Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Actions of a Few They Do Not Define All of Those Who Have Built Penn State

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Actions of a Few They Do Not Define All of Those Who Have Built Penn State

Article excerpt

The Jerry Sandusky scandal rose to another level with the release of information in the Freeh report last week that Joe Paterno was part of the group that attempted to cover up what happened.

I realize that no matter what I write I will offend someone. If I say anything positive about Penn State or Mr. Paterno, the public will condemn me and Penn State will praise me. If I condemn my alma mater, it will be the reverse.

So what am I to do? Figuring out how to prevent this from happening again is where my head is now.

I can't stress enough how much my heart goes out to the victims, named and unnamed. There are at least three lawsuits filed and more to come, but I'm sure there's no monetary value that can be placed on the devastation they suffered. The healing, restoration and well- being of the victims and their families continue to be the focus of my concern and prayers.

Now, how do we move on from here?

I wish Mr. Paterno, former Penn State president Graham Spanier and others had better handled the situation when they first learned of it. Sure, public disclosure or firing Mr. Sandusky would have been embarrassing. The school would have taken a blow and the media would have teed off on what had been considered a squeaky clean school and football program, led by a man with a reputation for doing things the right way.

There would have been civil suits and tons of money paid out to the victims. Maybe some recruits would have chosen other schools. Boosters might have stopped donating for a while and reputations would have been affected. That's not what happened. As a result of official decisions, children continued to be victimized.

I can speak from the heart when I say nobody is more disappointed than Penn Staters about how this was handled and how it has made us look. It took wonderful people, year after year, to build the school's reputation -- not football players as much as students and professors. We are more than Mr. Paterno or any other single figure there. …

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