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Days after Shrewsberry’s Departure, Penn State Trustee Jay Paterno Defends School’s Basketball NIL Efforts

Jay Paterno

In the days since coach Micah Shrewsberry left Penn State basketball for Notre Dame, Penn State fans have had varying opinions on the matter.

Some feel that Shrewsberry left Penn State for a better job and the Indiana native returning to his home state made too much sense.

Others hold Shrewsberry’s decision against him and feel that he left the program worse than where he found it.

Then there are people who blame Penn State for the way things went down, and perhaps more than anything else, this group feels that the University failed in an area that’s dominant in 2020s college sports: Name, Image and Likeness.

People feel that Penn State is far behind where it should be with NIL, but Jay Paterno isn’t one of them.

He publicly defended himself on Twitter Saturday morning.

“Fact” Paterno’s tweet began.

“Dedicated #PennState fans, community, & @successwithhonor met every basketball NIL request. The latest increase exceeded in just two days. That’s how #PennState alumni responded. Those spreading spreading any counter-narrative only hurt the program’s coaching search and future. #WeAre

Paterno, of course, is the son of the late, legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. Jay Paterno was a backup quarterback for his father in the late 80s-early 90’s and coached on his father’s staff from 1995 until November 2011. Jay Paterno spent his last 13 seasons on Penn State’s staff as the school’s quarterbacks coach. After Joe Paterno was fired in November amid the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, Jay stayed on staff and tried to help interim head coach Tom Bradley manage the situation.

Jay’s coaching career ended after that 2011 season. He’s since gone into politics, even running unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014, and is currently a member of Penn State’s Board of Trustees.

A Twitter user asked Paterno to back up his NIL statement.

In the tweet, the user asked Paterno how much Penn State’s basketball players were getting through NIL compared to other schools.

“Show us the sheets and be transparent,” the tweet read.

The tweet also asked how much Penn State was paying of its celebrated wrestling coach, Cael Sanderson.

“Where are your priorities?” The user asked.

The tweet concluded by saying “it would be a lot easier to trust you if you offered evidence beside your words. Easy to lie at the top.”

Paterno responded.

“I appreciate the question,” he tweeted. “But we’d put ourselves at a competitive disadvantage revealing to other schools what we’re doing in a highly-competitive marketplace. Coaching candidates will get the info.”

Paterno ended the reply by saying that the end solution for NIL will be “national revenue-sharing with student-athletes.”

Another Twitter user asked Paterno what the incentive would be “for alumni donors to donate to a large pool that would be revenue-shared with all schools.”

Paterno responded to that, too.

”Revenue-sharing will come from TV and not from Alumni,” he wrote. “Recent federal court and Supreme Court rulings have made that abundantly clear. If players walk out right before a game 100,000 fans and TV viewers are not likely to watch coaches play beer pong to entertain the masses.”

Well before Shrewsberry led Penn State on one of the best runs in program history that featured its first appearances in the NCAA Tournament and Big Ten Championship Game since 2011 and climaxed with Penn State’s first NCAA Tournament win since 2001, he talked with Blue-White Illustrated’s Nate Bauer on the BWI Penn State Hoops Podcast in December.

Bauer asked Shrewsberry where Penn State’s NIL ranked in the Big Ten.

”I can’t speak for everybody,” Shrewsberry said. “But I would say of the 14 teams in the Big Ten, we’re probably 14, maybe 13. So it’s just about who we want to be as a program. What are we willing to say is going to be our standard?”

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