James Franklin says he wants #107KStrong in Beaver Stadium, but something tells me this isn’t quite what he had in mind.
The athletic department sent a letter to former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky last week asking him to renew his football season tickets for the 2015 season and inviting him to schedule a “recruiting” visit at an upcoming basketball game. The letter, signed by Franklin, was received on Friday, November 28.
“Dear Gerald A,” the letter reads. “Congratulations on being identified as one of the elite college football fans in the nation. You have worked diligently to separate yourself by exhibiting unrivaled tenacity, character, and loyalty. Passionate and competitive, you are the leading standard of a first class fan base.”
Onward State obtained these scans, without compensation, from documentary filmmaker John Ziegler, whose website www.FramingPaterno.com hosts both his film and online book on the Sandusky story. The address, which we blurred out for privacy, matches the address of Sandusky’s former residence, where his wife Dottie still resides (although we are told she was not the source of the letter).
It’s safe to say Mr. Sandusky will not be renewing his season ticket package to be part of the 107KSTRONG during the 2015 season, as the former defensive coordinator is currently serving a 30-60 year sentence in the Greene State Prison after being convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse in July 2012.
Obviously, this is almost certainly the result of an automated mass mailing that someone evidently didn’t vet very well. The signature from Franklin is a facsimile and it’s unlikely he ever saw this specific letter or knew of its existence. Nonetheless, we have asked the athletic department for comment and will update this story if and when they respond.
UPDATE 3:45 p.m.
Penn State Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Jeff Nelson had this to say about the situation:
“Clearly, a mistake was made and our database needs further updating and cross-referencing. This standard form letter was part of a mass mailing sent to approximately 30,000 people who have had season or single game tickets within the past four years, encouraging them to support the team and help fill Beaver Stadium for every game in 2015.”