Penn State means a lot to me. The city of State College, and the University have been a part of my family for years. I was born in State College, and both my parents attended PSU. My Grandfather, another PSU grad, retired as a mechanical engineer from the Office Physical Plant. I’ve been accepted to Penn State’s MIS program, so starting this fall, I’ll be attending PSU in pursuit of a Master’s degree.
I’ve read every word in the Freeh report, and have reached the following personal conclusions. Please keep in mind these are my own opinions….
Gerald Sandusky does not deserve to breathe the same air the rest of us do, and for his abuses, deserves everything the legal system and court of public opinion can and will do to him. Part of me doesn’t want to see him alive; but part of me feels like the gas chamber or lethal injection is to humane of a punishment.
Graham Spanier and Gary Schultz should be similarly punished for their efforts to cover up the activity. They had multiple opportunities to inform the Trustees of the incidents, and chose instead to allow Sandusky to retire with honor and dignity, and most regrettably, let him retain all the tools he needed to continue to abuse children – whether they thought he would or not.
Joe Paterno is guilty of not being properly equipped to handle the situation, and while he could have done more, I don’t believe he intentionally covered up Sandusky’s activity. From page 77 of the Freeh report: “I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was,” he said. “So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.” Paterno added, “In hindsight, I wish I had done more” and regretted that he did not. Being the face of the football program, his involvement cannot be discounted, but I do not believe he deliberately covered up Sandusky’s activity. Remember, according to the Freeh report, the investigation in 1998 found that Sandusky had not done anything illegal, and no charges against him were filed.
Fining the football program and placing the funds into an endowment for child abuse prevention programs is a just and suitable punishment for the University. I agree with and support the NCAA’s ruling here.
Dismantling the statue and monument to Joe Paterno will help to move past the issue and look forward, and because it’s become symbolic of the controversy, is a demonstration on the part of the university that it recognizes the failure of the face of the football program to do everything he could to educating and nurturing the young people his university influences.
Taking away the wins from 1988 to 2011 punishes a lot of people who didn’t have any knowledge or involvement in the incidents. This just smears the legacy of the football program, but doesn’t do anything to help the victims or prevent future abuses from taking place.
Halving the scholarships for the next four years and excluding from the bowl games will certainly ‘take the football program down a peg’ and put education in front of athletics, but also punishes a lot of people who don’t deserve it. State College will suffer without the football season to support it. It’s a college town through and through, and a lot of local business depends on the tourism the football brings.
Again, echoing the Freeh report: “The most saddening finding … is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims.” And echoing NCAA President Mark Emmert… “No matter what we do here today, there is no action that we can take that will remove their pain and anguish.”