Someone has to say it so I will: Penn State shouldn’t play football in 2012

June 26, 2012 | Drew Forrester

I realize Penn State is going to pay a huge financial price in the next couple of years as they dole out millions and millions of dollars to the victims in lieu of civil lawsuits.

But they’re paying that money because they failed in their duty to monitor Sandusky and his behavior.

Anyone with a child or children has turned them over to a babysitter at some point.  For the most part, we turn those children over without performing any kind of legitimate background check.  They get referred to us by friends or family members.  Or we see an ad on the internet somewhere and after a 15-minute phone call, we hire him/her to watch our children.  If they pass the eye test, we’re comfortable.

Jerry Sandusky was a de facto babysitter through his Second Mile youth program.  Children who were lacking the traditional two parent home (and in some cases, these kids had no parents to live with — they had been abandoned) became part of Sandusky’s foundation and, therefore, fell under his care.

And the only people who sniffed him out as a creep?  His employer.  The folks at Penn State knew something wasn’t right with Jerry Sandusky.  That’s why they told him to retire.  That’s why Joe Paterno informed him in 1998 that he wouldn’t be considered for the head coaching position when the time came for Penn State to name a new leader for their football program.  Those kids didn’t have parents to make sure the guy watching them – Sandusky – was on the up and up.  So the school and the football program inherited that duty since Sandusky brought the children on their property.

We all know how it ended.

Penn State put the football program above the kids that Sandusky molested.

They knew in their heart something wasn’t right with him.

And they let it go.

They love their football program so much they just ignored the reality of the situation.

And since they love their football program so much, they should have to do without it for a year.

Maybe that will teach them the ultimate lesson.  You’re a college.  You educate people.  You play football as a sidebar to the educational endeavor.

Do without football for a while.

Let’s see if that teaches you a lesson.

29 Comments For This Post

  1. The "Armchair QB" Says:

    At the very least, Drew! As I stated earlier, the “cover up” was almost as heinous as the crime because they allowed Sandusky to prey on more innocent victims! What it clearly indicates is that the people in the admninistration and football program, including Paterno, did nothing because they valued their successful and financially productive football program MORE than they valued the lives of innocent victims, past, present and future! The program deserves to be severely sanctioned as a result……..

  2. tom Says:

    Bravo, Drew I agree 100%. It’s unbelieve to me that Penn State put the football program and the all mighty dollar first instead of the concern of children.

  3. Marcus Halberstram Says:

    DREW, you made a point that I never thought about. The administration and Paterno protected the football program from Sandusky by forcing him to retire. They showed him the door and hoped, prayed and ignored his behavior hoping that this nightmare wouldn’t see the light of day and that their beloved program could make it through untarnished.Every person capable of making the decision to report this all thought the same thing. Banner headlines and the media circus that will tarnish the school forever. It’s really unfortunate that the NCAA can’t come in and slap this program down for a while.

  4. John West Says:

    Well done Drew,
    Having grown up in central PA, I know the following to be true. If you want to understand Penn State, think of it as a cult. I’m not joking.
    Did anything happen on that campus, related to football, that Joe Pa didn’t know about and ENDORSE. Heck no.
    If Joe Pa didn’t want something affilliated with his football program, it wasn’t.
    The fact that there was a culture in Penn State that allowed, and protected, Jerry Sandusky for YEARS, IS a problem related to Penn State football.

  5. John in Westminster Says:

    A very good point. But as usual, the NCAA will wait on the court of public opinion (i.e. assess the impact to their brand) rather than do the right thing on their own.

  6. Jason Manelli Says:

    Penn State football is going to be negatively affected by the repercussions of this scandal just like the Catholic Church, which has seen attendance falling for many years since the pedophilia scandal broke 12 years ago. People associate Catholicism with pedophilia now, despite all the good works done by the church both historically and presently. The same will happen with Penn State – I believe they will see enrollment applications diminish and their success at recruiting for all sports will erode. My wife is an alum and she won’t wear her Penn State sweatshirt anymore, she gave it to me to use while I change the oil on the cars. I don’t think you need to ban Football for a season Drew. The damage is already done, when they take the field that’s going to be the first and last thing everyone thinks about. Penn State football will become an advertisement for their collective shame.

