We Are, They Aren’t

When the NCAA gave Southern Methodist University the death penalty in 1987, they fundamentally killed a University who had repeatedly done wrong by cheating the game of collegiate football.

On Monday, the NCAA gave Penn State a penalty far worse than this for a scandal larger than the game of football; if what was done to SMU was the “death penalty” what was done to my University can be referred to as a “mass homicide of the guilty party’s immediate family.”

The NCAA hurt not only the football program, not only the current coaches, they hurt every person ever connected to Penn State and every student-athlete. They hurt the sophomore golfer who came to Penn State because he wanted to be a part of “success with honor”. They hurt the senior gymnast whose travel arrangements may be limited because of a lack of funding. And lastly, they hurt the brand new men’s Division I hockey team, who is looking to break into the NCAA, however much they may regret that decision now.

But what is the most frustrating about these actions isn’t the $60 million fine or the egregious scholarships taken. What hurts the most is that the mindset every Penn Stater has about their University, their town, and their team is now questioned by the entire country. Let me make one thing clear, this mindset has never faltered in the Penn Staters I know. This is that same mindset that changes every student forever from FTCap, Penn State’s freshman orientation, to their graduation day as they strive to represent our dear university to the best of their abilities.

“Thou didst mold us dear old state”

Ask any Penn Stater what they learned at Penn State and it won’t just be a physics equation or when to properly write out nine and 10 in AP style. We learned about life. We learned who we are. And we learned that the “grand experiment” trickled-down from a mindset instilled in the football program by Joe Paterno. It ran through Pollock Road to every athletic facility, dormitory, and lecture hall: and that was his goal. Not to be the winningest coach in Division I history, not to have a statue pointing a “No. 1” finger in the air, but to make Happy Valley the best damn place in the world through education, integrity, and Penn State pride.

And yes, that man may have made a grand mistake, his “grand experiment” may be looked at as a fail. His legacy and pride may have gone too far, he may have feared what would happen to it all if his friend and coworker were brought about as the disgusting man that he indeed is. But personally, I will reserve my judgment on Paterno and others until they are given due process by a court of law. I will not instinctively panic on what may have happened in a chain of emails to save myself or look better in the court of public opinion. Sound familiar?

For four years, I was given the opportunity to serve as an assistant at the Penn State Athletic Communications department; a working experience that I would trade for nothing else.

I saw the rise, and I saw the demise.

I had to keep my mouth shut, quiet to all comments and concerns. I quietly brushed aside news reporters on my way to class, while my head was bursting with comments.

I wanted to comment on their careless and biased reporting. I wanted to comment on the lack of diversity of interviewees. I wanted to comment on the improper use of convicting language. And lastly, I wanted to comment on the lack of journalistic morality when providing enough information on one of the victims to make him easily identifiable in the State College community.

I watched one of the most respected sports information directors in the country take all of the blame, expect nothing from anyone, and expect everything of himself. A man who had nothing to do with the scandal was burned to the stake by the media. They said he didn’t do enough, they said he did too much, they said he should have had a press conference, they said he should have cancelled it.

Student-Athletes were forced to answer questions about something they knew nothing of: with no chance for success. Any answer would only be taken negatively. Say the wrong thing or say nothing at all, that’s all they could do. The media was winning, and the athletes weren’t even playing.

What many fail to realize in this grand scheme is the success Penn State has had across the board throughout ALL athletics. These student-athletes came to Penn State because of the ideals, because they wanted to come to a place that honored both academics and athletics. Not because on football weekends Penn State becomes the third largest city in Pennsylvania.

Since 2007, Penn State has won 11 NCAA titles, tied for best in the nation with USC over that span. Since their first full year in the Big Ten, (1993-94) the Nittany Lions’ 22 National Championships are more than double every other school in the Big Ten Conference. (Iowa is second with 10)

Penn State is NOT a football school; it is an academic institution that excels in providing a balance between academics, athletics, community service and stewardship throughout MULTIPLE athletic programs.

