After eight months, the Freeh investigative report on the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky disaster was released yesterday. Horrific in its detail and providing no cover of any kind for any of the principals, the report makes clear that Penn State football must go away for a while. I think five years sounds about right.
(The most impressive thing that could happen at this point would be for Penn State to itself announce that it was shuttering football for a time. But Penn State has passed on an awful lot of opportunities to be impressive, hasn’t it?)
Even if you think the death penalty is the wrong response—punishing current players for something they had nothing to do with and what-not—you must consider the magnitude of these terrible events. I don’t think Penn State football can survive if it doesn’t shut down for a significant period of time. You see, the Happy Valley mythology has been put to death. Penn State has been and will remain many positive things, but it will now, first and forever, be the school where those poor little boys were systematically abused. There will be few mentions of the school and no mention of football without that, and it’ll typically be in the first breath.
You can’t just open Beaver Stadium for business as usual next month with a solemn mention of new beginnings, no matter how sincere.
Do something unexpected, Penn State. Show moral courage. Shut it down yourself.