  7. Tim Says:

    Agreed. Shut it down for a year. JoePa was the most powerful man in the state, nothing happened that didn’t cross his desk. Football is a religion at Penn State, and JoePa was the god 100,000+ people worshiped every Saturday.

    Sandusky was a monster. Penn State knew it, and did nothing. Other schools knew it – why else would the man behind “Linebacker U” never get a head coaching job elsewhere?

  8. BmoreBobRob Says:

    I agree it is a little strange and maybe in poor taste to have the team play after one of their former coaches was found guilty of criminal charges but the people who were part of an institutional conspiracy are either dead or fired. I am not sure where the NCAA would enter in this case. Did NST shut down after You Pon was pulled?

  9. dave hittinger Says:

    PSU: The only school where you can major in a minor. I couldn’t agree with you more on this one Drew.

  10. A-bomb Says:

    You people are ridiculous! Let’s punish all the people who had nothing to do with any of these heinous acts committed by Jerry Sandusky. Those that were involved in any type of cover-up will get their day in court. The school will lose millions in lawsuits. I for one think Curley, Schultz, Spanier, and anyone else involved should rot right beside Sandusky. That would include Paterno if he were still living. That list would include Tom Corbett, who took campaign $ from the Second Mile and awarded them a huge amount of $ in a grant, all while he knew the allegations and was having Sandusky investigated.

  11. Jethro Sanders Says:

    How can people say nothing happened at Penn State w/o Joe Paterno’s knowledge, when a few years ago, people claimed that he shouldn’t get credit for wins because he was only a figurehead? Penn State did not “cover up” Sandusky’s crimes. That was done by 2 individuals, who were fired when their actions came to light. Paterno did what he was required to do, report what he was told, remember that he was not an eye witness, to his superiors. This is the same policy enforced in most companies, and in the government. For all that Paterno was, he did not have the authority to force an investigation.

    Why would the NCAA penalize Penn State? These were criminal actions not related to football. Maybe Auburn should not play football this year because there was a murder there?

  12. Mitch hubler Says:

    In case you haven’t noticed the psu football program bears no resemblance to 1998 or 2002. Everyone involved is gone. Whether dead, fired, let go, or resigned from top to bottom the program and department are different. You can’t blame the kids for anything that happened or the current coaching staff.

  13. Kevin Beichler Says:

    You all are Penn State Haters out of envy and jealousy. The fact that there are no major college sports in the state of Maryland makes you all envious. Yes even Maryland basketball is in the toilet. Oh thats’ right you do dominate in Mens Lacrosse what a money maker that is for your beloved universities. It took over 50 years for dirt to be found on Penn State so now everyone piles on. What a cheap way to put down a fine institution like Penn State. Over 60,000 students in the Penn State System, over 600,000 alumi and one pedofile and you make it out like Satan was running the university. The fact of the matter is Sandusky was aquitted of the charges for the shower incident in 2001 and no charges were ever filed in the 1998 incident and as one astute listener wrote Governor Corbett was the Attorney General then hmmmm more conspiracy. But then again this is from a state that when Maryland tied Penn State in football 13-13 at Memorial stadium their alum acted like they won the national championship. It is time everyone realizes that the problem is not the insitution it is the individual and he has been punished severly and I might add should be hung from his genitals until he dies. But everyone one of you should take the time to investigate what is going on in your own backyards and correct the child abuse problems locally instead of mouthing off about Penn State. If you really want to have an impact get involved at a local level and we truely can help allevaite these monsters from the world. What a moronic view point to have no Football at Penn State next year so we can punsih all the student athlets at Penn State since the football revenue is waht allows all the other sports to exist. If your beloved Gary Williams had a recruting violations and the Terps were penalized you would all be screaming don’t punish the current players as it was not their doings. Look inside the Maryland Basketball program and who knows you may find a Bernie Fine but that would be different just as it was at Syracuse. They were not the pristine program Penn State was so no media blitz to ruin their reputation. WE ARE PENN STATE and We Will Restore the Roar.

