I’ll put up an Eagles post a bit later on. Right now the hot topic is Penn State and the Freeh report. I know there are more than a few PSU fans among IB readers so I figured I’d share some thoughts. Apologies in advance for the rambling nature of my thoughts.
The report says Joe Paterno did know about the 1998 incident, which he had denied. Knowing about that incident and then the 2001 incident and not taking decisive action is about as damning as it gets. One incident should be enough, but you do have to factor in the standard reaction we’d all have if a friend was accused of something like that … “Him? No way. I’ve known that guy x-amount of years. He’s no sicko. There must be some mistake.”
Two incidents? Call the cops and immediately ban Jerry Sandusky from the campus. To let him continue to come around is just baffling. I don’t get that.
Basically it sounds like Paterno, Spanier, Curley, and Schultz were so concerned about protecting PSU’s image that they focused on that and not Sandusky’s actions or his victims. What an absolute tragedy. They had a chance to do the right thing, but no one had the courage to do it. Sad.
People will want to talk about Paterno’s legacy. We can’t know about that. A legacy is partially driven by time. Right now this case is all we can think about. That might change in 10 or 20 years. Or it might not. Time will tell on that one. I’m no Paterno apologist. I’ve always been a bit uneasy with the JoePa worship.
Should Paterno’s statue be taken down? I don’t have a definitive opinion on that. What do you guys think?
What should the punishment be? First, I would have to think that Spanier, Curley, and Schultz will be facing serious legal issues. They could face civil lawsuits. PSU will be sued big time and pay out some mega-bucks. This goes beyond the NCAA.
Some have speculated that the football program should get the death penalty. That would be ridiculous. No player did anything wrong. There was no cheating. There was nothing that affected games or student behavior off the field. This is about a sick man preying on children and then his bosses covering that up.
The NCAA won’t necessarily think logically on this so I can’t say the death penalty is off the table. It should be. Again, punishing the players makes no sense. They did nothing … NOTHING … wrong.
The NCAA could ban PSU from going to bowls. That would hurt the program/school financially. The NCAA could let them go, but then donate all profits (or maybe just all the money period) to charities and/or victims.
One of the keys here is to try and have the punishment make some sense. Sandusky is in prison. Paterno is dead. The other three officials are gone and have serious legal concerns. The football staff is new. The officials are new. No one at the school needs to be punished.
I understand that the public wants to see PSU punished. They will be. I just hope that this isn’t a case where people come after the school for the sake of it. I know that will happen a bit, but hope it is kept under control. Yes, I’m a PSU fan, but I know there is a price to be paid for the behavior of the men at the top. I just can’t stress this enough…they’re gone. Don’t destroy the program for the sake of it. That punishes the kids on the team, the current coaches, and the fans. Accomplishes nothing.
The goal should be to have the program do something that benefits others. The team could generate a lot of money for victims and/or charities. Let some good come of this.
We’ll see what happens. I have a feeling some dark days are ahead.
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The other side of this…how do we feel as PSU fans? Can I cheer for the team? Can I enjoy 3 hours each Saturday or will I be overcome with some sense of guilt?
I don’t know.
I can’t imagine not being a PSU fan, but I’m not sure what this season will be like. For now, I’m planning to watch the games and cheer for the team, but I might get an uneasy feeling in my gut in the season opener. I might not be able to stay a PSU fan.
I hope I can. I’ve cheered for the team for more than 30 years. I have lots of great memories. I just don’t know how I’ll feel when I go to watch a game. Heck, I’ve got a knot in my stomach right now as I just sit and type this. I can’t imagine not being a PSU fan, but then again…I never could have imagined PSU covering up a molestation scandal. Certainly not Joe Paterno.
Why Joe, why?
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Please share your thoughts. Disagree all you want, but please keep the tone civil. This is a hot button issue. People can get very emotional with a topic like this.