Penn State still among top merchandise sellers, Nittany Lions' football jersey to undergo changes
Despite an historically awful year for Penn State, the school continues to sell plenty of shirts, shorts, hats and other Nittany Lions merchandise at almost the same rate as it was in July 2011, three months after Sara Ganim of The Patriot-News broke the story about Jerry Sandusky.
According to a report on Tuesday from Darren Rovell of ESPN, Penn State fell only two spots in the annual rankings of top collegiate merchandise sellers:
IMG-owned Collegiate Licensing Company, which represents the interests of nearly 200 schools, has released its royalty rankings for the school year (July 2011 to June 2012) and Penn State has fallen only two spots, from 10th to 12th.
Rovell said the licensing company wouldn't confirm sales figures, but the rankings reflect a school's position in terms of royalties received from trademarked retail items. During the last academic year, Penn State ranked higher in these sales than any other Big 10 school except for Michigan.
Despite dropping just two spots in this list of 200 schools, the school has no doubt fallen from grace over the past year; it was the third most popular school in the country last season, with nearly four-percent of Americans saying Penn State is their favorite school to cheer for during the year, according to an ESPN Sports Poll cited by Rovell.
In the wake of the Sandusky scandal, the University announced on Tuesday that it will feature the last name of the player on the back of its football jersey. The absence of a last name on the jersey's had long been a trademark of the school. The change comes as nearly a dozen of the school's football players have announced that they will transfer and become immediately eligible to play elsewhere for next season. According to the report from ESPN.com, Penn State officials said the decision to feature a last name on the back of the jersey was made to show the "resolve and dedication" of the Nittany Lions. The jersey's will also feature a blue ribbon to support victims of child abuse.