But the media would never let you know this. You would never know the turnaround that the Penn State wrestling team has had over the past three years including back-to-back national championships after hiring the most successful wrestler to ever dominate the mat, Cael Sanderson. Or that Penn State will have a school-record 19 athletes competing in the Olympic Games, including four current student-athletes.

These stories aren’t media friendly. They don’t drive the average joe to Penn State, all that the media cared about was hero Joe.

That drive for business, that drive for profit that every media member has grossly taken advantage of over the past eight months is what single handedly has driven me away from the media business. Journalism and reporting is no less a money making business than the tobacco industry.

When riots took place on Beaver Avenue, media members flooded downtown to get the students perspective who were at the riot. They asked students “Do you feel at danger here?” Danger? At Penn State? The safest place I’ve ever known was no more dangerous than the ball pit at Chuck-E-Cheese. Students were mad, students were frustrated, and students were confused: but in danger of harming their own? Get educated.

Penn Staters will protect each other like nothing I’ve ever seen. “We Are .. Penn State” is not a chant, it’s a belief in the ideals set by this university. WE ARE, not you, not our gutless leaders. WE ARE the students who were studying in the PATERNO Library when news broke of his firing via a phone call on a Wednesday night.

WE ARE the students who stayed in their apartments and mourned the firing and questioned: why? Why is this happening so quickly? Why are we rioting? Why did the most trusted individuals in a position of power choose not to move forward on the single greatest catastrophe in the history of higher education?

We may never quite know. But what we do know is that the NCAA wanted no part of Joe Paterno’s name being anywhere near the top of the record books. How else can you explain vacating wins dating back to 1998, when an investigation took place that ended with the child welfare agency deciding not to pursue further charges, and the case was dismissed? Why this case was dismissed? We do not currently know, but it is information the NCAA should have had before making any decisions.

What about the past players? The Daryl Clark’s, the Derrick Williams’? I watched those players in one of the highest moments in Penn State athletics. Are you going to tell me that those games that I watched with 110,000 others in 2008 didn’t happen? Can you say that when Derrick Williams took a kick return to the house at the start of the fourth quarter before Beaver Stadium nearly collapsed in a White Out Frenzy while the entire stadium bounced to Zombie Nation wasn’t real?

Oh it was real.. and Beaver Stadium is no closer to collapsing than ever before.

Penn Staters rise, Penn Staters triumph.

Penn Staters dance for 46 hours in the largest student run philanthropy in the world. Let me say that again, STUDENT RUN. We never needed help from administration to put together the most monumental event at Penn State and one of the most inspirational events in the world.

And we don’t need them now.

Universities are comprised of the individuals who attend it on the hopes of becoming educated and finding themselves. It is not a collection of weak individuals who piggy backed off of the success of students, teachers, and coaches alike all to the top.

And they were at the top.

Remember when Graham Spanier sat on the board of directors for the NCAA?

Probably not: the media hasn’t spoken about it.

Spanier not only sat on, but also was the chairman. He was a part of the same NCAA that punished Penn State, a university that has punished his, among others’ wrongdoings. The hypocrisy behind this particular aspect is mind-blowing.

Punishments I understand, taking away the statue, something physical and meaningful to Penn State, was necessary for the healing process to being. In reality, the only way for the country to eventually empathize with Penn State was a punishment that was completely over the line. So for that, thank you NCAA.

But the punishments on my university were not only classless and unnecessary; they were plainly egotistical.

Instead of waiting for a legal process to play out, they acted on impulse of the same media that tore apart our university throughout the breaking of the scandal. One man has been convicted of a crime thus far, and that man is rightfully in jail for the rest of his pathetic life. However, three men have yet to state their case in front of a jury of their peers.

It was a fearful, cowardly and downright pathetic attempt to salvage their character.

The NCAA was embarrassed. Their “manhood” was taken, and the only way to get it back was to flex their muscles.

And they aren’t just flexing their muscles; they are crushing Penn State for the whole world to see.

