The Ohio football team will wear special decals on its helmets to honor victims of child abuse when it meets Penn State next Saturday in the season opener for both teams.
The Bobcats’ equipment staff has been working with the Penn State athletic department to design the stickers, which will mirror patches worn by the Nittany Lions throughout the season.
The gesture is meant “to join the Penn State team in showing support for child abuse victims,” Ohio athletic director Jim Schnaus wrote in an email to Yahoo! Sports on Saturday.
The game is Penn State’s first since the conviction of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who was found guilty in June of 45 criminal counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys. It will also be the team’s first game under new coach Bill O’Brien, who said on the first day of practice earlier this month, “We have to understand our responsibilities to children.”
Penn State was dealt major NCAA sanctions after the Sandusky conviction and the ensuing Freeh Commission report, which was ordered by the school itself. The sanctions included a $60 million penalty, a four-year football postseason ban and a vacating of all wins dating back to 1998.
Ohio’s decision to wear the decals was finalized late this week. According to the NCAA, no other teams have thus far requested permission to wear special decals in games against Penn State this season.
Ohio is coming off its first 10-win season since 1968 and its first bowl win, a 24-23 victory over Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
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