Your Monday Reality Check: Cult of Paterno still dangerously strong

July 16, 2012 | Glenn Clark reported over the weekend that the Board of Trustees at Penn State had decided to keep Paterno’s statue standing at least for now. The quotes from anonymous trustees proved that not only does the Cult of Paterno still very much exist, they’re actively involved in the decision making process.

The trustees “are hoping they can have more time pass and people will forget about it and then it won’t come down,” one trustee said.

This group of people wants people to forget Paterno failed to take action and continued to allow a monster to access a campus he knew well he reigned over.

“You can’t let people stampede you into making a rash decision,” a trustee said. “The statue represents the good that Joe did. It doesn’t represent the bad that he did.”

Of course it doesn’t. I’m sure that’s how the parents of the children who were molested after Paterno had knowledge of Sandusky’s behavior feel too.

“They don’t get to tell us,” the source said about members of the public clamoring for its removal. “This is a Penn State community decision.”

I’ve heard this one from members of the Cult of Paterno more than I’ve heard anything else. “You wouldn’t understand. You’re not one of us. This is our community. This is our decision.”

Some alumni groups have continued to call for resignations of trustees, and one trustee said this about the statue: “We don’t want to further upset the alumni.”

These people would rather continue to honor a protector of a child molester than risk losing their spot on the Board of Trustees because alumni are angered.

“We don’t want to jump the gun again,” the trustee said. “When we did that in November, look where we ended up. If it does have to come down, it will be after much deliberation and discussion. If I had my way, (the statue) will always be there. People can take from it what they want.”

Yep. The decision to fire Paterno in November clearly looks questionable now that we know he “repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse” according to the Freeh Report.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be stunned that the Cult of Paterno continues to be allowed to make decisions in State College. After all, Anthony Lubrano was elected to the BOT in recent months after releasing this video…

This is a man the Cult of Paterno chose to represent them. This is a man the Cult of Paterno chose to make decisions for them.

This is a man who I can only assume cares more about Penn State celebrating football than…well…just about anything.

I sent a message to Lubrano last week asking him to appear on my radio show. That request has gone unanswered. I’m not particularly surprised. Members of the Cult of Paterno find it increasingly easier to talk to themselves than they do to talk to the rest of the world. They’d rather continue to exist in a bubble in hopes the rest of us will just let them live their lives the way they want to live it.

Perhaps they don’t know any better. I find that hard to believe.

The Cult of Paterno is real and isn’t going anywhere. It’s the most significant reason why it will likely take the actions of those outside Happy Valley to force members of the cult to return to reality.

It’s frightening, truthfully. While there are no obvious other places to point out a cult mentality exists in the world of sports, there are probably fans of Alabama football or Duke basketball that aren’t even aware they are participating in cult mentality on a day to day basis.

Heck, there are probably fans of lesser programs that do the exact same thing. It wasn’t just at Penn State that a sport was more important than anything else. At many other schools coaches are allowed to bend the rules or even the laws to succeed. Fans are willing to not only accept such actions, but in some cases help facilitate such actions.

The Cult of Paterno should be a lesson to every single one of those fans.

But more importantly, members of the Cult of Paterno need to be willing to accept the truth and move forward before the Cult of O’Brien becomes just as dangerous.

Carry on.