Seasons of Change

A new book retraces the football program’s journey from post-scandal challenges to championship. 

cover of book Men in White, courtesy


When Michael Mauti ’11 Lib and Michael Zordich ’12 H&HD called a press conference in July 2012 to state their commitment to Penn State football in the wake of NCAA sanctions that followed the Sandusky scandal, Chris Raymond was inspired. “It was true courage,” he says.

Years later, when the longtime journalist started thinking about ideas for a book, that inspiration stuck with him. In Men in White: The Gutsy, Against-All-Odds Return of Penn State Football, Raymond ’87 Com pieces together a compelling oral history from one of the most challenging but triumphant periods in program history, from the early days of Bill O’Brien to the 2016 Big Ten title run.

For Men in White, due out in August, Raymond talked to players, coaches, and beat reporters, and he weaves in interviews from media sessions and podcasts. The book uncovers how players felt when deciding whether to stay or transfer, the challenges of taking on a Big Ten schedule with severe roster limitations as a result of the sanctions, the bumpy transition from O’Brien to James Franklin, and how the Lions ultimately proved that they were still a national force to be reckoned with—all in the words of the men who lived through it.

“You can’t help but like these guys when you read their stories,” Raymond says. “It was impressive to me that they knew they were playing for something larger than a football game.”