The NCAA could have killed the football program for a year and sent a message that football is not ahead of child abuse. They could have allowed the Penn State community to heal, for the victims to cope, and for Head Coach Bill O’Brien to regroup.

But they didn’t.

The NCAA is the hot girlfriend that tells you that although you made a mistake; she doesn’t want to take a break and wants to continue dating you. The only catch, you have to watch her cheat on you for the next 10 years until you have another chance with her again.

They crippled an entire university not to change a culture, but to ensure that Penn State would lose on the football field for the next decade.

“The fundamental message here, the gut-check message is, do we have the right balance in our culture? Do we have, first and foremost, the academic values of integrity and honesty and responsibility as the drivers of our university? Or are we in a position where hero worship and winning at all costs has subordinated those core values?” President Mark Emmert

The last I checked, Penn State ranked No. 1 among academic standing in Division I football. We consistently rank in the Top two in the Big Ten with Northwestern and hold our incoming athletes to the highest standards, not offering scholarships to those who cannot live up to them. This constantly keeps talented athletes away from Penn State BECAUSE of the academic integrity that they hold.

The NCAA has determined that the logical explanation to solving what they viewed as a “winning at all costs” culture is to ensure that Penn State is unable to win at any cost…

The NCAA wanted this: they wanted it all. They want you to turn on the T.V. in three years and see Temple pounding on Penn State at Beaver Stadium. They want the students to stop showing up to games, to forget about football for a while. They want us all to think that they are bigger than our bond, bigger than our university, and bigger than Penn State pride.

Journalists think the same thing; writers such as Darren Rovell don’t understand who we are. As everything unfolded yesterday Rovell tweeted…

“Fact: Penn state community will only rally around its football team over time if the team is good”

My response to him garnered a retweet in which Penn State hate all over the country bashed my passion for my University. I was just another one of my fellow Penn Staters who fiercely protested his remarks, as thousands refuted what he was completely unaware of.

We don’t show up for wins, we don’t show up for losses, we show up because we love this university and everything that WE know it stands for. The NCAA can’t keep us from tailgating; they can’t keep us from singing “Hey Baby” and “Sweet Caroline”, or from standing tall for 60 minutes.

And they sure as hell can’t stop us from having the best damn wave in the country.

My call is this to every student, alumni, and anyone ever associated with our university. Show up early, show up loud, and show up proud.

Scream out your lungs when Bill O’Brien takes the field and show him how much we appreciate that he’s here.

Yell “We Are” with pride, because we always will be.

Cheer when Matt McGloin leads the team to victory, and cheer even louder when we lose.

Because lose we will.

But against the NCAA’s wishes, we will never fail, because we will always be proud.

Because in the end they are the ones who care about wins and losses: not us…

Joe taught us so.

194 comments on “We Are, They Aren’t

  1. Karen bernaski says:

    Absolutely the best article on the topic ever written. It should be distributed far and wide.

    • karen says:

      joe paterno was a fraud. Anyone who insists otherwise is an idiot. Just because you fell for paterno’s con all these years doesnt meant you should continue the idiocy. Your number one concern should be the victims, not a football program, nor a university.

      • Jan says:

        Ditto to your comment. On my facebook newsfeed, I ended up commening about an article that Paterno wept when he he found out he was fired. I said to them but did he weep for the kids. Not knowing it was a facebood page for Penn State football. These people were so nasty and thinking the worst what I was saying like I was an evil person. Also they even swore. The comments about him are how much they love Paterno which I don’t think he deserves. It’s like they are brainwashed thinking he’s this idol and he’s done nothing seriously wrong. He could have done more and he didn’t. You can’t tell me during all this time that’s past he couldn’t have done way more like being more alert when something like that happened. Not just him but all the people that are in power there. They tell me on that page I don’t know anything and I’m shortminded and need to eduate myself. I know he didn’t do much and most Penn State people think he’s such a great man and he has flaws still but that’s a big flaw and a serious one to know something like that. I think all they think of is their football team and didn’t wanna lose there jobs and theyre precious football team. How much do u need to educate yourself to know that?

