STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - While Nittany Lion fans were wondering for days whether Bill O'Brien would return to their team next season, local shops and stores were figuring out whether they should restock on local merchandise. WTAJ News found that if the head coach didn't come back, some store owners feared many fans wouldn't either.
Jim French is the General Manager of Mclanahans in downtown State College.
"It was kind of tough, deciding what to plan for, it was difficult to decide how much inventory to buy, how many people to hire, and just what sales might be like."
As O'Brien debated his future, French was reminded of a down time for sales, in the not so distant past.
"It's exactly the same as it was a year ago, what is life going to be like? How many people will we need? How much inventory will we need? It was difficult times."
Linda Cormier's visiting from out of town, but stopped to get souvenirs for her nieces. But before doing so, she like many others over the past year, thought twice about buying, because of the scandal.
"I really gave that some thought. But at the same time, I think there's a difference between the individual and the football team."
French says that during the Sandusky scandal, his sales took a big hit. We asked him to give us some figures on how bad it got. But given the national recession, he said it's too hard to tell.
Former Penn state player Keith Conlin says he's thankful that O'Brien chose to stay put.
"...As a member, someone who lives and works in the State College area, I couldn't imagine what would have happened if he had left."
Now that O'Brien's staying, French can stock his store accordingly.
"I think we're going to bring in more "One Team" apparel."
While French wouldn't give us exact sales stats, he says his best years were when Penn State football went to bowl games. He says very simply when Penn State football does well, his sales numbers go through the roof. And he thinks with Bill O'Brien sticking around as head coach for
another year, he sees another good year for sales in Centre County.