***Full disclosure: I am a PROUD Penn State alumna. If you have a problem with that: Go elsewhere. I will neither entertain nor post negative comments to this post. Normally I’d give constructive criticism a fair shake but for this? I’ve had enough criticism to last a lifetime. It would be unappreciated and unwelcome. For me a non-Penn Stater having an opinion on this matter is like a man having an opinion on abortion: he’s entitled to it but I don’t care what it is. He doesn’t know what that weight feels like and he never can. His opinion will always be biased. Is that extreme? Yes. I don’t care. This is my blog, hyperbolic as it may be.***
So, I’ve been toying with the idea of even doing this entry. I know it’s a hot-button issue and people have strong feelings about it, but why shouldn’t my strong feelings be aired out? A lot has gone on in these past however many months. I have a lot of anger on this subject. More than even Rampaige level. We’re talking Code Red, Stage Five Meltdown stuff. Take off my jewelry and pull my hair back rage.
To everyone lamenting about the victims: Nobody has forgotten about the victims. No, seriously. They’re the reason we’re all so upset. Do you know who’s NOT thinking about the victims? The people doling out the punishments and calling for heads on pikes. At least one victim has come forward through his lawyer and stated his displeasure at the way things have been handled. So “think” of the victims all you want, but you’re not asking them what they want.
Beyond that, the first and fucking obvious thing to say is this: Jerry Sandusky is a disgusting creature. Not even human. Honestly, pedophiles deserve the most awful, vile punishment we can legally give them. Solitary, latrine duty, maybe turning a blind eye in the shower or giving someone a sharpened toothbrush. All of it. I hate Jerry Sandusky and everything he did. Venomous hatred. To suggest that I (or any other PSU-affiliated person) am any less than repulsed by his actions is unfair and ignorant. If you think for a second that any one of us is even remotely okay with it—you can go fuck yourself. Seriously. Rusty pole self-fucking. You clearly lack basic logic and I have no time for you.
Second, to those of you calling for me to renounce everything Penn State: You also can go fuck yourselves. The actions of a few do not negate the positive things that literally hundreds of thousands of people have done. Period. There were multiple lapses in judgment and for that people suffered. I get that. But do you know what? For every Curley or Schultz there are thousands upon thousands of students, faculty, and alumni who had no god-damned clue what was going on. To hold all of us accountable for the actions of a half dozen people is ludicrous.
Third, many people want to see Penn State falter. We are “Success with Honor.” We graduate more student athletes than most schools. Everyone LOVES to see the mighty fall. And if they can contribute to that fall? Well, we were screwed from the beginning. People want to elevate themselves by putting us down. “See? They’re not so great. They’re all dirty perverts.” Really? All of us?
Fourth, and this is a controversial thing in and of itself: JoePa. I still love JoePa. I don’t care what other people think about him; I think we don’t know the whole story. And if I hear one more fucknut make a joke or comment about JoePa molesting children I’m going to lose my shit. SANDUSKY was the pedophile. Not JoePa. Read a god-damned news article, moron. Joe was old school. He didn’t put his business out there. He was an old man. He didn’t have the best memory. I don’t put 100% faith in his testimony because of his age. I’m sorry, I know that makes me ageist. People want to say that he had all this control and pull at the university but those people are forgetting that he had to beg for his job not too long ago. He was thisclose to being fired/forced into retirement when the football team wasn’t doing so well. Does that sound like someone who “owns” the university? Really? The man was a figurehead. Give me a break with the powertrip nonsense. What he did for the university is remarkable. He helped to raise MILLIONS of dollars for the school. Not for football, but for the school.
Speaking of academics: http://ideas.time.com/2011/12/07/paternos-revenge-penn-state-football-is-no-1-in-academic-bowl/ For every asshole who has said that Penn State put athletics (specifically football) above academics: Have a look at that article. Clearly academics are important at Penn State. To assert otherwise is ridiculous and unfounded. Joe wouldn’t let anyone play who was in trouble off the field. Period. You can’t tell me that puts football above other things. Poor grades, trouble with the law, etc. were not tolerated by JoePa. I’m legitimately saddened by the assertion that football trumped all else. That’s not the Penn State I know.
The football “coverup”: This is probably the hardest subject to tackle. My own personal opinion is that it was more of a boys’ club mentality than a “let’s protect the football program” mentality. Having known someone who protected a child molester (I’m not getting into it here, but I know a man who knew that his friend was molesting a child and he did nothing about it, saying it was “none of [his] business.”) Is it right? Fuck no. Does it happen? Unfortunately. Just because there was a cover-up doesn’t necessarily mean it was to protect the football program. Let’s not forget that prior to this Sandusky was looked upon as an upstanding member of the community. Perhaps his colleagues wanted to leave his reputation intact. We don’t know their motivations and it is 100% unfair to jump to the conclusion that it was about football.
The NCAA sanctions: I agree with one of the sanctions and that is the fine. Yes. Put that money toward programs for victims of sexual abuse. I think that’s wonderful and appropriate. Only good can come from this.
The removal of scholarships only hurts potential students. Again, we have a ridiculously high graduation rate of our athletes and to deny so many of them the opportunity for a free education is disgusting to me. Someone said to me, “So? They’ll just go somewhere else.” No, they won’t. There are literally fewer scholarships available in the whole pool. They weren’t distributed among other Big Ten schools. They were just taken away. So those are students who won’t get to go to a Big Ten school because they can’t afford it otherwise. If you think that somehow punishes the guilty parties, you’re delusional.
The negation of wins does nothing. Joe Paterno is dead. You think it’s hurting him to take away his wins? Because it’s not. Do you think it’s appropriate to take those wins away from the young men who earned them? Because it’s not. Also, the fact that the negation goes back to 1998 is fucking ridiculous. The 1998 case was investigated and dismissed. DISMISSSED by law enforcement. If anything, this punishment should only go back to 2001. Period. To suggest otherwise is to admit your bias and ignorance.
The denial of bowl games for four years. This, again, just punishes current students. Everyone who was responsible for this travesty has been fired or imprisoned (minus the BoT members, but I don’t know if they *can* be fired). So what? You cripple recruiting to punish… whom?
Not to mention all the other cover-up cases the NCAA should be dealing with now based on the precedent they set… I can’t help but notice we’re not hearing about Syracuse or Montana. Funny. I wonder if that has anything to do with people wanting to knock Penn State down a few pegs.
So yeah, I’m pissed off. I think people have made snap judgments that are incredibly insensitive and unfair. I think people are falling into a mob mentality that the entire Penn State community deserves to be crucified and made into an example. The vast majority of the Penn State community is appalled and saddened by what has happened. The vast majority of the Penn State community also had absolutely nothing to do with this scandal. To expect us to renounce our alma mater or to abandon something we love and believe in is unfair.
My only solace in this horrific story is my Penn State family. We have banded together and are leaning on each other in the wake of this horrendous situation. We all hate Sandusky and what he did. We’re all disappointed and pissed and saddened. But we’re also being persecuted for things we didn’t do and our only respite seems to be each other. It seems as though the rest of the world is against us and wants us to raze our community. But we won’t break down what everyone before us worked so hard to build up. The majority may be against us, but we will fight and persevere and get through it. Together.