They say Happy Valley is like a bubble. Sometimes, we can get too wrapped up in our own little world to get a good sense for the national pulse. Obviously, everyone in State College was thoroughly elated when the NCAA announced it was restoring Penn State’s scholarship limits sooner than expected. But what was the national perception like?
It turns out, pretty favorable.
ESPN’s Sports Nation conducted a series of polls on its website, all of which showed considerable support for Penn State against the NCAA’s tyranny.
Check out this map:
With over 100,000 responses, 74% of the nation agreed that the scholarships should be restored or restored faster. Four states (including 57% in Pennsylvania) believed that the NCAA should restore the scholarships even faster.
Here’s another one:
Over two-thirds of respondents believe that the NCAA has treated Penn State unfairly throughout the Sandusky scandal. Only five states (three of which house big-time college football programs) felt otherwise. Ask this question a year ago and you’d probably get a vastly different answer.
Here’s another one. 81% of respondents think that Penn State should have it’s postseason ban removed and/or fine money returned. 34% believe that both of those penalties should be revoked.
Here’s the last one:
Ahh, yes — that silly word elite. 85% of respondents believe that Penn State football will be elite within the next decade, which is pretty incredible when you think about where we were in July 2012.
Whether these poll results mean that public opinion is becoming more favorable for Penn State, or that the entire country just hates the NCAA (probably both), it’s reassuring to know that we’re not alone here in Happy Valley.