  14. Sam Patterson Says:

    WOW what a poorly written article. This piece is what has been wrong with the media through this entire awful ordeal. I would like to see you prove that dandusky was fired because of hiss actions back then which you cant. Also lets name the real criminals in all this its not mcqueary and certainly not joe pa and for the time being pending the curley schultz trial its not them. Its simply sandusky and tom corbett. You say penn state put the team first bull. If you knew anything about joe
    And his teams school always came first. He reported what he was told to the heads of the university and campus police. Thats right the head of the police with jurisdiction. All of this made it to corbet who was attorney general who made no effort what so ever to investigate. I wonder if his plans to become state govenor had anything todo with that? Yea i think so i dnt believe he would have one in this state after all of this came out sounds like there is your cover up there is your lack or moral responsibility.

  15. A-bomb Says:

    To defend Joe, I have worked at a juvenile facility in PA. Part of my job was to be a mandated reporter. During my time I had to report several incidences of sexual assault or abuse to my superiors. Once I reported the incident I would write a report on the incident and it was submitted to public welfare. Who in turn would investigate the incident. Sometimes they would come interview staff, other times they didn’t. I never once was told the outcome of those investigation and was informed I didn’t need to know anything but that it was investigated and handled. Yeah, maybe Joe could have done more, but he did not have the power people thought he had over the last 4-5 years maybe longer. At one time he did, but not in the recent past. Joe did exactly what he should have done. Maybe Curley told him they handled it or nothing came out of an investigation, hopefully this comes to light during the upcoming perjury trials. Anyway, the haters will keep on hatin’ but PSU will stay strong and perservere through all of this. Thousands of players, alumni, fans, faculty, and students had absolutely nothing to do with this and should not be punished for the actions of a few men.

  16. JVP Says:

    Yes. This makes total sense. But why stop there.

    They are the state university after all. And as part of a cover up when representing the state, the whole state should be punished. Strip them of their rights for a year. Better yet, make them part of New Jersey. That will really show them.

    Possibly the worst logic I’ve read in regards to this situation. Punish those not involved just to punish some more people? This makes no sense.

    Those involved have/will have faced charges when this is all over. That is our legal system and that is the correct approach. Punish those involved and only those involved.

    Would you punish your child, by taking away all of his toys, because he unknowingly played with a stolen toy while at his friends house?

    Absolutely not.

    And in that situation, your child is more closely related to the crime than the current football team. Just because the Sandusky crime is of a more heinous nature does not mean you start handed out punishments to everyone in a 5 mile radius.

    We have a justice system for a reason. I suggest you leave it to them.

  17. Serena Will Says:

    Wow, your’re a moron…and very ugly to boot.

  18. JVP Says:

    I also like this thought:

    “If those little boys he molested had fathers who cared about them, Sandusky would probably be six feet under with a bullet in his head.”

    Not only is it condemning fathers of molested children who have not killed their child’s attacker as uncaring, but it irresponsibly plants a seed of horrible advice for future, emotional fathers of molested children.

    What my child needs now is support and to have a father stand by him and make him feel safe for the rest of his life, but what I really need to do is kill the scumbag who hurt him, because drew said I don’t care about my child if I dont put a bullet in that scumbags head.

  19. Kathy Says:

    Your story is filled with lots of accusations and false information. Penn State University was never about football. It is and always will be about educating youth. Paterno has always put the education of his players first. Anyone that knows anything about him knows this. For years, the media has created the mystic associated with PSU football and given Paterno his sainthood status. He didn’t like the attention, nor did he agree with the label. It is obvious that you nothing about Paterno or the Penn State football program and are only having a knee jerk reaction to the fact that Sandusky wormed his way through PSU, Second Mile, Central Mountain High School and the community at large. He was a master of deception, as are all predators. To blame the entrie PSU community is ridiculous and makes one look like a closed minded fool. By the way, Drew Forrester, you cannot write well.

