One key recruit plans to still attend PSU
When the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal rocked Penn State University last November, Eugene Lewis remained solid to the verbal commitment he made to the late Joe Paterno last summer.
Now that the NCAA has handed down its sanctions on the football program, his father, the Reverend Eugene Lewis Sr., says his son plans on staying with his decision.
Rev. Lewis said his son is doing well and was aware of the potential for severe sanctions when he elected to remain with Penn State when the scandal first broke.
"We talked and he asked for my advice," Rev. Lewis said. "I told him he needs to look at the big picture, don't look at the right now. He has to look at life in 20 years and 30 years. He realized he is one person who has the opportunity to transfer if he wanted to. He realized by him not transferring and staying with Penn State he is letting people know this is who I am and this is my character.
"In the long run when football is over whether that means the NFL or not, everybody is going to remember you didn't run when times got tough. You never know what type of job you will be looking for and the help that can come from that."
The NCAA sanctions include a four-year bowl ban, a $60 million fine to be paid over the next five years and the loss of scholarships. All players on the team are able to transfer immediately without facing the penalty of having to sit out a year.
Eugene Lewis was one of the most highly sought after wide receivers in the country the last two seasons, receiving more than 20 scholarship offers from Division I programs. He played quarterback at Wyoming Valley West but was being recruited as a receiver.
The Rev. Lewis said some college coaches contacted him Monday but declined to name the schools out of respect for Penn State. Wyoming Valley West coach Pat Keating said he was fielding calls on the behalf of Lewis from North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Connecticut, Marshall, Massachusetts and Oregon.
When asked if Eugene is thinking about transferring the Rev. Lewis said, "He is not considering it. He is committed to Penn State University regardless of the situation."
The Rev. Lewis said he wants to see his son remain at Penn State.
"I would like to see him stay for the simple fact I would like to see him build up his character and realize life is bigger than the NFL and football," Lewis said. "He is going to get a great education, Penn State is a quality institution. No matter what, if he is meant to go to the NFL he is going to go whether he goes to Penn State or King's College. My thing is the big picture. He is more focused on his life after football now. He said 'dad I think it is best for me to stick in there and say who I am.'"