Tag Archive | "Penn State"

Joe Paterno Statue

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Who Do You Think You are NCAA?

Posted on 23 July 2012 by Brett Dickinson

Everyone knows all the details of the story. Sandusky was more than inappropriate with minors, Paterno and the Heads of Penn State did not to action as decent human beings and the university has lost all credibility.

Now the NCAA has felt the need to make their stamp on the football program; a program that allowed such monstrous acts. But is it really their fault; did the players, assistants, water boys, equipment managers, cheerleaders or the fans have any knowledge of this horrific situation? With the current sanctions against the school, the NCAA President, Mark Emmert certainly thinks so.

Paterno has already been fired, his legacy destroyed, his statue removed and lost his life over this ordeal. No one will argue that he deserved a more fair treatment from the community. But this punishment brought down on Penn State goes too far. Vacating wins off Paterno’s record to ensure he no longer holds the all-time record is one thing; taking those wins away from the kids who poured their heart and soul into the 1998-2011 seasons is simply unjust. Remove the head coach from books, do not remove the team.

Why are those individuals being punished for the terrible acts of a select few? 111 times, a unit of student-athletes took the field together, yet those 111 times are no longer recognized. How can Mr. Emmert look any of those players in the eye and say “this problem is partly your fault, you do not deserve to be rewarded.” Did these people do anything wrong at all? Nothing about this controversy was a football program violation; it was a university violation by its strongest contributors. The legacy of those at fault are now destroyed, like you intended NCAA, but at the cost of thousands of innocent bystanders.

Bowl Bans and scholarship reductions only punish the future of a distraught community. Penn State could rally around Bill O’Brien and a team that stands up in the face of adversity. Instead, they are hindered by monsters of the past; monsters that will have absolutely no relation to the incoming class of Nittany Lions four years from now. How are the current staff and players supposed to help this program move forward? The NCAA has set up O’Brien to fail.

And that is the only the first part of the sanctions. The NCAA is also stealing $60 million from the University. Why do they feel entitled to this money? What did they exactly do to deserve this jackpot? Even if they do not take a single dime of that fine (which is highly unlikely with their checkered past of greed), a nice tax break is in order for the mass amounts of charitable donations planned. Emmert wants PSU to become a haven for sexual abuse awareness; $60 million would certainly be good start to developing that program.

For a “legal” matter, the NCAA certainly has stuck their nose in, and returned winners. The NCAA’s power is limited to making a fair culture for all sports programs to compete, not to destroy a program over a legal matter. The University of Miami Football program has repeatedly been caught cheating (a department the NCAA is supposed to focus on), yet they will still return next season basically unscathed. Cam Newton led Auburn to a National Title, while it was proven his father was paid by the university for his “son’s services.” Where were you then Mr. Emmert? I recall Reggie Bush returning his Heisman trophy for the same exact situation. Worry about issues you are supposed to handle; let the government handle the rest.

Who do you think you are Mark Emmert? Who do you think you are NCAA?

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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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It is Time for the NCAA to Grab the Reins and Control College Football

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It is Time for the NCAA to Grab the Reins and Control College Football

Posted on 21 July 2012 by andrewtomlinson

With new accusations the University of Miami Hurricanes football program broke football recruiting rules it is clear the NCAA has to do one thing over the next year and that is grab hold of their football programs.

It seems like the past year has been one black mark on college football after another. First it was the University of Miami scandal featuring illegal benefits and boosters not following rules. Then, it was Ohio State’s turn with players reportedly trading jerseys and memorabilia for tattoos and other benefits that led to the ousting of now dirty coach Jim Tressel. Following OSU was the breaking of the Penn State Jerry Sandusky scandal and finally we arrive back at The U. It has come full circle in the last year and while some scandals may have been left out, it is clear the NCAA has a problem.

Some people may say every college program violates the rules and it may be true in some fashion. At some point though, the association designed essentially to make sure players actually go to class and get a degree instead of just playing amateur athletics, has to bare down and say enough is enough. There are penalties in place to make sure other institutions take notice and follow the rules instead of continuing to blatantly ignore them. The NCAA is in a precarious position of risking the ability for the sport as a whole to function as extracurricular activity instead of essentially being a non-college athletic sport.

The Jerry Sandusky scandal and the fact Penn State University was reportedly unable to face “the death penalty” because the acts that were committed didn’t break any real NCAA football rules, highlights what is wrong with the current standard. In a world where young adult athletes are fed the fabrication that they get one chance, the NCAA seems to continually give the institutions multiple ones. At some point the powers that be in college football need to stop worrying about how to get the most money out of the bowl system and need to spend more time making sure teams can play in the bowls.

We are entering into yet another season where a major college football team will be ineligible for a bowl, with Ohio State University picking up where USC left off from the Reggie Bush fiasco. If that is what the NCAA views as an acceptable way to punish teams, the I’d hate to see the way they punish their kids for taking their car out for a joy-ride. By NCAA punishment precedent, a joy-ride would probably earn someone a timeout. Southern Methodist University got the death penalty and by all accounts it seems like it scared programs straight for a few years and it is time for the NCAA to scare the new crop of NCAA rule breakers into line.

