Penn State football returns

It was an emotional kick-off to the Penn State football season, one that followed the turmoil of a sex abuse scandal and the firing of its legendary coach
CBS News

(CBS News) STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - More than 80,000 fans watched Penn State's football team lose Saturday, 24-14. It was an emotional kick-off to the season, one that followed the turmoil of a sex abuse scandal and the firing of its legendary coach, Joe Paterno.

For Penn State, this was no ordinary game. This was a chance to signal a new beginning with a new head coach, Bill O'Brien.

"It means so much to be here to support all the team," said a Penn State fan.

As Penn State works to rebuild its reputation, it is also dealing with the financial fallout. The school was hit with unprecedented NCAA sanctions, including a four-year ban on bowl games, and a $60 million fine.

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"The football players are getting punished," said a Penn State student. "We have to sit back and take it. We're innocent bystanders. "

As of late last year, Penn State's football program was worth an estimated $100 million, the third most valuable college football program behind Texas and Notre Dame.

Patrick Rishe teaches sports economics at Webster University. "If parents don't want to send their kids to Penn State," he said, "if sponsors don't want to put their signage on the stadium, you're talking about anywhere from $5 million to $20 million a season loss because people do not want to be associated with the brand."

Already State Farm insurance has announced it's pulling ads from Penn State's home games.

For its part, the university has launched a campaign to change perceptions. That includes a new local TV show about the football program called "The Next Chapter."

Players Saturday wore blue ribbons on the backs of their helmets as a sign of support for victims of child abuse.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.