  2. cpduerr says:

    WOW. You said…pretty much…everything… I was all ready to blog about this but don’t need to now, thanks for that. I say the NCAA not only set a dangerous precedent but their punishment basically says, “Oh, and we need you to really SUCK at football for the foreseeable future because otherwise you’ll make us look like bad parents.” We aren’t ashamed, despite the NCAA and the haters best efforts to shame us, simply because as Penn Staters we don’t give anyone that right. We are…

  3. Karen Kane says:

    Great article. What outsiders don’t realize or underestimate how much love and pride we have for our university. On 9-1-12 when the payers and coaches take the field they will hear a deafening ROAR, WE ARE PENN STATE!

  4. Alex says:

    No man should be elevated to a God…and that is what happened in central PA

    At the same time, the PSU BOT had gotten drunk with the revenue of the football program generated. This never is a good situation, no matter what mantra an institution has.

    The environment was ripe for the possibility of some type of corruption when the annual economic revenue brought into Happy Valley is in the billions. I imagine, the corruption may go higher in the coming year, this isn’t over for PSU or Pennsylvania – like it or not the “brand” has been damaged for the next decade, because any discussion of PSU will bring back thoughts of what occurred there. This shouldn’t take away from the educational value or individual student achievement.

    The NCAA sanctions are tough, they hurt students and businesses that had nothing to do with anything that happened at PSU, and maybe the NCAA should have done it own investigation, but the fact of the matter is the University’s own interdependent report was used to determine the sanctions.

    The NCAA would have been damned if they did nothing and they are damned for what they did…I think the University actually got off easy, but they sanctions could have been given out to a way to take the sting from the student body and economics of the area.

    1) Strip Joe of all his wins as winning-est coach, but leave the University record alone – remove Paterno’s name from all records.

    2) $60 million is the annual revenue from the football team, place this into a fund to help victims of sexual abuse. This fund should be administered in part by the victims. The catch here, is that isn’t a one time fine, but a portion of the funds annually go to the victims. This doesn’t hurt any other program at PSU, because most football revenue, doesn’t tickle down to any other sports programs or academic scholarships.

    3) Limiting the number of scholarships is not necessarily a bad thing – the PSU program becomes more like a Ivy League program – which is not a bad thing from an educational standpoint.

    Maybe, someone should ask the victims what they want, all I hear is “what the haters are saying about Penn State”, but the right thing to do is to support the victims that have only seen failure on the part of the State and University Leadership.

    • Isaac says:

      Ask the victims what they want? Well, victim 4 is suing the NCAA because he thought the sanctions were uncalled for and ridiculous and he likes Penn State football. So how about instead of everyone being ignorant and listening to the media and NCAA, maybe they should listen to the victims, who are against what the NCAA did.

      • BSharmon says:

        The only ones playing God are Tom Corbett, Mark Emmert and Louis Freeh and all have failed in their jobs and should be accountable. Not a single one has focused on the Victims or the true Guilty- and have succeeded in diverting attention away from the real problem.

      • alex says:

        Then he won’t be suing PSU?

      • alex says:

        I couldn’t find any link to victim #4 – please post

        and instead of you being so “ignorant” and listen to only one side read this article about dear old Joe.
        http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/15/us/triponey-paterno-penn-state/index.html

      • alex says:

        And this blog logo is prefect, the lion with the black out over his eyes, it symbolizes the PSU leadership looking the other way while boys were being raped in the PSU showers. Maybe the Pope should be a BOT member!

      • J says:

        You’re an idiot Isaac!!

      • Greg says:

        Alex, first of all, the funds very much trickle-down at Penn State. It’s one of the few institutions that does this because it’s one of the few football programs that is completely self-sustained and takes not money from the University, but instead gives it back.

