We’re not moving on, we’re moving forward

As I was skimming through the Freeh Report today, I thought back to a time not long ago when they were calling for Paterno to step down.

He had committed the unforgivable crime of getting old in a young man’s game, and for that reason, he had to go. His teams were mediocre and his methods were out of touch, it was argued. Wow, such adversity seems quaint now, doesn’t it?

I scrolled through the 267 pages of the report with revulsion and anger taking turns having at it. It was one of those moments when you think you know, but you really don’t know. It’s when the bad you understand as such meets the even worse of things.

I moved to the end of it, to the emails- the ones that were being thrown around the Penn State campus as if electronic footballs. The emails- coded vignettes meant to protect the Penn State brand- exchanged between Schultz and Spanier and Graham with Paterno overseeing matters from the sidelines.

Jay Paterno’s appearance on the Today Show this morning was a page right out of the old man’s handbook. Stay defiant, keep the message thick with generalities and when confronted with the facts, push the product.

I’ve argued the idea on several occasions that the program has to go away for a couple years. They threw the death penalty at SMU once upon a time when it was discovered that a slush fund existed which paid players under the table. Well, what took place up in Happy Valley makes that scandal look like a bingo night controversy in comparison.

Of course, every time I bring up the idea of shuttering the program for a spell, I’m greeted with responses that make me feel as if I’m suggesting we turn the Vatican into a mall. The prevailing counter is that the University has a cash cow program whose milk feeds all the other athletic programs. Fine. But I always have to remind these people that this kind of brand recognition helped to aid and abet a child rapist.

And it’s always helpful to remember that as much as the Penn State football program has given its athletic underlings, it has also taken away several sports as a result. When alumni money goes thin, the program doesn’t suffer in the least while other athletic endeavors go away, is what I’m saying.

Maybe they can’t be shuttered, so maybe it’s up to those of us who aren’t drinking the kool-aid to shame someone, somewhere into doing something. For a change.

Maybe they take away football scholarships for two years. Honor the “Grand Experiment” by guaranteeing that student athletes- and only student athletes- will represent the program for the next couple years. It’s a short term hit for a team that plays in a power conference, but it’s not the death penalty for a state run school whose roots depend on Saturday afternoons in the fall.

To say that things will never be the same again isn’t a sad fact.

It’s a start.

15 thoughts on “We’re not moving on, we’re moving forward

  1. Well, hell! I WAS on a sabbatical from blogging but you had to do the football card did ‘ya? You know I’m in the SEC. You know I’m living in the state of ALABAMA…the Paterno thing is a craw/splinter/big turd that hurts- in the football arena. So here we go. Damnit Cayman!

    So,…My suggested lessons;
    Teach your kids to say what’s happenin’ even when it’s uncomfortable.
    Keep in mind that football is a past-time, a right of passage, a GD religion (especially if you live in the South!) but keep your eye on the untouchables.

    For the love of God, if you love football understand that it has pimples like the rest of this twisted F’d up world. Don’t compromise on the punishment that should ensue when wrong doing takes place.

    Never…never…never…believe that ANYONE is above the scrutiny of the fans…a good football program should be transparent and accountable and damn able to stand up and say YEAH! we ARE all that and a bag of chips!

    I’m and idealist people…sorry. But Paterno was a legend that will go down as an enabler.


    • J (I was calling you K all this time…),

      You’re spot on across the board. But may I be so bold as to add my two cents on that last thought? An idealist should never be confused with naivete, because naive you are not. What you’re asking for is what must be asked of every program and all the men who run them. I’m in the back yard- or is that front yard- of Penn State country, and I grew up loving Penn State football and Paterno. But what’s right is right, and Paterno was an enabler. Unless you’re drinking the kool-aid, you have to know this.
      Well, I’m glad I rousted you from your blogging sabattical. The styling part of ‘me brain is always at a loss when I don’t have your posts to keep it chugging.
      Be well.


  2. As I said before, I can’t believe those glassy-eyed people who drank of the Kool-Aid–I work with Happy Valley alumni and am aghast at their blindness. Business will NOT go on as usual.. .

