(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) -- Now that it has dealt with students' anger over coach Joe Paterno's firing, Penn State University may soon have to deal with corporate sponsors rebelling against its brand.
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, the American Red Cross and health care company Highmark told ABC News they are not jumping ship yet.
Since former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on 40 criminal counts on Saturday for allegedly abusing at least eight boys over 15 years, no sponsor has publicly canceled its contract with Penn State.
The university's board of trustees fired legendary head football coach Joe Paterno on Thursday and university president, Graham Spanier, Wednesday evening.
It is too early to tell whether Penn State's corporate sponsors will bail on the university, said Scott Rosner, professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Though, it is worth noting, the logo of paint company and Penn State sponsor Sherwin Williams was no longer on the press conference backdrop behind interim football coach Tom Bradley on Thursday. Sherwin Williams did not return a request for comment.
Pepsi has had a major partnership with Penn State, including a $14 million 10-year deal from 1992 that named it the official beverage on campus. Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO since 2006, gave the Penn State commencement address in August 2010 and was awarded an honorary degree.
Rosner said the school's brand was strengthened by the football program and its reputation had a "halo effect" on not just the athletics department but the rest of the university as well. Rosner said the most important next move, even more so than the next university president, is who they appoint as permanent head football coach, because of the importance of the football program.
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