        Second, do you know who Vickey Triponey really was? If you did, you’d understand why that CNN article was such bullshit. She’s a disgruntled employee with an axe to grind. Let me school you on the type of person the mainstream media is holding up as their star witness to the “evil of Joe Paterno.” She was despised by all of Penn State for years for going on a power trip. She disbanded a student-run radio station because they spoke out against the administration. She disbanded the student government and put in a puppet government that to this day isn’t recognized by the Big Ten. She went after student athletes almost exclusively, and football players specifically, her most public rampage involving off campus incidents that were out of her jurisdiction. When Joe Paterno pointed this out and told her to let the police handle it, she got mad that he dared to question her and began her now famous feud with him. She was finally sent packing in disgrace after the damage was done and only seems to have resurfaced to attack the man who, opposite of the media’s biased opinion, stood up to her not the other way around. A few months ago, conveniently she went on a tirade against Penn State just before her buddy from her UConn days (Mark Emmertt) laid the hammer on her former employer.

        Educate yourself and use your brain instead of regurgitating the media’s biased opinion. They already have a microphone and clearly used it to brainwash you. Why don’t you stand with the people who don’t have such a loud microphone and have been unfairly scapegoated in all of this. That’s something called nobility and integrity and you should try it sometime.

      • Greg says:

        Again, educate yourself before you speak. It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. http://safeguardoldstate.org/the-vicky-triponey-timeline-of-terror/

    • Isaac says:

      Victim 4 lawyer’s statement: “The victims were not Penn State or the NCAA, the victims were the young men who testified in the courtroom and I think NCAA and Penn State owed it to them to at least consult with them before rendering a decision. [...]
      “I think you at least owe it to these young men to hear what their positions are regarding Joe Paterno and the statue, regarding whether Penn State should be sanctioned from participating in athletic events. Instead Penn State and the NCAA took it in their own hands to play the role of judge and jury in this case without hearing from what could be construed as critical witnesses.”

      Victim 4 is very angry he was not consulted and plans to sue.

      As well, the main reason people are ignorant is because they ignore crucial parts of this whole scandal. Of course the most crucial part is that they don’t care about the victims. They care more about attacking Penn State than feeling compassionate and bad for the victims. Secondly, they take biased evidence as true. Louis Freeh has been known to accept bribes and to leak and misconstrue information. He was hired and didn’t have any hard evidence, he just saw what the public wanted and fed PSU to the media and the public. Other unanswered questions, why governor Tom Corbett isn’t answering for his part in this. He was the Attorney General at the time and was a part of the reason why no charges were filed in 1998. Do you know why he isn’t mentioned? He’s friends with Freeh. Interesting. That just shows how Freeh is not a reliable source.

      Listening to the media is dangerous. All media is a money business. They don’t care about the actual truth, they care about what will get them the most viewers.

      So yes, I feel terrible for the victims. We all do. I helped raise over 10 million dollars last year for children with cancer. I love children. Everyone at Penn State feels terrible for what happened. But people are forgetting about the victims in order to attack Penn State. Its a lynch mob essentially. They are taking on a “Holier than thou” attitude and bringing down their foot of “justice”. Abuse happens everywhere. It happened at Syracuse, with Bernie Fine. But why did that story disappear? Because PSU is bigger so the media and the public were salivating at the chance to destroy the school.

      So attack us all you want, if you want to join the mindless millions who spit out quotes taken out of context by the media to try and sound intelligent. Just like the Paterno quote, where he said he should have done more. The media took out the part “With benefit of hindsight”. Hindsight is 20/20. The media took that part out to help destroy Paterno. The media is not trustworthy, nor is Louis Freeh.

      So keep attacking us, its funny. Because we know you have no actual facts. We’ll be moving on, closer as a community, helping kids with cancer, and now we’ll help kids who have been abused too. While you sit there doing nothing to help kids, but you feel that you help them because you attack Penn State. That makes you happy.

      • alex says:

        I agree about most media, but why is Louis Freeh (appointed by the University) not trustworthy?

