Tag Archive | "Jerry Sandusky"

Your Monday Reality Check: Can’t believe I’m saying this. Thank you Debbie Yow.

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Your Monday Reality Check: Can’t believe I’m saying this. Thank you Debbie Yow.

Posted on 23 July 2012 by Glenn Clark

By the time you’re reading this, you may already know the details.

There are significant rumors swirling regarding what type of penalties Penn State University will be handed down Monday by the NCAA, but they seem to be consistent. It appears as though PSU football will lose bowl eligibility for multiple seasons, suffer multiple scholarship reductions and be fined tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. There could be more handed down by NCAA President Mark Emmert, there could be more handed down by the Big Ten Conference.

The penalties coming just after a statue of former Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno was removed from outside Beaver Stadium in State College. The penalties have been explained as being less than “the death penalty” famously handed down to Southern Methodist University over 20 years ago by the NCAA. The penalties however are thought to be potentially as bad as possible while football is still allowed to be played.

I’ve thought a lot about the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State over the last year. I’ve written a good bit about Sandusky, Paterno and others in recent weeks. I’ve spoken even more during the course of my radio show. I guess I would describe myself as “fascinated” with the story. I will work under the assumption that I’m not the only one.

Some will debate the merits of the penalty handed down by the NCAA. I’ll probably work with the thought that there isn’t a penalty that I’d consider too strong. I’m not sure how much more really needs to be said about that, truthfully.

I’ll admit that the one statement I can’t help but continuously repeat over and over again is “Thank God I’m not at all associated with Penn State.” Thank God I don’t have to think about this. Thank God I don’t have to feel any culpability and guilt towards the fact that I worshipped a coach and a program that was willing to risk the wellbeing of children in order to protect their own reverence. Thank God I never helped build a community where sport was more important than human life.

But a particular Facebook post I came across this weekend caught me off guard and made me think a bit. HFS morning show host Maynard Edwards mockingly posted about the Baltimore Ravens’ re-signing of RB Ray Rice earlier this week, jesting about his overall lack of concern about the sport of football. He followed up a question about why he didn’t like football with a particularly interesting answer…

Our national obsession with that particular sport I believe has gotten a tad bit out of hand. I realize it didn’t happen in the NFL, but when we(‘ve) got people more willing to go along with the (rape) of children in order to preserve a stupid game, we might need to do a national (gut) check on that.

For the sake of full disclosure, Maynard Edwards is one of the first people that helped me get into the radio industry. He’s also the last person I would have thought I would have ever quoted in a sports column.

It’s an interesting thought process. Perhaps the culture created by rapid Penn State fans that believed “football above all” was more about the culture of the game itself. Perhaps all football fans at all levels (NFL, college, high school) need to ask themselves if their obsession with the game would interfere with their ability to do the right thing and take a stand against a criminal.

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Reports: Paterno statue to be removed this weekend

Posted on 20 July 2012 by WNST Staff

NFL Network’s Kim Jones and CBS’ Bonnie Bernstein each Tweeted Friday news regarding the future of the Joe Paterno statue outside Beaver Stadium.

Jones, a Penn State alum, said via Twitter “Am told that Penn State plans to take down the Paterno statue this weekend.” Bernstein said “Source: Penn State Board of Trustees voted on a conference call last night to take down Joe Paterno statue. Will happen this wknd.”

PSU officials however have not confirmed such reports when asked by various outlets. One actual denial of the report came from Daily Collegian (the student newspaper at Penn State) reporter Laura Nichols, who quoted Board member Ryan McCombie as saying “We did no such thing.”

The Paterno statue has been the subject of much debate since last week’s release of the Louis Freeh report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal in State College. Earlier in the a plane flew over Happy Valley with the message “take the statue down or we will.” A handful of Penn State students had camped out near the statue this week to protect it.

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Your Monday Reality Check: Cult of Paterno still dangerously strong

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Your Monday Reality Check: Cult of Paterno still dangerously strong

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Glenn Clark

Have you ever read the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson?

The story is quite famous. At Perry Hall High School I probably had to read it at least twice. Perhaps even if you haven’t read it you’d be familiar with one of the many pop culture references to the story.

Let me try to jog your memory a bit with an even shorter version of the short story. Every year, members of a village gather together for an event known as “the lottery.” One member of every household in the village grabs a slip of paper hoping to avoid grabbing the marked slip. After it is determined who picked the marked slip, every member of the person’s household re-selects slips. They then determine which household member has selected the marked slip and promptly stone that person to death.

Yep.

In the lottery captured by the short story, the marked slip was initially selected by Bill Hutchinson. His wife Tessie Hutchinson was the unfortunate “winner” of the lottery, bemoaning how the process was “unfair” before her end.

As gruesome as the story sounds, there’s such a level of brilliance to it. Particularly brilliant is how Jackson never really explains how the lottery came about or why the village continues to participate in the exercise. It is understood that some members of the village have discussed disbanding the lottery but the tradition continues nonetheless.

During the entire Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal that has engulfed Penn State University, I’ve thought about the short story over and over again. I thought about it the night PSU students rioted after the firing of head coach Joe Paterno. I thought about in the weeks and months after Paterno’s death. I’ve thought about it a ton during the days since the release of the Freeh Report.

I’ve thought about it because it has remained clear that the cult-like following of Paterno and Penn State football has somehow continued and the culture that enabled such heinous crimes to continue still very clearly exists.

I’ve mostly thought about it because I believe at least some if not many of the Cult of Paterno members have to be otherwise right-thinking individuals. I don’t know why those villagers kept going back to participate in the lottery year after year in Jackson’s story. I don’t know why a group of college-educated people choose to ignore (or at least excuse) fact and simply say they’ll support their former head coach anyway.

Maybe I shouldn’t say I don’t know why. I probably do. The fact is that the Cult of Paterno just doesn’t want to believe truth because they’ve already consumed the Kool-Aid. There is no going back. They’re not just members of the cult, they’ve become the foundation after the coach’s death.

(I want to take this time to point out what most other analysts have also done. This is not a conversation about everyone everywhere that has been connected to Penn State. This is a conversation about a particular group of people. Some Penn State students, alumni and fans have been able to stand up and accept the truth about their heroes and the football program they worship. I’ve had the good fortune of speaking to many of them in the past week. They deserve a great deal of credit. They are not part of the Cult of Paterno.)

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