Penn State and other Sorrows

Some of PT’s staff and many or our friends are Penn State Alums.  To say there is sadness and confusion is an understatement. I really didn’t follow the scandal until late last week when summary articles began to surface and the ‘daily menu’ of information became filtered through editors who seemed to understand the purpose of their jobs.

It seems to me that it boils down to this. Over a period of almost 15 years a person who many in the university AND in law enforcement knew or suspected had serious problems was allowed to continue his involvement with the university, the local secondary schools, and a personal charity for young boys. Even after eyewitness accounts virtually nothing was done.

They say the coverup is worse than the crime — I’m not sure that’s the case here, because it is likely that numerous young boys were drawn into the sordid web who would not have been had action been taken when this first came up.  This is what we have to remember.  The reputation or job of a great football coach, or an athletic director, or an assistant coach, or a university president pales in insignificance to the horror these boys endured.

Here is a picture sent in by Charlie of students in one of his garages in State College, PA who were watching the student “riots” in support of Penn State Coach Joe Paterno .

Its ironic that the demonstrations actually helped push the fabled coach out. There were so many students there that Charlie was in fear for the structural integrity of his structure.

I suppose students can be given a ‘pass’ as they don’t have the maturity to understand the terrible price those boys paid but their teachers certainly do. At least they are supposed to. That adds to the sorrow in this case. These men ignored a problem. And their lives have become irrevocably entangled with it. As one of the board of trustees said when commented on the firings — ‘It really wasn’t a hard decision to make.”

Our hearts must go out to the innocents, those involved and those not involved but tainted by the stench of the scandal.

I told one Penn State Alum that sunlight was a great disinfectant. By bringing the problem to light, it can be cleansed. The coverup made it so much worse.

JVH

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