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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ignorance Is...Penn State University's Version

Reader Beware:  
This post is more a rant than a fan’s take on a sports story…
More a question of human behavior than describing an athletic accomplishment on the gridiron.

This is bigger than football, college athletics or the illustrious career of a football coach that has spanned over 60 years.  It’s bigger than a state university that on football game day becomes one of the largest cities in Pennsylvania, and the sports program that literally put the city, “Happy Valley” on the map. 

The sex abuse scandal that is shocking the entire college community that supports Penn State University is much bigger than sports.

This is about the young boys who were taken advantage of because, well they were young.  This is about an incredibly selfish act of one sick man who some how felt he could get away with the heinous crime, and didn’t care who got hurt, whose lives were destroyed or who was left picking up the pieces.  This is about incredibly poor judgment by individuals who put friendship, the fraternity of coaching or their own short sighted needs ahead of what is the right thing to do.  Plain and simple, this is not about college sports, the legacy of a football coach, or a university football program that turned out NFL caliber athletes (Penn State is known as Linebacker U.) Anyone who thinks otherwise is sadly mistaken. 

What truly amazes me about this scandal is how one person, Jerry Sandusky (he doesn’t even deserve to be called a coach – the names he deserves are unprintable), can justify what he is doing, and where he is doing it, and not for one second seek help?  I mean, did Sandusky not know what he was doing was wrong? (He founded Second Mile, dedicated to helping children with absent or dysfunctional families.)  Did he not think about the consequences – obviously, not.  And this is probably a bigger question about mankind in general – a question we will never know the answer to, and certainly not one I am going to even attempt to tackle!  I will leave it to Dr. Phil. 

Finally, what does this say about the “Fraternity of Coaches” – the “what happens here stays here” mentality (So that’s where Sin City – Las Vegas, got that slogan!)  Can coaches, athletic directors, and anyone else who is a part of Penn State football program and vaguely had an idea about this crime be that loyal to Sandusky that they would turn away from a blatant and horrible crime against kids in order to live by some code of sports conduct?  To think, a week ago, before this case went public, Penn State University allowed this soon-to-be-charged-felon on campus and having use of the athletic facilities. This action goes way beyond Hear No Evil – See No Evil and Ignorance Is Bliss

In this case, Ignorance is Selfish, Irresponsible, and more importantly, Harmful.  


  1. Great article Steve, and I couldnt agree more.
    Of course this is the worst example and outcome, but I think the elements that lead to all of this, the cover-ups, turning a blind eye etc, are still so rampant in sports and big institutions. Hopefully this story can be a catlyst for positive change.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to read and post your comments - I completely agree with your thoughts and appreciate your insight.

  3. Considering the seriousness of the crimes commited against MANY innocent children, I find it appalling that Penn State students massed at Main Hall and staged a "Support Paterno" rally, with a bit of destructive rioting, like absolutely uneducated morons. These are college students? The video feed on CNN was disgusting, with students pumping their fists and jumping in front of the CNN cameras like they just won a championship. What a sad state of affairs when young people are more concerned with getting their mugs on TV and getting "pics" for their Facebook pages, than they are with basic ethical reasoning.

  4. Jim, I couldn't agree more - although, I saw that some people gathered at the Stadium and it was very peacefully, and their comments were more retrospective. It is a sad state of affairs. Thanks 4 the comments Jim