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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I am....Penn State

I wasn't going to say anything. I really wasn't. I try to stay non-controversial. But this whole thing is weighing heavily on my mind today.

Yes, I graduated from Penn State in 1994. I have always been - and will always be - proud of that accomplishment. While I may not be using my degree that I earned while I was there (Special Education, in case you were wondering) I love that I have it, and that I got it from a school that I love deeply.

The current situation there is disturbing, to say the least. I read the Grand Jury report in its entirety and was downright sickened by it. What those kids experienced was horrific, and it broke my heart to read the details.

There is no excuse for an adult to take advantage of a child - physically, emotionally, or sexually. None. Anyone who is guilty of doing so should be locked away forever - or worse.

But, I don't want to focus on that. Not that I don't think that prosecuting the guilty parties isn't important - because it is.

It seems to me that the victims of this scandal are being overlooked. The public is looking to hang someone, but is anyone looking out for the (now-adult) children that were abused? They have to go through it again - they have to tell their stories and relive the horror that they already went through at least once, if not more. I hope and pray that they are getting the counselling that they need to help them to work through this nightmare. While the press and the public are going after anyone that they can find in order to lay blame, are the victims being protected? Or are they being exploited even more?

I am not going to go into who I think is guilty or not. I just don't even want to go there. It's not worth getting into a fight with anyone about what I believe or don't believe.

All I really wanted to say is that I think that people should remember the true victims in this mess. Support the victims in any way possible. Support the current students of the university. Support the athletes.

The students and athletes are not the criminals here.

The university is not the criminal.

The football team is not the criminal.

And that's all that I'm going to say about that.


  1. Joe Paterno isn't a criminal either. It's a sad commentary on our culture when we seem to need to find a scapegoat for everything.
    I am a Hokie, but on this issue, I too, am Penn State.

  2. Well said! I read an article yesterday about JoePa having to retire within days or weeks. While I do not know the whole story, I am saddened and sickened that it happened and played out the way it did. I cannot for the life of me understand why it was seemingly covered up for so long. How could adults in a position of power not report any of this to the authorities?! Too many children suffered for far too long and it is unacceptable. :(

  3. I admire your loyalty. But you're wrong.

    I highly doubt the victims are being overlooked here. It's just that they're not the story, nor should they be. I'm very glad the hounds that are barking at JoePa's door are sidestepping the victims on their way by - bad enough to be victims without becoming celebrities because of it.

    I think this may qualify as one of the worst sports stories of all time, and I've seen a lot of bad ones. I, too, think it's a shame that a man and a program who have been held up as paragons of athletic prowess and ethics are now teetering on the brink of a very big fall. But it is the university's responsibility, and it is the football program's responsibility. Those two entities created the set of circumstances that allowed this crime to not only happen, but continue to happen. They may not be the criminals here, but what's the difference between a criminal and an entity that sits idly by as a crime it could have prevented is committed? Not much, in my book.

  4. JimB - I think I need to clarify something. When I said that the university isn't a criminal, I meant that more in response to some comments that I have seen elsewhere that called for the entire university to be shut down, or at the very least for all of the athletic programs to be shut down. That is not the answer to anything. The current students and athletes have nothing to do with the situation, other than being in an unwanted spotlight.

  5. *nods*

    I agree.

    That's all I got too....

    Because I may just vent a disertation.

  6. I agree Ames. I hope that the victims are getting the support that they need to work through all of this. I'm also sad to see JoePa retiring. :( It's sad.

  7. You're right. The TEAM isn't criminal. And what Paterno did wasn't CRIMINAL. But he could have and should have done more. Morally. A man in his position... a leader of men and boys... an icon who was a model of hard work and determination, of going the extra mile to succeed, went against everything he preaches. He's a hypocrite and deserves to be fired. And I disagree about the university not being criminal. There was a cover up, and the university was involved. And university/athletic dept officials have been dismissed/charged as a result.

    If you're talking about the university community... you're right. I feel poorly for you as my bloggy friend and other alums who are proud of their time at Penn State and may be dragged through the mud as collateral damage. But, the riots last night did not help the cause to defend the university community.

  8. As far as Paterno goes, check out this link...it explains more about what he could and couldn't do. Doesn't make it any better, but it did shed a slightly different light on it for me.


    And yes, I'm talking more about the university as a whole - the 500,000 alumni, the 96,000 students, the 24 campuses - they (or *WE*) are not criminals. But I can tell you that we are getting slammed. I'm wearing my Penn State gear - and I will continue to do so - to show my support for the university, not necessarily for a particular person.

    And yeah....riots are never good. Never.


I have only two rules - don't reveal anyone's personal information, and be respectful. It's not difficult, honest. Now, go on and play.