Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 4/16/12

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 7: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions stands on the field during warm-ups before a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 7, 2009 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

It was the biggest fall from grace in sports history. Joe Paterno, the all time college football leader in wins, lives just long enough to see his reputation tarnished as an enabler of child rape, and the job he held for multiple decades terminated.

Before Paterno passed on, he stayed alive long enough to see his former right hand man, Jerry Sandusky, deservedly vilified in the media as one of the biggest monsters to disgrace the game.

And of course, this was all the biggest sports news story of 2011. As it should have been.

With Paterno deceased and Sandusky no longer a permanent fixture with the program, where does PSU go from here?

Well, they have a spring game, the Blue and White game they call it, this Saturday marking the culmination of 2012 spring practice. And they have a new regime, led by former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.

For the players, it’s a chance to return to football after the media circus.

“I’m really proud to be the coach here, and it’s because of the players and staff that’s here right now. Players wherever I’ve been are very resilient, whether it’s a coaching change or whatever it may be,” said O’Brien the new coach in University Park.

“Players are players and they love to be out on the field.”

Much is still to be determined with the fate of Sandusky, and with it possibly the PSU program. Sandusky has not even gone to trial yet, and Penn State is under multiple investigations. Therefore, although massive change has already begun within the Penn State program, much more change could be imminent.

The true fallout from this situation is yet to come, and those forces off the field, could one day drastically change life on the field for the Nittany Lions.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, MSN and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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