Terry Pegula is just like every other Penn State alum, confused and shocked by the revelations in the sex abuse case that circles the university. But Pegula isn't just the average concerned member of the PSU community.
He just gave the school $88 million to fund the construction of a Division 1 hockey arena, and thanks to that donation, Penn State will ice a Division 1 hockey team for the first time next fall. In a strong interview with TSN, Pegula said that he stands by that gift and by the university.
"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."
Head coach Guy Gadowsky, who left a successful career with the Princeton Tigers to help get the Penn State hockey program off the ground, certainly seems to have an uphill battle in putting together his team in the wake of these allegations. It's no leap to suggest that many players may not be interested in playing hockey at Penn State in the face of everything that has been revealed in the last two weeks.
Pegula is doing all he can to mitigate the impact of this scandal on the new hockey program, while still emphasizing that the "right things need to be done" and that "our concern and compassion should be for the children involved in these terrible allegations."
"This is not about covering your ass. 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."
Pegula went on to say that the scandal shouldn't be blamed on the majority of the university community -- the students, the faculty, the alumni -- because they "can't be blamed for what happened." He asserted that taking away support for the hockey program would only punish a university community that "shouldn't put their head down."
For more on the ongoing Penn State scandal, check with this StoryStream. For more on the scandal, and everything in the world of Penn State athletics, check with Nittany Lions blog Black Shoe Diaries.