        I have nothing against the University, I just think football and basketball (like at most Universities) has gotten out of control. The only people happy about what is going on at PSU is UNC with the current academic scandal – PSU has distracted any media attention from UNC.

        Sadly, the students will have to deal with this discussion for years during the civil lawsuits.

      • Isaac says:

        Louis Freeh has a history of leaking reports and being bribed. Also the fact that he’s a friend of Tom Corbett’s and Corbett was involved in the scandal is kind of like conflict of interests, since Corbett was one that supported the firing and blame of Joe Paterno. Also, the Freeh report has been reviewed by many others and people who read the whole thing are starting to see its conclusions aren’t based on any evidence.
        http://stateinthereal.com/very-interesting-overview-of-the-freeh-report/

        The NCAA buckled to the media because they wanted to look powerful, and in the eyes of most they succeeded. But those eyes do not know that the victims did not want this, and as well, that these are hurting our school. Football is very large at Penn State, but I wouldn’t say its out of control. We have the highest academic and graduation ratings in the NCAA. Joe Paterno made sure of that with his Great Experiment. As well, football is the only sport that produces major revenue for us. It funds all the rest of our men and women sports programs. Losing football money hurts the other sports much more than it will hurt football. Our football can always recover, but teams like our hockey team that are just starting in division 1, could really suffer for a long time.

        I don’t understand why everyone has to dig in and attack Penn State. The Big 10, the media, the NCAA. Why can’t they let the courts handle it and punish the guilty parties, so that all this collateral damage is not done? These sanctions and punishments hurt no one responsible. The media is the true problem. If they didn’t turn it from the Sandusky scandal or the Sandusky and a few high officials scandal to the Penn State scandal, then none of these sanctions or collateral damage would have occurred.

    • Lynn Trusal says:

      Penn State has ONE revenue producing sport and it pays for all the men’s, women’s and intramural sports and scholarships that “student-athletes” participate in. To say the football revenue does not hurt any other athletic program shows your ignorance. The NCAA took 9 victims and
      created several hundred thousand more!

    • dmak says:

      What do you think the ncaa should do to Syracuse and their basketball coach for cover-up child molesting by an assistant coach for all those years ? Fine was just fired after the Sandusky/Second Mile Scandal erupted.

      • psufan69 says:

        Everyone seems to overlook that fact, particularly when you consider Syracuse has know of the allegations for over a decade. ESPN even has a tape of Fine’s wife admitting her husband was raping young boys. In fact, had Sandusky not been arrested, Fine would still be on staff. How about some major fines and vacated games including a National Championship.

        How about the complete disregard for the female athlete at Virginia that filled complaints about harassment and abuse by her ex-boyfriend athlete. Nothing was done to stop it and she ended up dead. How about Montana where they’ve had dozens of rapes and gang rapes with football players involved. NCAA, you have a lot of work to do, but I don’t see that happening. Those cases didn’t catch on with the national media and didn’t sell a lot of advertising space.

        I wonder just how many Syracuse faithful are in positions of power at ESPN. Emmert couldn’t have any conflicts of interest just because he got his MPA in1976, and Ph.D. in 1983 from Syracuse. He couldn’t have had an axe to grind because he was friends with Vicky Triponey when he was provost and she was Director of student affairs. No, none of that is possible unless you can connect dots like Louis “the cleaner” Freeh.

        None of this really matters because Emmert believed that Penn State placed too much emphasis on football. However, as chancellor at LSU he told a different story when he fired football coach Gerry DiNardo. “The critical role of our football program is clear: it is of vital importance to the entire community: Our students, our fans and alumni worldwide and the state of Louisiana. Simply put, success in LSU football is essential for the success of Louisiana State University.”

        He not only emphasized football he de-emphasized scholastics with a graduation rate below 40% at the time.

  5. CPR says:

    OMG….God Bless PSU & You.

  6. ekm100 says:

    Amazing words! Thank you. We ARE Penn State!

