WILKES-BARRE — The NCAA sanctions come as one new recruit from our Wilkes-Barre is expecting to take the field for Penn State in his freshman year.
Eugene Lewis, a Meyers High School graduate was one of the most sought after football players in the state, as well as a member of the WNEP TV Dream Team.
It was February 1st, 2012 when Eugene Lewis signed with Penn State and officially became a part of the Nittany Lion football program.
The heavily recruited wide receiver was sought after by numerous schools but said Penn State was where he wanted to be.
Despite hefty sanctions slapped against the team by the NCAA, Eugene`s father says his son is still a Nittany Lion.
“He`s doing the best that he can, he`s little discouraged however he understands the commitment he made and he still wants to be at Penn State,” said Reverend Eugene Lewis, Sr.
Before transferring to Meyers High School, Eugene played both wide receiver and quarterback at Wyoming Valley West and his talents earned him a spot on the WNEP TV Dream Team.
Eugene passed on other schools including, Virginia Tech, Michigan State and Pitt to play for Penn State.
Now with the penalty in place, the NCAA says incoming players at Penn State are allowed to transfer to another school immediately.
The loss of Lewis would be major blow to the team`s roster as he was seen as one of the best recruits the Nittany Lions landed.
Lewis says his son has no second-thoughts in wanting to stay in Happy Valley.
“I definitely don`t think he`s struggling because gene is the type of person, he`s committed to you, he`s committed to you and his relationship,” said Lewis. “His character is just like that, he loves Penn State, he loves the campus, he loves everything about it.”
Eugene`s commitment was evident just by signing with the team in February.
Many potential players turned away from the school after the child sex abuse allegations against former coach Jerry Sandusky came to light.
Eugene`s father says this latest development means Eugene will just work harder to pull the team through.
“He loves adversity, you put him in adversity and he`ll fight through it and like I told him, you can still be a big part of the healing process.”