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Pegula tries to reassure Penn State hockey recruits

Nov 17, 2011, 6:04 PM EDT

Terry Pegula AP

Buffalo Sabres owner and Penn State alumnus/benefactor Terry Pegula is “standing behind the university” as the school’s sex-abuse scandal shows no signs of disappearing from the headlines.

In a phone interview with TSN, Pegula called for anyone who can shed light on what really happened to step forward and tell the truth.

“This is not about covering your ass,” Pegula said. “Telling the truth now will go a long way towards getting everyone through this. If there’s going to be a blind allegiance to anyone or anything here, it needs to be the university and to the truth…that’s how we get to the bottom of what happened, that’s how we get our image back.”

In September of 2010, Pegula donated $88 million to Penn State for the purpose of building an arena and starting an NCAA D-I hockey program. Last week, he reaffirmed that commitment.

“I wanted to make sure everyone knows I’m solidly behind Penn State hockey because others were using (the scandal) against us in our recruiting efforts,” Pegula said. “I heard some of our recruits were maybe wavering a bit so I wanted to make sure they knew we’re fully committed to running a first-class program that stands for all the right things. That’s what we’re all about.”

It’s not hard to imagine what those recruits are thinking. Playing sports for Penn State will come with its share of challenges in the wake of this scandal. Given the choice between PSU and a school without a dark cloud hanging over its campus, where would you go?

  1. govtminion - Nov 17, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    The scandal itself is one of the most horrible things I’ve heard of in over 30 years as a sports fan.

    THAT SAID…

    I wouldn’t let it change my opinion. If that’s where I wanted to go to school, then that’s where I’d go. If anything, it’s a safe bet it’s now going to be the safest school in the country- can you imagine another predator trying the same trick with this much scrutiny on them now?

    That’s not to say that people there didn’t make bad choices- God, they did. But the people responsible for those issues are either gone or on their way out, and the people remaining now know what is and is not acceptable (like it took THIS to make them aware). Move forward with a clean slate, never forget the lessons learned here, but don’t let past horrors cloud the future.

  2. nhlbruins90 - Nov 17, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Pegula must feel like he was just sucker-punched. He makes a huge donation to a school he loves, trying to build a great hockey program there, and then this happens. It might not be fair, but the Penn State brand name will be tarnished for awhile. That’s the way it is.

    If it were me considering the Penn State hockey program, I’d seriously look at alternatives. For one simple reason … why step into that whole PSU mess if you don’t have to. Not fair maybe, but that’s how most people will think about it. Lots of collateral damage in what those despicable people did. Every time I see a Catholic Church close in the Boston area, I’m reminded of the same type of collateral damage that Cardinal Law (our own Joe Pa) caused. What a shame.

  3. greatminnesotasportsmind - Nov 18, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    It won’t matter, because for the first 5 years, they are going to be a last place hockey team in the Big 10 conference. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State already have a huge advantage on them. Heck you could argue the 5 are always national championship contenders

    • rca26 - Nov 18, 2011 at 10:08 AM

      I’m a Badger season ticket holder and I’m gonna miss the WCHA rivalries, but there are going to be some fireworks in that new conference, for sure. 5 VERY strong programs (and Penn State can be the new Alaska-Anchorage, I guess)

      • 3rdstringer - Nov 18, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        I, for one, am not excited for another Big10 league… I will miss the old WCHA and the entrenched rivalries that the Gophers have… Over the past 5-10 years many of the in-state (Minn) schools have finally gotten up to par with the Gophers and now they will be pretty much reduced in importance… But the main reason I will miss the WCHA…. the Sioux….

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