    • Ms Petal,
      I can believe it. They surround me in any and all endeavors. My girlfriend has had her share of impossible to comprehend arguments with her daughter, who is a Penn State alum. Said daughter’s claws have been clipped to a great degree since the Freeh Report came out, but begrudgingly so.
      Paterno was never the Saint I had made him out to be as a young boy, the Football Pope his minions still believe him to be. There is no need to besmirch his character by way of innuendo when a little bit of homework will uncover the truth just fine.
      —Like the time the Black Caucus visited the campus to discuss the racial harassment several of Paterno’s players were being subjected to. They were told, in no uncertain terms, that the matter would be handled in house and they were not welcome there.
      –Or the time when several of his players were busted on assault charges. Paterno’s response to which? Run laps, lay low, keep it on the QT.
      –And then there was the time Paterno helped out a high school football coach in this area after it was learned that he was sleeping with a student. This degenerate coach never faced criminal charges. He was handed another head coaching job upstate. And the man who pulled the string was none other than Joe Pa. Whose program had benefited from the pipeline of recruits coming out of that high school. One hand washes the other and all that.

      Joe Paterno, Humanitarian. Even a crime boss would laugh at that one.

    • The statue will not be the last thing to come down. There are bucco agencies with warheads aimed at Happy Valley, and each and every one of them is ready to launch. Believe it or not, this is only the iceberg sighting. Wait till the crash.

  3. Let’s hope some good has come out of the two Great Abuse Scandals (Penn State and the Catholic church) and the victims will no longer fear being held responsible for the atrocious acts of their abusers as they have in the past.

  4. Son-of-a-bitch I hate reading this shit because I just cant get it. It is no longer a question. It has been proven in a court of law. The guy was RAPPING KIDS!!! and JOE and the program protected him. And because of that other CHILDREN were rapped!!! You now see students guarding his statue, What for the love of god don’t they understand about a man who Knew that a young boy had been pinned against the wall crying while a grown over powering man anally rapped him. AND JOE WITH THE PROGRAM DID NOTHING!!! The family, the program should never sleep again because of the shame. Pay up and go away. If the program does not get the death penalty then at the very least all proceeds from the next 3 years should go to a victim’s fund. And Joe should just be a sad memory. Spin it any way or reword it any way you want the truth is he knew CHILDREN were being ABUSED!!!!

    • The Penn Staters are still waving their blue and white pom poms in this neck of the woods. It’s easier to talk about religion or abortion than about Penn State with these people. They just do not accept that their “God” was nothing more than a football coach who cared more about wins and losses than about these boys.
      You’re preaching to the choir, Pete.

  5. Shit I forgot you don’t moderate the comments. Some times I need to back away from the keyboard and cool down before I comment. My bad I just really do not have a back up gear, I only know offense. And child abuse is the one thing I am willing to go to prison defending.

    • Pete- I don’t accept “moderate” when it comes to the crimes of Penn State football. And I do not accept your apology on this, because that’s exactly what I’m looking for. You brought the teeth and then you clamped down. People need to get angry, and they need to stay angry. There are plenty of suits out there who draw a check from PSU who haven’t gotten what is coming to them. Not yet.

      • Thank you my man, I do not apologize for what I said or how I feel, just that maybe I should not have said it on your site, on mine everybody is kinda used to my shit. You have a different audience. As for Penn state you know how I am a total sports nut so I love great coaching and winning and competition. But that’s not life. It’s all just games, but what happened to those boys that’s real, real LIFE! If Joe was all they say he was he would have had the soul, the heart of a man and he would have put Sandusky in a choke hold and turned him in. Now just imagine how much greater his legacy today would be. Forget statues he would be on the door to sainthood . But he is not and his true soul and heart were exposed and kids suffered and paid the price. And now those who looked the other way need to answer for their lack of soul and heart and we need to recognize the difference between life and games!

  6. Pete- It’s hard for me to talk Penn State with most people around here without getting into an argument. I was a big Penn State fan back in the day, but there’s no possible defense to this horrible scandal. Joe was as criminally responsible as the rest of those suits.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s