and dedication to the team and university," a Penn State statement said.

The NCAA allowed any Penn State football player to transfer and be immediately eligible at another school. Several have changed schools but the majority of the players have stayed at Penn State.

"I'm proud that our players want to be part of the university's efforts to help victims of child abuse," O'Brien said. "We hope our fans join us in wearing blue ribbons to all Penn State home games. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children everywhere."

Penn State, which started practice Monday, opens the 2012 season Sept. 1 at home against Ohio University.

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