So a few of you noticed The700Level
did not mention Joe Paterno or Penn State University on Thursday. You
deserve to know we discussed it, and ultimately decided not to touch on
it in the moment.
people already had their minds made up before the facts came out
anyway. Those of us with any ties to the university whatsoever who were
still clinging to the notion Joe Paterno could not have been part of a
cover-up were proven wrong. Personally, I am still unsure of the extent
to which the head coach was involved, but he was involved to some
extent, and that is more than enough.
Still, there are plenty of places
to go if you want to read nothing but damnation of an entire institution
for what a handful of depraved individuals chose to do. We would
describe the scandal as sad, but the fear is that might come off as
deflecting from the true sin here, which is there are victims who have
to live with the heinous crimes inflicted upon them for the rest of
But we do discuss sports here, so while something
much larger is at stake, the only part of the story I am truly qualified
to speak on is where we go from here. And since we occasionally cover
PSU football from time to time, yes, I have wondered how we might
approach the upcoming season. I'm here to tell you that I don't have the
answer to that question, but I'm pretty sure there will be football at
Penn State, because more people than just the Paternos are depending on
A massive number of folks in this region and around the
country have earned degrees from Penn State, and thousands more eager,
young minds continue their studies. Others simply spent their lifetimes
cheering for the Nittany Lions. These people had nothing to do with
the sickening events that transpired.
This is not to say it's okay for us --
and by us I mean anybody from any walk of life -- to bury our heads in
the sand either, but the school isn't just going to disappear. Neither
is the football program for that matter, which would be punishing all of
the wrong people anyway -- you know, the hundred or so student athletes
who committed to State College, and the local, non-university economy
that thrives on gamedays.
These men and women did nothing, and
not in the same sense that JoePa did nothing. They actually had zero
involvement. Should a professional pull their degree off of the wall
because it came from Penn State? Should all of the students and student
athletes uproot their lives and transfer? Should hard-working people in
the area quit their jobs, close their businesses, and move away from
their homes over events that were completely out of their hands?
suppose it's selfish to think of the impact this scandal has on
ordinary, everyday people, but they seem completely lost in the
equation. Joe Paterno and his ilk deserve every inch of criticism
written about them over the past 24 hours, every sentence handed down by a
jury of their peers, and the university deserves to be sued out the ass.
Everybody else deserves to live their lives with some sense of normalcy
when classes resume in the Fall.