“For a storied program with as much tradition and history as Penn State, this has to be embarrassing and shameful for them…. There’s a difference in the types of rules that were broken here.
For everyone involved, I hope that this issue is resolved as quickly and as justly as possible. For the children who were abused, I hope that they’re able to find some peace in their lives from speaking out about what happened to them. For the alleged molester, I hope that he gets the help that he needs to fix his sickness - even if it does come in prison. For the Penn State fan base, let’s hope that they continue to support their team and continue moving forward with their heads held high. The stigma of what happened will surround their University for years to come, but they’ll overcome what happened. And for the men who covered this sad, despicable, horrible story up for the better part of a decade…
Well, maybe not everyone deserves to get this put behind them as quickly as possible.”
I wrote the above a little more than three years ago, just after the Sandusky Scandal broke. Looking back on those words, I’m sad that I gave the Penn State administration and fanbase the benefit of thinking they’d handle this scandal in a dignified manner. In the time that’s passed, they’ve done everything to make themselves the victim and not the children who were sexually assaulted.
“This isn’t fair to the players.” “Why should we have scholarships taken away?” “We should be able to go to bowl games.” “JoePa is still a legend.” Gross statements all around and if I were a Penn State alum, I’d be ashamed of my peers.
Now that the NCAA has walked back all of the sanctions they levied on Penn State, including the reinstatement of Joe Paterno’s wins, I can’t help but wonder if anyone forgot who the real victims are. Spoiler - It’s not the multi-million dollar, state funded university, its legendary in their own minds former coach, or the football program.
In the process of fighting to have their “legacy” restored, Penn State managed to make things worse. They could have separated themselves from Sandusky and JoePa’s actions while accepting their punishment and promising to do better next time. Instead they doubled-down on wanting their past preserved. Well, they got what they wanted. Their scholarships, bowl games, Joe Pa’s vacated wins - they’ve all been returned. Along with a new legacy. Sports commentator Keith Olbermann put it best:
“This is Joe Paterno’s legacy. This is Penn State’s legacy. Football was more important to them than saving children.”