Jul 182012

Penn State can eventually recover from the Jerry Sandusky horror.  The legacy of Joe Paterno cannot.  It takes a truly delusional reading of the Freeh report to continue to exonerate him.  To put it charitably, his career has an indelible asterisk.

Johnette Howard referred to the Paternos still trying to call shots with the university—attempting to construct their own version of events and what-not—as muscle memory.  I think that’s also a valid analogy for what’s still going on with too much of the Penn State community.

Folks, to the extent that Happy Valley ever existed, it ceased doing so in 1998.  It’s gone.  The only way this gets better is with positive steps in the present.

  • Take the statue down.  That this conversation has continued as long as it has is itself offensive.
  • Shut the football program down for a significant period of time.  I said five years.  Three may be enough.  One isn’t.
  • Establish a new, Penn State-administered charity for child abuse victims—a charity that does good, visible, extremely well-financed work.  Decades hence, there’s some chance that how the charity came to exist won’t be the first thought people have.  I can’t remember where I read this idea this week, but thought it was a really good one.

Despite all that’s happened, Penn State has still shown no interest in definitively declaring itself larger than Joe Paterno.  That has been the most glaring symptom of the disease, and it shall be the first impetus for real healing.

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 Posted by at 7:44 am

  3 Responses to “Penn State can recover, if it chooses to; Paterno’s legacy cannot”

  1. Yeah, I have to say I totally agree. I was listening to the running commentary on the same subject on Rick & Bubba yesterday morning and heard the same sentiment expressed. 🙂

  2. 110% agree that Penn State needs to shut the football program down. Current players and recruits should be allowed to transfer to another school of their choosing without penalty. When the program is re-instated, it needs to be with a completely new coach and staff. This whole situation makes me SICK!!!

  3. That The Pennsylvania State University is not falling all over itself to do the right thing only speaks to the depth of the cultural corruption there.

    I hope the story improves a lot in the next five to seven days.

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