A source at Edelman told PRWeek earlier this month that client Penn State University would have to create a “more dimensional brand” beyond just football after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. After today's judgment by the NCAA, it won't have much of a choice.
Earlier today, the NCAA fined Penn State $60 million, instituted a four-year bowl ban, and significantly reduced the number of scholarships it can offer student-athletes. It also ruled that members of the football team can transfer elsewhere without sitting out a year.
While not the “death penalty” that would have suspended Penn State's football program for at least a year, the judgment – especially the cut in the number of scholarships and allowing players to transfer without penalty – is significant. A rival coach told CBSSports.com that Penn State recruits are looking for a way out of their commitments to the university.
Diversifying its brand to stress academics is Penn State's only option. Barring a miracle season or two, it won't have a powerhouse football program again for a long time.