  20. JVP Says:

    Football comes first, Kathy. Drew knows.

    Just please ignore the fact that they are a top 50 university and are consistently praised for their research. Also, please ignore how often they are in the running for scholar-athlete awards.


  21. A-bomb Says:

    I think Drew needs shut down for a year, maybe he can start thinking a little clearer and write better articles that aren’t filled with accusations and false information. Support what you are saying with concrete facts. Hey, Johnny stole a car and ran over someone, although you had nothing to do with it we are taking you to jail because you sat next to Johnny in school!

  22. Kman8283 Says:

    As a Penn Stater I am totally appalled by what happened and believe some NCAA penalties are justified. The death penalty however, is for those infractions that create unfair advantages for competing teams. The university should and has said it will begin a process of settling monetary claims with the victims. Sandusky is in jail where he belongs. Top management personnel have been dismissed with some charged with crimes and more internal fallout is anticipated.

    If any good at all has come out of this very dark chapter, at this very moment the safest place in the world for children is on the University Park campus.

  23. unitastoberry Says:

    F Penn State and all there Stiller fans. Good point of view Drew.

  24. andy Says:

    Maybe all Catholic churches should be shut down for a year as well, if its for each perpetrator would probably shut down for ever.
    Or maybe we should punish the offenders and those that cover it up and allow the Church & University with the good people – the majority of the people learn, help educate and heal with the victims.

  25. matt Says:

    my business law professor, who besides being an attorney was also the mayor of millersville up here, said that after the lawsuits are over there could very well be no more penn state. this was right after the news broke last year however

  26. Tim Says:

    You lose a lot of credibility wih this statement:

    Fact: Jerry Sandusky took a boy on a team charter to the Fiesta Bowl some five years after he was investigated for inappropriate conduct with a young boy. Sandusky and the boy roomed together with the team at their Phoenix hotel. No one seemed to care or worry about that. Oh, right, they had a bowl game to win

    As it turns out, this is a MYTH. Sandusky was first investigated in 1998. It just so happens that the last time Penn State played in the Fiesta Bowl was following the 1996 season against Texas. Following Sandusky’s retirement in 1999, there is no evidence to suggest he ever traveled on a team plane to another bowl game. A little research would do you some good.

    It’s fine to be outraged, the overwhelming number of Penn Staters are as well. Most understand that there was no way Paterno could continue as coach, the argument is primarily that he should have been put on administrative leave rather than fired at 10:00 on a Wednesday night.

    As hard as it may be to believe, ESPN published the results of a lengthy investigation they did back in April ( and indicated that there is no evidence to suggest Paterno was aware of the 1998 incident. There could always be something more to come out to suggest otherwise, but these are the facts as of today.

    One final fact, within one week of the indictments, anyone who was known to have had any sort of role from a Penn State perspective was either fired or placed on administrative leave (McQuery, Paterno, Curly, Schultz, Spanier). Assuming no one else knew, what more do you want Penn State to have done? You can campaign for the NCAA to take action all you want, but the NCAA rules are focused on those trying to gain a competitive advantage. What competitive advantage did Penn State derive from not reporting Sandusky? Heck, in the wake of all this, Penn State now has the 10th ranked recruiting class for 2013 with an all new coaching staff and the Sandusky stench still hanging over the campus. It’s unlikely that Paterno would have lost his job had the 2001 shower incident been properly investigated by the actual police when it occurred, but even if he had, one could argue that Penn State would have been even better off from a competitive advantage given the fact that Paterno was largely just going through the motions for the last 10 years of his coaching career.

  27. Joe Says:

    PSU supporters, the worst possible crime happened on your beloved campus, if PSU is about research and education than why do you care if their is no football for one year? The suspension would allow everyone more time for education and research.

  28. JVP Says:

    Because the professors who are a part of the research can’t work during football season, right?

    And the “worst possible crime?” really?

    It’s a terrible and disgusting crime, but I’m pretty sure all of these parents of molested children are happy there children were not murdered. You know, the actual worst possible crime.

  29. JVP Says:

    So many “facts.” So little research.

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