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Friday
Nov112011

Penn State Game Sponsor Withdraws

PRNewsFoto/Cars.com, Apple(COLLEGE TOWN, Pa) -- Cars.com has withdrawn its sponsorship of ESPN's Saturday Afternoon College Football for the next two weeks, which includes Penn State games, making it one of the first companies to distance itself after the recent arrest of former defensive football coach Jerry Sandusky.

After a Penn State student riot over coach Joe Paterno's firing, the university may soon see more corporate sponsors rebelling against its brand.

A spokeswoman for Cars.com said that the move was "due to the recent allegations surrounding the Penn State football program."

"As a proud, longtime supporter of ESPN College Football, it's important to us that we're building our brand in a way that celebrates the sport, its fans and the dedication of its student athletes," she said in a statement.

The company said it worked with ESPN to redistribute its commercial ad units during these games.

The university-wide athletics program has dozens of sponsors, like Pepsi and AT&T, who are closely watching the university's next move. The school's football program is considered its crown jewel, bringing in $72 million a year, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Sponsors Chevrolet, PNC Financial, John Deere, State Farm Insurance, the American Red Cross and healthcare company Highmark told ABC News they are not jumping ship yet.

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