Blue White Illustrated

September 2021

Penn State Sports Magazine

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3 4 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 1 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M BY MATT HERB MATT@BLUEWHITEONLINE.COM I ts main campus may be tucked away in a rural central Pennsylvania valley, hours from the nearest ma- jor metro area. But in its own way, Penn State is everywhere. According to the school's Alumni As- sociation, there are more than 684,000 PSU graduates in the United States and another 22,000 living abroad. Most of those grads are clustered in the North- east, including 381,000 in Pennsylva- nia, but there are card-carrying Penn Staters all over the world, from Albania (2) to Paraguay (11) to New Zealand (55) to Zimbabwe (30). There are even 28 alums living in North Korea. The breadth of its alumni network has long been one of Penn State's primary selling points to prospective students, and following a fundamental change to the NCAA's amateurism bylaws, it's about to become an even more integral part of the school's identity. On July 1, the NCAA scrapped the restrictions that had prevented college athletes from capitalizing on their ce- lebrity, discarding the limits on players' name, image and likeness rights — NIL for short. Six days earlier, Pennsylvania had become the 25th state to give col- lege athletes the ability to profit off their collegiate fame, with the General As- sembly passing a bill as part of its budget process that amended the School Code to permit athletes to make money from endorsements, autograph sessions and sponsorships. The question now: How much money is there to be made? Will a significant number of those Penn Staters scattered throughout the nation and the world want to buy a T-shirt bearing redshirt senior quarterback Sean Clifford's like- ness? Or pay to play video games with junior linebacker Brandon Smith? Or or- der takeout from a food delivery service endorsed by redshirt junior offensive lineman Bryce Effner? Given the sheer number of people with blue-and-white ties, as well as the in- tensity of their interest in Nittany Lion athletic endeavors, school officials, MONEY BALL With athletes now free to capitalize on their collegiate fame, Penn State calls attention to its alumni network and Northeastern locale

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