  7. Dave says:

    Moving and extremely well-written. As a PA native that did not attend PSU (Temple, ’83), I did want to see Temple beat PSU…but not like this. What took place this week was wrong on so many levels. I, too, wrote about it as there are many of us that will stand beside you and scream about this injustice. My friends are alumni….and I will always appreciate and respect the ideal of, “We Are…” Wear it proudly, always, and know that you are part of what will show the world what ‘overcome’ truly means. Very nice.

    • Sue says:

      As a Temple alum (79), and a mother of a junior at PSU, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My son’s high school sent many from his graduating class to both of these incredible institutions. I agree completely with your post and appreciate the support and encouragement despite the spirit of competition that exists between these two schools. I hope that the brotherhood/sisterhood continues to expand to include more students and alumni than we can count. Today, I am more proud than ever to be associated with both Temple and Penn State.

  8. dms06 says:

    Partake if this article brought tears to my eyes. I graduated from the Altoona Campus..never attended the main campus. But the Penn State pride was in us all. As a loyal Penn Stater, living in California, my husband & I have bought 2 season tickets to the PSU home games. We have donated them to Big Brothers & Big Sisters of State College. We want young kids to know what a good & positive it can be.

  9. Maureen says:

    Well said. Not sure I agree that Paterno made a grand mistake given what he knew and saw. I think he did exactly what he should have done under the circumstances. It is difficult to see that now that we have 20/20 hindsight. He had one man’s eyewitness account that was watered down. The villain had a genius identity that would make anyone hesitate.

    As for the NCAA, just who do they think they are punishing at this point? Sandusky? Paterno? Curley?Schwartz? McQueary? If you ask me, they are punishing the future. The students, current and future, the alums, the faculty and every other innocent party connected to Penn State. Those named above are or will no longer be connected to the university. The future is what will suffer along with millions of innocent people. That impact is so far reaching and immeasurable, not only for Penn State, but for the future in general. After all, isn’t that what a university is all about? Why punish a university? The NCAA is way out of their domain here. This was not about a sport.

    I would love to see one of the nation’s largest alumni associations rise up and demand some answers from the NCAA. Perhaps that will get the media focused on something other than trashing our university and the future that it promises.

  10. Robert Segal says:

    Penn Staters are taking the brunt of the criticism and punishment while the CEO and Board of Directors who made the bad decisions sit protected in their ivory towers reaping in Millions. But isn’t that the way it always is? Citibank, Chase, Goldman Sachs, to name a few, are fined at the expense of the stock holders and employees while the people at the top rake in millions and remain unscathed. Dictators are overthrown, escape to the safety of a friendly nation taking millions with them while the populace suffers thru the pain. The NCAA took the easy way out with its sanctions on PSU. Meanwhile teams are jumping from conference to conference for MONEY, a football playoff is on the horizon for MONEY, schools now have their own TV Networks for MONEY. Seems that the football culture the NCAA is encouraging is make more MONEY the hell with education.

  11. Robert Yankoski says:

    DENIER!

    • Rich says:

      Care to elaborate?

      • Robert Yankoski says:

        Sure, Rich. A lot of Penn State supporters on this site refuse to take responsibility for the bad things/decisions that happened or were made. They DENY established facts about what happened, about who knew what, when, and why. I loved Joe-pa like all the rest; but it’s obvious his reputation is forever sullied. As for the punishment to Penn State, the focus HAS to be on how to send a message, to ensure that this never happens again!

  12. C says:

    The NCAA should’ve consulted their legal department because it looks like they have now opened themselves from lawsuits… not from the school itself but from individuals that are associated with PSU.

  13. Bridget Springer says:

    Thank you for putting into words what has been running through my head for months. Too many people who have no idea why Penn Staters are so loyal are trying to be experts on the situation. You hit it right on the head.

  14. Bob Shore says:

    I usually get to 1 game a year. I will be at every game this year. Well written article.

  15. dave says:

    pretend for a moment that one of those kids was your child. paterno can preach about all the values in the world but he never gave an ounce of concern to a helpless child. not my standards of a good man.