Penn State, while they didn’t break football regulations, clearly broke many rules when it comes to safely carrying out a football program. They endangered the staff, the university, the NCAA and the players on the team, not to mention the numerous kids Sandusky came into contact with. The football team ran the school and Joe Paterno had more power than the president, if that doesn’t scream “loss of institutional control” nothing does. If the NCAA were to make an example of Penn State and say a new era of discipline has started, you better bet a lot more schools would think twice before they let a booster take a kid out to dinner, let alone overlook United States law.

If the NCAA does not start to assert its authority, we are going to continue to see schools think they are above the law and conferences who seem to not care at all. College football is an endeavor for young adults to partake in outside of earning an education and it is a luxury for a University, not a necessity. Sure, you can argue the kids who are there now shouldn’t be punished for the actions of those before them. Yet, if no one is ever punished no one will ever learn and college football will continue this self-destructive cycle.

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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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A suggestion for modification to the Joe Paterno Statue

Posted on 17 July 2012 by Mark Brown

In the wake of the publishing of the Freeh report on what various people in positions of power at Penn State either knew or should have known, passions are as inflamed as you would expect. There are those who believe the statue of Joe Paterno should be torn down, or that the football program at Penn State should be suspended or disbanded. Some would like to see both.

Paterno is not without his defenders. Sportswriter Joe Posnanski had been famously working on a Paterno biography at the time the news broke about what Jerry Sandusky was accused – and has now been convicted – of doing. Now, in the wake of the Freeh report, he appears to be pressing on. Another legendary sports figure, baseball statistical guru Bill James, ventured to defend Paterno, prompting his current employer, the Boston Red Sox, to tell him to knock it off.

I hope that those two men will realize in time the error of their thinking. I do not join the line of those condemning them. Imagine any venerated figure in your own life, sports or otherwise, being revealed to be, through inaction, an accessory who allowed a great evil to continue to be carried out. You or I would probably have that knee-jerk defense as a reaction as well.

The situation in Penn State, we now know, was an ongoing tragedy. It was not a tragedy of inevitability, but a tragedy of possibility. Things did not have to end up that way, but they did, and this is the shame of those who played into the larger-than-life myth of Paterno.

To all those whose answer to the Freeh report is to tear down the Paterno statue on the Penn State campus, I would like to suggest an alternate way of making note of the tarnishing of a legacy.

I understand the impulse to get rid of the statue. After all, when it was built, it was meant as a tribute to the man who had done so much for that institution, whose greatness was something that could never be forgotten. That those honors should no longer continue to be heaped upon Paterno is now clear. True, you could argue that removing the statue represents a revocation of all that it stood for.

However, in light of what we now know, I believe that keeping the Paterno statue is important. Now, it does not represent a man who cannot be forgotten, but rather a man who must not be forgotten. This is what can happen when someone becomes so great, when something like a football program is held so dear, that there is no oversight and no one to catch when the ends (preserving that program) start justifying the means (downplaying and hiding the truth of Sandusky’s behavior). 

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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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Penn State: The old boys club that ruined young boys lives

Posted on 12 July 2012 by Adam McCallister

“In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at Penn State University – Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley – repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse from the authorities, the Board of Trustees, Penn State community, and the public at large.” – Louis Freeh

Joe lied.  Joe lied and continued to live that lie for 14 years.  During that time Jerry Sandusky was allowed full access of Penn State University, its facilities, alumni, donors, fans and children.  Now after reading the complete Freeh investigative report not only was Jerry allowed all of these amenities, when his “problem” was revealed, he was encouraged to be a Positive Action for Youth.

Joe was not alone.  Former University President Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and former University Vice President Gary Schultz all took part in this lie.  For those that were hoping for a silver lining to the disgusting story that has engulfed Penn State for the last eight months today gave no solace.

Since the press conference and the release of the report Thursday morning many different words have been used to try to describe and in some parts defend the actions of Paterno, Spanier, Schultz and Curley.  Misstep, mistake, slipped have been used by zealous Penn State fans coping with the fall of their idol to a former player interviewed on a large cable sports network to the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company who now realizes he misspoke at Paterno’s memorial service.

Truth is none of these words describes what happened.  This was a conscious effort to lie and fabricate a false reality to preserve “Happy Valley”.  This was a lie used to preserve a coach’s legacy, a university and a football program.  This was a lie that ruined the lives of young boys. 

Young vulnerable boys that idolized Penn State football looking for something to believe in, they are the only victims in this story.  These lies enabled Jerry Sandusky and fed his grotesque appetite.  Innocent children who needed help and the leadership at Penn State ignored them.  The only help that they received was lip service behind closed doors that he was not to bring his “guests” into the Penn State facilities. 

