Now Is OUR Time!

Penn State Blue Band Drum Major Ian Kenny wrote a very eloquent blog entry about his thoughts and moving on . . .

There is one thing I am certain about – one unmistakable fact of this entire scandal that most people outside of Centre Country, Pennsylvania come up way short on. I personally did not cover up, condone, approve, and allow Jerry Sandusky’s actions to happen. Neither did any other student at the university, neither did any professor, and neither did any fan of Penn State. It’s unfortunate enough that the lives of at least ten children were tarnished in an unfathomable way. What I can’t understand is why the media and the rest of the world are trying to pull the students of the university under the bus is beyond me.

“Our students will be the ones to bring us out of this.” It brings to mind a recent series of TV and print advertisements for the university with the seemingly ever-present logo with “It’s Your Time” encased in a circle. Well, it really is our time now. While we don’t have the individual power to make the big decisions, or undo what has been done, we do have the power to be heard and do great things. We have the chance to go out into the world and dedicate our lives to making a good name for our university.

Are we going to give in to the terrorists?  A plane flies overhead saying “Take down the statue, or we will!”  And our school president and BOT announce they will “make a decision” about the statue within a week.  Seriously, if a plane flew over Virginia with a banner that read, “Take down the Washington Monument, or we will,” what would your reaction be?  Would Obama announce that he and Congress will announce a decision within a week?  If you think the statue should come down, what in the wide, wide world of sports are you thinking?

“We Have Nothing to Fear but fear itself.  And ESPN.”

What decision is to be made?  If you take it down, the terrorists have won.  The vocal minority have won.  The media has won.

And what of the victims?  Have they won?  Does this make them feel better?  Does this in any way, shape, or form diminish their past or present suffering?  One victim and his mother are angry at Paterno.  But another victim allegedly stated that he respected Joe Paterno, Penn State and hoped that his testimony–his day in court–his justice–wouldn’t condemn the football program or harm it in any way.  Okay, I paraphrased that, but you get the picture.  I’m sorry but I went back to the message board to find a link for that, but I couldn’t.  Maybe I made it up.  Maybe someone is covering it up.  I digress.

Respecting Joe Paterno for his accomplishments and enjoying Penn State football games do not mean that one condones what happened, or pedophilia in general.  I respect that mother’s right to hate to Joe Paterno.  I hope and pray that she respects my right (and perhaps hundreds of thousands of others’ rights) to celebrate the good that Joe Paterno did.

There is absolutely no one on the current team that had any responsibility for what happened or how it was handled.  Larry Johnson?  Vanderlinden?  Spider?  Give me a break.  The players and recruits and the new coaches had nothing to do with any of this.  The fans of the program had nothing to do with this.  The business and economy of Centre County had nothing to do with this and should not be penalized by a “death penalty.”  A death penalty for the football program is a death warrant for sure for many local businesses and for a fair number of the other sports programs at the University which depend on football revenue to finance their scholarships and expenses.

So is it all about the money?  Well, sadly, a large part of it is.  But is it all about football?  Is it all about the football culture?  Or could it just possibly be all about Sandusky himself.  Or a way to deflect attention from the other conspirators in this cover-up like The Second Mile and perhaps Corbett?  As far as the scandal is concerned, the players in this Greek tragedy are no longer part of the institution.  Paterno is dead.  Spanier–gone.  McQueary—gone.  Schultz–retired and awaiting judgment.  Curley–on leave and likewise awaiting justice.  Sandusky–in jail.  But Corbett is still an ex officio member of the BOT.  Interesting.
Is it really necessary to tear down that statue (or move it)?  Who does that hurt?  Joe is dead.  It will hurt his family.  It will hurt some fans.  Maybe past players.  But does it really help the victims?  Isn’t that what is important?  We keep hearing that football isn’t more important than the safety of children (it isn’t and I wouldn’t argue otherwise), but if that is the case, explain to me in rational terms how moving this statue is going to help healing and not hurt other innocent people.

Is it the fans’ fault that Paterno allegedly made a bad decision?

Is it his family’s fault?

And will the terrorists stop there?  I fear not.  The next demand will be to have his name expunged from the record books.  Take the statue.  Take the wins.  Take the record.  Take the name off the library.  Take his books out of the bookstore, his image off anything within a 100 miles of the campus, and we will never say his name again.  You can almost feel the relief of the victims now with this weight is gone. 

I’m sorry if that sounded insensitive. . . it’s sarcasm idiots.

The statue needs to stand.  Funny thing, I never thought the thing was appropriate in the first place.  But It’s now a symbol of just what Paterno did that was great; not what he allegedy didn’t do or failed to do.  He was a great coach and did more for young people in his lifetime than most of us will ever dream of.  That statue was put there because he made Penn State a better place, not because he was a terrific criminal investigator who brought down surreptitious sex offenders.   His inability to do that should not be the reason the statue is removed.

Likewise, if the BOT or the NCAA sanction the football program, then they are WRONG.  Don’t give me that lack of institutional control garbage.  Check it out.  The NCAA is the National Collegiate ATHLETIC association.  This isn’t Miami where players are involved in Ponzi schemes.  This isn’t about free tattoos or special treatment of players.  Cuz guess what haters?  No football players were involved.  Hellooo, McFly?  It ain’t an athletic problem and the NCAA needs to tuck their tail and get the hell out of Dodge before someone drops a house on their head.

Why do NCAA sanctions not stop programs from breaking the rules?  Does sanctioning Penn State somehow magically guarantee that this will never happen again?  If an NCAA sanction means that the school will never go astray again, I guess we can be pretty sure that Ohio State will never cheat again.  Ever.  Yeah, like that’s bloody likely going to happen.

So not only are you trying to approach a criminal offense and prevent it with athletic sanctions, but you know deep down that it won’t keep something like this from ever happening again.

All you really do is hurt innocent people.  Is that what it has come to in this country?  Two wrongs to make a right?  An eye for an eye?  God forbid, I’m an eye surgeon and I don’t want to be that busy!

And do we really want the NCAA using their authority to execute criminal justice?  If they even sniff or play games with wrist slaps here, it sets a dangerous precedent.  Any coach or player that gets arrested and convicted could bring sanctions to the program.  Is that really the direction we want to go here?

And again, if Penn State makes a token gesture to limit scholarships or not play in a bowl game, does that really help any of the victims one tiny iota?

Really?  Ask yourself that.  Because if it isn’t about the victims, what is it about?

It is our time, Penn State . . .

Stop bickering about statues, and figure out how to fix the administrative system that led to this problem.

Healing is not about HATE.  Help the victims; not the haters.

Are we mice or Lions?

Are we . . . Penn State?

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Filed under BOT, Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, opinion, Penn State, scandal

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