First off I want to say just how sad I am that this whole thing has happened. I have many friends who currently attend Penn State and their sentiments on the whole thing have been known to me through texts, Facebook, and Twitter. I am willing to bet that some of my friends were in the couple thousand who went out and rioted, helped flipped a news van, were maced, were obnoxiously drunk on national TV, and I am truly embarrassed for them. Rioting was obviously not the best decision in this case, but it should be known that Penn State is a very large institution with high enrollment numbers, and that was a small fraction of the undergraduate population. I also know friends that were not members of the riot. These students have had a small minority of students create a terrible image for them and their school. So far during my career at Pitt, there have been a number of riots, some big and some small. Certainly the ones that stand out the most were the Steelers Superbowl riot and the riots during the G-20 summit. Pitt students faced harsh criticism from local and national media for their actions during these events, but it was once again a small number representing the larger whole. While all these riots were happening, Paternoville, the organization that sets up tents every week before every Penn State home game that you have probably seen on national TV, were doing some good. Nearly $1,000 was raised last night for cancer research. Currently, they are all wearing blue ribbons, which signifies awareness for child abuse. Just imagine what kind of good they can accomplish now with a fundraiser for child abuse after all that has happened. Hundreds of students are members of Paternoville. They are all passionate and knowledgeable about their school and Penn State football. Some of the members have even been interviewed for media outlets local, national, and even international. Impressive. What upsets me are the students who were interviewed during the riot. Most of them did not have a straight answer to why exactly they were rioting. Taking a word from my roommate here at Pitt, the decision should have been held off until morning, where less destruction and possibly no riot would have occurred, helping Penn State to save some face.
The Penn State crisis management team is learning on the fly and being scrutinized at every new twist and turn. But you have to think, what crisis have they had to manage in the past 50+ years? Certainly nothing of this magnitude. I do not know of any academic institution who would be able to handle this type of situation "well." I believe that there are a number of reasons as to why Joe Paterno has received the most heat coming from all of this. Paterno has been coaching at Penn State for decades, and there has not been a single scandal. He has had nothing but a clean slate for all of his previous years as the head coach of Penn State. The national media always likes to see when such an upstanding, influential, and powerful figure has a fall from grace. It happens all the time. It's not that people were waiting and hoping for the day where Paterno was going to slip up, but it becomes such headline news when it does happen. It truly is a shame that this will become one of the main things that Paterno is remembered for. Now in calling Paterno a "bad person" I cant agree with that at this time. All that is out there is a grand jury report. Given the disgusting nature contained in the report and how sickening it was to read, Paterno should not be the one crucified right now for those 23 pages. Sandusky should. While watching ESPN's broadcasts I kept wondering to myself, "What about Sandusky? Why are they not talking about him right now? Why aren't there dozens of reporters on his lawn?" I'm not going to get in to the specifics of the legal versus the moral obligations that are involved in this story, because of the fact that no further information has come out and people have very different and passionate opinions on this matter. Until the case, both civil and criminal has come out, no one can say exactly what Paterno knew. Don't get me wrong in that more could have and should have been done about the matter. It's easy for us to say what we would do if we were in Paterno's shoes now, but realistically, the magnitude of the situation is way above any of our heads.
It wasn't supposed to happen like this. Not even LaVar Arrington, former Penn State linebacker, who during his time at Penn State did not have the greatest relationship with the coaching staff, said it should have happened like this. Matt Millen broke down on SportsCenter about what was happening at his alma mater. It's a truly sad situation, which should have never happened. I hope now that Penn State has run out of the proverbial shit to hit the fan. But this thing is far from over. Now coach McQueary is being asked not to coach this Saturday, and will most likely be fired in the "clean house" process that will most likely take place either before the season ends or right after.
I have seen mixed reactions from people here at Pitt. Some are sympathetic, some are supportive, some joke and make fun, some are angry, and some are so ridiculous I worry for them. If you remember, Pitt had a mini scandal surrounding their coach of what seemed like a few hours, Mike Haywood. Shortly after Haywood was hired, he was arrested at his home on felony domestic violence charges coming from a custody dispute. In other words, Haywood and his wife got into a huge fight. It was very embarrassing to have my friends laugh at me for it, considering Pitt had 3 coaches in less than a month. Now if this small scandal was embarrassing for us here at Pitt, just imagine what every Penn State student is going through right now. Influential organizations like the Oakland Zoo spoke out and showed their support to Penn State students in a tweet this week. This is to show that there are some people at our school, who can set aside the rivalry and show some support to the students. It is important that Penn State students do not lose entire faith in their school. People burning diplomas earlier this week was a rash and unreasonable demonstration. I understand that you were/are upset with your school, but I find that to be a bit extreme. I bet you photocopied that diploma first too, you big phony.
Comment, share your thoughts on anything that has happened in relation to the PSU scandal.
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