“There is an over-emphasis on ‘The Penn State Way’ as an approach to decision-making, a resistance to seeking outside perspectives, and an excessive focus on athletics that can, if not recognized, negatively impact the university’s reputation as a progressive institution.” – Louis Freeh

For 61 years the Penn State Way was defined by Paterno’s “Grand Experiment”.  Honesty, integrity, loyalty, character this was the embodiment and Penn State brand.  In the wake of the report we now know it was more of do as I say not as I do.  The area around State College, PA feels remote and protected from the outside world.  Couple that with the apotheosis stature that Joe Paterno had reached and the blind trust fans and alumni afforded the University provided a breeding ground for corruption.  With great power comes great responsibility and in the darkest moment real character is revealed.  In both instances Penn State failed.

The four men who led this cover up of a monster for 14 years abused that power.  They spit on the character of the gospel they preached. 

“Bad publicity affects a panorama of different events including the brand of Penn State, including the university, including the reputation of coaches, including the ability to do fundraising. It’s got huge implications.” – Louis Freeh

In the report after Curley spoke with Joe and changed his mind on not reporting the 2001 incident Spanier responded, “The only downside for us if the message isn’t “heard” and acted upon than we become vulnerable for not having reported it.  But that can be addressed down the road.  The approach you outline is humane and a reasonable way to proceed.”

Well, here we are “down the road” addressing it.  And because Paterno, Spanier, Curley and Schultz did not report it Sandusky now sits in jail after being found guilty on 45 of 48 counts of sexually assaulting young boy’s.  None of the testimony sounded humane or reasonable.

In the end the old boys club at Penn State lied and Sandusky was allowed to continue to prey and rape young boys because to report it might tarnish Penn State’s reputation, its football program and fundraising.  Never once did anyone think to report it might save the life of another helpless victim.  That truly would have been the reasonable and humane way to proceed.

 

 

 

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Bough Breaking, Cradle Falling

Posted on 12 July 2012 by derekandrews

The Freeh Report released today confirmed that, “senior leaders showed total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims.” In the beginning of the arrest of Jerry Sandusky, the focus was more on Joe Paterno and the football program than on the number of victims that courageously stood strong to reveal the hurtful and painful experiences of being sexually abused.

The overwhelming support for Joe Paterno and not for the child victims shocked me to the core, and showed the willingness to protect powerful sports programs and the revenue brought to organizations, in this case, to the university. For those who still believe it’s about football, need to reexamine their moral standing.

Don’t get me wrong, Joe Paterno’s legacy is still legendary, but the fact of the matter is, in a time to stand for something outside of the awe of Penn State, Paterno didn’t use his great power or influence to save lives. He did the right thing by telling someone, but that wasn’t a matter of allocation of money, or a student-athlete’s off-the-field issues, it was about the victims of sexual abuse. It deserved more than just telling your boss.

Going to Tim Curley, the university’s AD, wasn’t proactive enough, because it was about protecting the university’s image. Following protocol is standard, but in this case, follow-through is more important. If nothing is done, then action is necessary immediately. In this case, it was taken out of the hands of law enforcement and state officials. These steps weren’t taken and as a result, put shame on the university and the State College community.

Justice has been served for those victims. These tragic events don’t define the life of Joe Paterno and others, but it does give those of us who are destined for leadership a frightful example of the necessity in taking proactive steps when dealing with serious ethical dilemmas.

Follow me on twitter @WinLifestyle

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Penn State supporters lash out…while they conveniently forget the facts

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Penn State supporters lash out…while they conveniently forget the facts

Posted on 27 June 2012 by Drew Forrester

I know several people who attended Penn State and none of them are off-balance or unstable.

But plenty of folks who e-mailed me or responded to THIS BLOG from yesterday sure are…and they’re all busy defending the great legacy of Penn State, the football program and now-incarcerated Jerry Sandusky.

As I wrote in the piece, I don’t give a rat’s rear about Penn State.  Really, I couldn’t care less whether Penn State wins every football game they play in 2012 or if they have four consecutive losing seasons.  I. Don’t. Care.

When USC was finally busted for paying players and all of their other shenanigans, I simply said, “Shut down the football program for a year or two”.

I said the same thing about UConn basketball.  If they get caught cheating, turn out the lights in the gym for a year.

For some reason these days, people always seem to think you’re “hating” or you have an agenda when you offer an opinion that is different than the one they own.

My opinion on Penn State’s football program has zero to do with any anti-Penn State agenda.  It has to do with a school that covered up the worst story and the worst scandal in the history of sports.

Penn State allowed a pedophile to roam their campus.  They gave Jerry Sandusky an office, a key to their athletic facility and left him unchaperoned.  This carte blanche treatment occurred AFTER Sandusky had been investigated for some peculiar behavior with children in the late 1990′s.

Somehow – and I have no idea how anyone with a heart and soul can do this – people who bleed Penn State blue continue to try and make excuses for what happened up there for over a decade.

There’s no excuse for it.

Penn State allowed a pedophile to conduct his business right under their nose.

Feel free to chime in and offer some asinine comment about how this is a media-driven story and any other garbage that half-excuses Sandusky but it won’t change the facts.  Penn State didn’t blow the whistle on Sandusky four years ago because it would have wrecked their football program.  Period.

(Please see next page)

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I Answer Your Questions About Phelps, NFL Top 100, Orioles trades, more

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I Answer Your Questions About Phelps, NFL Top 100, Orioles trades, more

Posted on 26 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

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