Monday, November 7, 2011

An Alumnus Speaks About Penn State

I am a Penn State grad ('81). I have always been proud to say that. At the moment my emotions would betray that sentiment. I am more than a little ashamed. Like all the vast horde of the Blue and White, I am in shock and dismay over the scandal that has overwhelmed Penn State.

I can't say that I was ever a Paterno fan (though I've always respected him as a person and his approach to the football program), but I have always been a fan of Penn State. I listened to the games on the radio when I was a kid, and do not remember missing a game in Beaver Stadium for the four years I was a student at University Park. I can justifiably say I've seen some of the best players to ever play the game, play the game.

In light of the revelations that have come forth, and I do not believe it is a rush to judgment, given the findings of fact of the grand jury, Joe Paterno must go. I do not see how he can coach another game. I hope that Penn State has the good sense to announce an interim coach immediately, and to start the selection process for a replacement.

Ultimately, I think a clean sweep is required: a new coach, a new coaching staff, a new Athletic Director, a new VP for Business Affairs, and... a new University President. Graham Spanier is more blameworthy than even Paterno for the inaction and travesty that has come to light, and should be fired immediately. The coaching staff should get pink slips effective the end of the season with whatever severance is customary, and JoePa should be cashiered now, never to coach a game again, not even a scrimmage, not even a practice session.

JoePa has announced his retirement, effective at the end of the season. Not to kick a guy when he's down, but that is not good enough! A criminal investigation against the perpetrator was undertaken in '98 and JoePa suddenly, mysteriously forced him off his staff in '99. It seems like he might have known something untoward about the guy. A horrendous eyewitness account in '01 by someone still on his staff now (does that not imply that JoePa found him credible?) should have set off JoePa's alarms full blast. Yet the perpetrator was still bringing young boys to football games, to the locker room, to the campus years later--under Joe's nose!

Joe Paterno has lost any consideration his years of exemplary service may have afforded him. His judgment is suspect, and with the crimes in question of the nature they are, Joe is in no position to represent an institution such as Penn State. He should not be allowed to.

Addendum II:
I am in favor of the Board of Trustees decision to fire Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier, effective immediately. They need to do the same with AD Curley and VP Shultz.

Some Final Thoughts:
Jerry Sandusky has ruined the lives of more young men than we may ever know. He did so with malice and a cold-bloodedness that would do a viper justice. Even after the now open wounds he left behind scar over, the pain of their memory will linger behind. He stole something time allows no one to ever get back--youth. He deserves no consideration from us.

I don't think he should get the opportunity to drain the joy out of one more young man's youth. In that spirit I wish the student body and the Nittany Lion Football Team a good finish to their football season. The simple joys of your youth should not be sacrificed on the altar of a monster. You're young once, if God grants you the grace and opportunity, enjoy the moments while you have them.