May no act of ours bring shame
So naturally I have to write about the whole PSU blow up that started over the weekend. Even though I am a Marquette graduate, I have watched Penn State football for quite sometime. This season is turning out to be some what of a surprise much like 2005 was. The team does not win pretty or win with blowouts they win using solid defense (a PSU staple for as long as I can remember), heart and individual players stepping up when it matters (even if it with 2 minutes to go, at home, down a TD to Illinois).
When the allegations came out over the weekend regarding the involvement of former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky and his relationship with children from a charity group he founded I was disgusted and angered. As more details surfaced regarding the allegations my anger began to build- not just at this horrible human being but at all those involved. How can one simply report such a horrendous and terrifying crime and think that is enough? Yes, Pennsylvania law states that reporting the crime to your superiors is all someone would need to do- but as a leader of men, Joe Paterno should have done more. It is a shame that a man who is so well-respected through the nation, not just in the sport of football but in all walks of life, is going to have an event like this stain his career- especially in what could be (and now most likely will be) his last season. As a man who is in charge of fostering these young men into adults and not just teaching them about the game of football but helping them mature in life, he should have known that getting by with just the minimum of reporting it to his superiors was not satisfactory.
The most painful thing to watch through all of this is the reaction from students still there and recent alumni. The fact that the actions of ONE man are going to bring down a whole university is unfathomable. At the opposite end of the spectrum you have season ticket holders turning in their tickets or students saying they are going to boycott the football program. Each person is entitled to their own opinion- but take a second to think about this perspective. The current players, 18-23 year old men, have been playing their asses of this season and have provided the PSU community with a season that could bring more success than originally predicted. The idea of this team winning a Big 10 title was something I laughed at before the year began- now they are in the driver’s seat to win it. People need to realize- the current players did not commit the crime. The current players did not fall short on their responsibilities as humans beings to report these crimes. The student body and the PSU community as a whole should rally around THE PLAYERS. Boo the coaching staff, boo the administration but don’t boo the players. Don’t boycott the game because of the actions or lack there of from the administration and coaching staff.
These players are putting something together this season that is special. This Saturday will be the last home game for the seniors (fans and players) and probably the last game for Joe Paterno. As much as people can be angry at JoePa for his lack of urgency in the matter- he is the greatest coach in all of NCAA history and deserves to be honored at his “potential” last game. If there is one thing that can help to heal a university- it seeing the team succeed on the field on Saturday. During those few hours, 100,000+ people will pack the stadium to watch the players play their hearts out for each other to get a W. A win on Saturday could mean a lot more than taking one step closer to a Big 10 championship. When those fans chant WE ARE- it will have a slightly different meaning to it.
From the Windy City,