With the release of the Freeh Group’s report, the questioning of the late former head coach Joe Paterno’s actions in handling situations surrounding Jerry Sandusky has escalated.
However, today in downtown State College, “JoePa” shirts hung on sale racks lining the sidewalks, cardboard cutouts stood in storefront windows and photographs of the former head coach running onto the field lined the walls of shops.
Despite controversy, many stores continue selling their stock of Joe Paterno merchandise.
Store manager Caroline Gummo of The Family Clothesline, 352 E. College Ave., plans on keeping up with the demand for Paterno gear based on the response from customers.
“We are going to continue selling Paterno merchandise as long as there is a demand for it and we continue seeing a demand for it,” Gummo said.
At Old State Clothing Co., 101 East Beaver Ave., tribute shirts printed with words of thanks and gratuity to Paterno have been popular sellers since the former coach’s death.
“People have been buying the tribute shirts that we made and people have been buying up the DVD of the memorial that was on TV,” store manager Dominque Davis said. “We are all sold out of that now.”
Along with words of thanks, quotes that were made famous by Paterno have been etched onto various forms of clothing and decorations.
Elegant Affairs, 114 W. College Ave., has been selling handmade pillows stitched with Paterno’s quote, “Believe deep down in your heart that you’re destined to do great things.”
“Paterno is the legend here, a lot of people admire him and he was a very good coach and a great person,” the store’s owner Renata Glon said. “As long as [the artist] will make the pillows, we will sell them.”
Although a decrease in demand for Paterno merchandise could happen, some feel that there will still be a market for it in the future.
“I definitely think that the demand for Joe Paterno stuff is still up there,” Davis said. “Regardless of what happened, people will still view Paterno as a big icon.”