Sunday, November 6, 2011
Sad times in Happy Valley
Saturday saw the center of the college football universe staring directly at the oncoming slugfest between #1 LSU and #2 Alabama. If someone had said there will be a breaking college football story that would out trend this game, one would have to really think hard about what story could push a Game of the Century to the side.
I don't think anyone could have fathomed what news was coming out of State College surrounding the Penn State Athletic Department and football program. The details surrounding retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky alleged extra curricular activities with young male children and the possible cover up is just sick.
Personally, I never have been a fan of Penn State despite growing up in the heart of south central PA, but just because I never liked PSU doesn't mean I didn't respect them. Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky have been two of the iconic figures of this program, Sandusky particularly for building Linebacker U. They were the face of so many great Lion victories, people who you knew did it the right way, someone who was always respected. But now, thats gone for good, no matter what the outcome is for Sandusky. It will be really sad if Paterno takes the stand against Sandusky, as its being reported will happen.
But what is worst is the innocence that those young people lost within Sandusky's presence. I know these are allegations, but there is no way they would bring a case without the evidence in place. No one respected those young people enough to put there foot down and stop this from happening, from the coaches in the know to Paterno, the AD and all the way up to the president. If it was one of my 4 beloved children that this happened too, you can bet the police and the powers that be would have been summoned much sooner instead of waiting for several years for justice to begin it process.
Its people like Jerry Sandusky and other bad apples that give people like me who are passionate about teaching and coaching for a living a bad reputation. For every one Jerry Sandusky there hundreds and thousands of other educators/coaches that take a parents most prized possession, there child, into their respective arena each day and attempt to make them a better person, unlike the Sandusky's or other bad people in these professions we have to hear about.
This story is terrible on so many fronts, that now it seems that several members of the coaching staff all the way up to the PSU president have knowledge of what was happening at some point over a 15 year period. It also seems as if Penn State has dropped the ball on holding press conferences, getting some damage control done or getting out ahead of the story. Now you can bet at the weekly PSU football press conference, the national media outlets will all have a presence in University Park and begin questioning Joe Paterno and his knowledge, despite what statements he's already made through media releases or lawyers. Its like they're living in the dark ages in State College, unaware that more and more people get news from sources on Twitter, ESPN.com or facebook.
Outside of completely cleaning house, and I mean all around at PSU from anyone on the entire coaching staff who had knowledge from Paterno, the AD and President as to what was going on, they need to be gone. This scandal is worst then any point shaving, tattoo parlor, Scam Newton pay for play or any other conceivable case in NCAA History. Its become a court case, not some petty NCAA thing that who knows how they'll investigate. Success with Honor, not anymore at Penn State. No matter how it plays out it will be a sad ending whether a Joe Paterno can survive this or not, the damage is already done for a man, program and university that spent years building what once was a great reputation.