    • ShakopeeMOM says:

      Dave it WAS McQueary that didn’t give a damn or ounce of concern about a helpless child…he walked away after a stare down.

  16. dave says:

    by the way, the writer of this article appears to fit right in with the rest of those who “looked the other way” instead of taking a stand. the saddest thing is that many people chose to idolize and follow and that is a dangerous road to go down.

  17. Ilene Milburn says:

    Well written article. Most students were young children during the time these events were happening and are wrongfully being punished. Reporting to the chain of command was the culture in our country at that time in history, and that is what Joe did. We did have slavery and there was a holocaust. This is by far not a comparison but these are events that happened, no matter how horrific-it happened! You can’t change the past by “erasing” it. As a proud parent of a junior at Penn State, I hope all students and alumni speak in their loudest voice. Hold your head high and be proud. After all, WE ARE PENN STATE. That can never be “erased”.

  18. Eternal Recurrence says:

    Simply outstanding work.

  19. PennStater says:

    Look at this picture every day if you want to understand why the world is upset.

    Every person who helped place the football program on such a high pedestal, allowing it to run with total opaqueness and insularity in return for benefits emotional and financial now gets to share in the shame. That’s how life works.

    http://themoderatevoice.com/wordpress-engine/files//2011/11/100856_600.jpg

  20. Donald Bainbridge says:

    Let’s get the president of the alumni association going on a nationwide movement against these NCAA sanctions

  21. JoePa says:

    Just for the record – I was a dirt bag, and that is one record the NCAA can’t take that away from me

  22. Mike_C. says:

    “We are, They aren’t” – quite pretentious, don’t you think?

  23. Joe D. Conahan says:

    Great Article, sets the record right, and we will always be Penn State

  24. Keri says:

    Well said. Thank you.

  25. Mike_C. says:

    We are…going to USC!

  26. Eileen says:

    Outstanding – well worded article. Not the biased reports that the media has written. I am not, and never have been, a football fan – I am Penn State proud.and have been proud of the students and athletes (all sports) that are “Penn State” representatives. The guilty man has been tried and is rightfully punished. Let us not persecute the innocent – the students, the new coaches and players.

  27. Ed Phillips says:

    Great stuff, Well written and thought out. We are all proud to be. PENN STATE.

    • Mike_C. says:

      I heard the Paterno’s are going to try to have the NCAA ruling overturned, good luck with that! Once that is done, the Paterno family was going to do their own investigation. I imagine they are going to get the same people that helped O.J. look for the murderer of Nicole Brown Simpson.

  28. richard wanat says:

    Richard W
    This is a very accurate and moving description of the actions and the NCAA. The entire reaction has been media driven. I have never seen Penn State written up in my newspapaer for wins, championships or educational excellence, yet they grasped every opportunity to put down Penn State. We need everyones support to continue in JoePa winning ways and excellence. We are!!!

    • karen says:

      joe paterno was a fraud. Anyone who insists otherwise is an idiot. Just because you fell for paterno’s con all these years doesnt meant you should continue the idiocy. joe paterno was a fraud. Anyone who insists otherwise is an idiot. Just because you fell for paterno’s con all these years doesnt meant you should continue the idiocy. Your number one concern should be the victims, not a football program, nor a university.Your number one concern should be the victims, not a football program, nor a university.

      • Ouch! That’s harsh! Joe-Pa was a good coach (minimum), but certainly a misguided administrator or worse. You ARE correct that the #1 concern should be the victims, truth, future prevention, etc, and not a football program or a university’s reputation (already gone, in my estimation). Alot of people on this site are, and continue to be, in denial.

      • rothenbj says:

        Karen is an idiot and anyone that thinks otherwise is a fraud. Plus she stutters.

      • rothenbj says:

        Karen is an idiot. Anyone who insists otherwise is an idiot. She thinks if she repeats it often enough that makes it true.

  29. Lisa Stahl says:

    Great well written exceptional article. Penn State WE ARE!

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