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Former Penn State Admissions Director devastated by recent penalties
CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - A day after the NCAA's announcement of Penn State University's penalties for covering up a sex scandal, the school's fans and local residents are reacting, including one Mohawk Valley native with close ties to the school.
Dr. Scott Healy grew up in New Hartford and now lives in Clinton, but that doesn't stop him from feeling for the whole Penn State community having worked there and beside Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno for eight years.
Dr. Healy worked as Penn State's Director of Academics from 1985 to 1992 and feels that not just the football program will be hurt by the recent penalties, but all of the university's students and faculty.
"It was an important part of the culture, and the fabric of the university, especially on Saturday afternoons," said Dr. Healy.
The NCAA hit Penn State with penalties including a $60 million fine, loss of scholarships, giving up wins from 1998 to 2011 and banned from bowl games for four years.
After working as Penn State Director of Academics for eight years, Dr. Healy feels the recent scandal and its penalties will bring a definite change to the university and the whole State College community.
"It will affect them economically, it will affect, I think, the morale of the community, but I think they will also band together and I think, make it through over these next 4 or 5 years," said Dr. Healy.
As a previous Admissions Director, Dr. Healy feels the punishment will prevent football players from attending and staying at the school. However, he feels students will still be attracted to Penn State because of its strong academic programs.
Dr. Healy worked at Southern Methodist University when the school received a death penalty, temporarily eliminating their sports program and he says it took them 25 years to return as a better institution. Although Penn State's punishment was not as drastic, he feels it will definitely have a negative effect on the university but that they will eventually recover.
"I think everything, in time, will be healed," said Dr. Healy. "It will not be forgotten and I think it will be a beacon for other institutions not to lose their way in terms of athletics, becoming the focal point in any community or any institution."