Being a Penn State alum this post is not easy for me.I went there and had many good times there that were because of what the football team did and because of what football meant in Happy Valley.
I was in Arizona in January of 1987 when the Nittany Lions beat the "invincable" Miami Hurricane team lead by Vinny Testaverde who was not just great in 1987;he was sublime.
Yet this post is not about past glories and trying to absolve Joe Paterno,the football program,and those officials that ran Penn State(at the time)from blame.While their actions are not as vile and sick as Jerry Sandusky's crimes;their inaction and their thoughtless behavior allowed a predator to continue his horrid crimes.In life there are times where you can't look the other way.Because if you do then you are complicit in the crime.
The Freeh report sadly did not come as a shock.Joe Paterno was a deity on the campus.Joe's influence and power was far-reaching and far-lasting.As an alum believe me when I tell you Joe had to have known what was alledged at the time and he should have gone to the authorites and taken swift and more decesive action.He choose to do nothing.His inaction cost the souls of those young victims that were destroyed.The victims matter.Their lives matter.What can be done to restore their souls and lives matter.
If Joe had lived he could be facing jail time.As it stands Joe received the ultimate punishment by having his job taken away which cost him his life because other than his family being the head coach of the Nittany Lions meant the world to him.I have to be fair here.If the university going forward wants to take down his name,statues,and memory from all the buildings and from all over the university then I understand.Joe accomplished and did a lot of good in his life.Yet his inaction which was criminal can't be forgotten.The victims can't be forgotten.It is not about legacies and trying to save football in State College.It is about humanity and trying to save the souls of the victims and making sure this NEVER happens again.It is about compensating the victims although what is the price for lost innocence and tourted souls.There is no amount of money that can ever soothe and heal that pain.If the football program has to now go away for awhile then maybe that is what needs to happen.It is not fair to the football players and coach O'Brien.Yet it is not fair to those victims!
Oh and yeah to those knuckleheads that want to get drunk and cause trouble in the streets of state college because they think Joe and the football program have been unfairly victimized;please find something else to do! Study! Take a walk! Pray(if you are inclined to do so)!
This is not about your drunken behavior.This is not about letting off steam.This is about trying to heal and help those who need your rally cries and outrage;the victims!
We lost quite a few people this month.Andy Griffith,Nora Ephron,and Ernest Borgnine.These three people entertain and made our lives as movie and TV fans much better.My thoughts and condolensces to their families.Take care and be well.