I've been thinking about how I would write this post since November when I wrote the last one
Â about Penn State. I have always, I guess, hoped that whatever was found out in the Freeh report
would show that the football program and Joe did what they needed to do. Instead, now I, like everyone else, realize that what happened was everyone's worst nightmare. They hid child sexual abuse in order to protect football.I pause here because it's still so shocking to me. They hid child sexual abuse in order to protect football.
Ironically, "from bad publicity" read some of the notes and emails between Graham Spanier and Curley and Schultz. As if this kind of publicity is better than the publicity they would have faced had they outed Sandusky for the piece of shit that he really is when this all came to their attention in 1998. Or is it even better than the publicity they would have faced had they turned Sandusky over to police in 2001 when they became aware of the next victim? I can't fathom it.I can't even begin to wrap my head around the conversations that we don't know about that must have taken place between the four men.So many of my fellow alumni feel the same way I do: Disappointed. Ashamed. Heartbroken. Disgusted. Mad. Sad.Kids, young kids, were tragically scarred by someone they should have been able to trust. And not even the best coach in college football saved them from those scars, but instead continued to allow more to be abused.How does this happen? Is it power? Is it money? Is it greed in general? I don't get it. I really don't. I love money as much as the next person, but would I harm another person, let alone a child to get it? I think not.I am one of those people who always believes in the good in people - often to a fault, for I am forever disappointed at the end of the day. The lesson here is that I should not put someone on a pedestal so high that when they fall, they fall ridiculously hard - and in this case, JoePa shattered when he hit bottom - because it's not fair. Human beings are not perfect, they make mistakes. And JoePa made a grave mistake. A mistake that I can't even begin to understand. I just can't.This whole scandal pushes me on my journey to run for the Board of Trustees in 2013 - because I see a million ways the University can improve - specifically in public relations and transparency.Penn State is better than what everyone in the world thinks of the University today.I will continue to focus on the outstanding education I received. Because while I love football, my last two years I never attended a game. (As a theatre major, I was either in rehearsals or in shows on Saturday's and so was never able to attend a game.) I was focused on my school responsibilities.The piece of paper in this picture is my pride. I don't remember game stats, or any specific games or even really players names - but I remember just about every professor and class. And I can't forget the friends I made along the way.
Next Friday, my son will visit Penn State as a prospective student and I couldn't be more proud. I'm excited to show him everything I experienced as a student - and none of the memories I have really include Beaver Stadium. In fact, the closest thing to the Stadium that I have to remember is the wall that my graduating class built nearby.The most important memory that I have of Penn State though, is what that piece of paper represents to me. And guess what, football had nothing to do with me getting it....#WeAre......