Penn State Sponsors Anxiously Watch How Events Unfold at University


Penn State is one of many universities that receive sponsorship funds from John Deere, based in Moline, Ill. A spokesman for John Deere said the company "will fulfill the contracted terms of our agreement" but declined to comment on the recent actions of Penn State University and the future of the sponsorship. The company has a program that allows independent dealers to promote products.

"As we do with all sponsorships, we routinely assess the conditions under which our brand name is used in the marketplace and we will do that in this situation," spokesman Ken Golden told ABC News.

Pat Morrissey, a spokesman for sponsor Chevrolet, said "we plan to continue to support the student athletes, however, we will continue to review the various elements of our sponsorship."

PNC Financial Services Group has had an advertising relationship with Penn State since 1982, and a company spokesman said "it has been an effective way to reach students and alumni in the state and around the country." The company is one of many that has had a prominent place on Beaver Stadium's scoreboard during football games.

Fred Solomon, spokesman, said the company is "aware of the very serious allegations at State College, and we are watching closely as events unfold."

Insurance company Highmark has also had a "multi-year" sponsorship contract with Penn State athletics.

Aaron Billger, Highmark spokesman, said "we are saddened by the current allegations linked to the athletic program and any harmful impact to the young people who have participated in Second Mile activities," referring to the charity through which Sandusky allegedly met a victim.

State Farm Insurance spokesman Jeff McCollum said the company will continue to support college athletic programs around the country as it has for decades.

"As a company that cares about building and sustaining safer communities, we are deeply concerned about the recent allegations involving Penn State," the company said in a statement. "We support all efforts to fully investigate this matter."

Laura Howe, spokeswoman for the Red Cross, another of Penn State's sponsors, says the organization does not have plans to cancel its university partnership. The organization has conducted blood drives on campus for more than half a century, according to Howe.

"Members of the greater Penn State University family have a positive impact in their communities every day and we will continue to partner with them to help save lives," she said.

Greyser said only after the details of the attorney general's investigation develop, such as the timeline of events and who knew what, sponsors can decide for themselves how deep the situation looks.

"To some people, Paterno may be a convenient highly visible scapegoat," he said. "He's not in criminal trouble right now, but we don't know what else will emerge."

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