topic
Shame on Penn State

Introduced: July 12 2012

There's little left to be decided about the crimes of Jerry Sandusky. The verdict is in; the report is complete. But there's still a lot to be said and learned. Here is the place to offer what you think and feel about it -- and just get it off your chest

From IWD -- Getting caught up, September 2012:

After a shattering scandal and sanctions imposed by the NCAA, Penn State is making progress on trying to pull itself together. At the opening home football game (a loss of 24-14 to Ohio), more than 600 athletes representing other Penn State teams stood together on the field before kick-off. This summer, IWD had suggested a t-shirt reading "We Support the NEW Penn State," and other people had similar ideas. T-shirts outside the stadium expressed the same sentiment: "Restore the Roar" and "We are...still proud" and several supported the new football coach, Bill O'Brien -- "Billieve" and "BO'B the Builder." The day before the game, a ring of fans linked arms and encircled the stadium, and on game day, there was a "moment of reflection" in honor of the victims of substance abuse. As IWD reported earlier, a halo above Paterno's head had been removed from a mural on campus and the area outside the stadium where students traditionally camp out the night before a game to get the best seats has been renamed Nittanyville (after the Nittany Lions); it used to be called Paternoville.

 

Yet, some fans are still defiant. Someone placed a cardboard cutout on the spot near the stadium where Paterno's statue used to stand, and when the cut-out was removed, someone set down a Paterno Bobblehead (which, strange as it may seem, was offered as a symbol of respect for Paterno). Former Penn State player Franco Harris, who went on to play in the NFL, has become involved in questioning the accuracy of the report (led by former FBI report Louis Freeh) that described abuse that occurred at Penn State. Some fans are calling for the resignation of Penn State's new administrators, criticizing them for agreeing to the NCAA sanctions without a fight.

 

Meanwhile, Sandusky's involvement in illegal and immoral activities continues to unfold. This week he's being accused of child pornography and solicitation of child prostitutes. As a first step toward processing lawsuits that may be brought against Penn State by Sandusky's victims, the school has retained Ken Feinberg, the lawyer who helped settle claims from the BP oil spill, the Oklahoma boombing, the Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange, the Virginia Tech shooting, and 9/11.

Dialogue on Shame on Penn State
227:

I DO NOT feel sorry for Graham Spanier. Whether he really "doesn't remember" getting any e-mails suggesting there was something wrong going on -- or he's using the oldest cop-out in the world -- the world doesn't need any more leaders of anything that are so caught up in being important that they ignore things they should be paying attention to. The problem of sexual abuse where he was supposedly in charge went on for a long time, he ignored it, and then he decided what needed protecting was the image of the football team.

060:

Graham Spanier was not on my radar until I read that comment in IWD (#097 posted August 23). I thought all the guilty parties would fade away into the background and we'd never hear from them again. But shortly after he began giving interviews to exonerate himself, I read that he has a new job -- working for the government on something related to national security. He must have friends in high places!

263:

If you want to see the strangest thing on twitter, use this link. http://twitter.com/GSpanierPSU It's pretending to be tweeted by Spanier himself, but it can't be, can it????

097:

It seems like a long time since Penn State was in the news, but now the president of the university, Graham Spanier, who was forced to resign because of the scandal, is giving interviews. You have to feel sorry for a guy whose subordinates kept the truth from him. He said he was the victim of abuse as a child so his instinct would have been to do something about it if he had known.

058:

I was wondering if, after the Penn State punishment, there would be any lingering impact on college sports in general. Would people a stop looking the other way at minor -- and even major -- rules infractions? It proved a good topic of discussion for my son and me -- he is a college athlete. He reads Sports Illustrated, I generally don't. But he sent me this article and it looks like the NCAA has raised the level of punishments it may hand down. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/08/02/ncaa-penalty-structure.ap/index.html

114:

SHAME, SHAME!!! It's all about GREED......the directors of PS need to face their just desserts. Was it worth sacrificing these children? SHAME.....it's almost too good of a word to use on these despicable guardians of children. And for a game?!! Our priorities need to be reassessed quickly. Yesterday's revelations has made me so angry. Heads need to roll. PS shouldn't have a football team going forward. That privilege should be taken away. I vent....

071:

I am disgusted and shocked at this scandal and at how it was covered up by university officials. What a black eye for sports all around. These vile people have robbed young kids of their innocence and youth. I think Penn State should lose their football program for 5 years. An example needs to be set with regards to this issue. This type of revolting behavior MUST not be tolerated ever again.
I am sure Joe Paterno was a good coach, but the fact he basically condoned such behavior by a member of his staff is unconscionable.

328:

Shame, shame, shame on Penn State. I do give the Penn State Board of Trustees credit for their fast action dismissing the President, Athletic Director, the legendary coach Joe Paterno and others. I hope that in the future the Board puts in safe-guards to protect other young people, both boys and girls. The worst part was that all involved thought only about the reputation of the school; they had no interest in what happened to these young boys. Perhaps what happened in Happy Valley was a case of an isolated school taking their reputation and sport success too seriously...perhaps they should get out of Happy Valley now and then and see what the rest of the world is about, there is more to life than football Saturday...

322:

When will male-dominated institutions like Football at Penn State and the Catholic church hierarchy stop protecting/hiding and moving around pedophiles?!!! Sexual assault by a trusted adult is such a betrayal, and then to have an entire institution ignore or actively suppress what is happening--it is certainly illegal and ethically wrong, so why do these cover-ups continue...

 

Note from IWD: On July 23, penalties rained down on Penn State. Some were symbolic: Coach Joe Paterno’s statue was removed from its prominent spot outside the stadium and a total of 111 victories earned by the Penn State football team between 1997 and 2011 were erased from the record, effectively dropping Paterno from being the “winningest” coach in college football to #7 on the list. Other penalties were financial: The university must pay $60 million over the course of five years and those funds will be used to support programs that treat young victims of sexual abuse. The football team is banned from competing in post-season bowl  games for four years and the number of available scholarships for football players has been significantly reduced. The Big Ten also withhold $13 million in conference bowl revenue and prohibit Penn State from completing in the Big 10 Championship Game for four years. The withheld funds will be donated to a fund for the protection of children.

015:

Many people are saying that this punishment sends a message to all schools where the football program is “too big to fail.” In my own experience as the mother of athletes, I’ve seen small examples – and not sexual – of coaches having offensive behavior or language that’s allowed to continue. Maybe this will trickle down in some way to people like that as well.

296:

Punish the offenders – I’m all for that.But I was distressed to learn that Penn State may lose its Aa1 credit rating. It is a great institution – for many reasons besides its football team – and it should not be brought to its knees.

Note from IWD: Here are some facts we found about Penn State outside of football:

  • U.S. News & World Report ranks Penn State # 45 among the nation’s colleges and universities
  • The School of Education ranks #26
  • The School of Engineering ranks #25
  • About 15,000 students volunteer in THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.
  • Penn State is involved in significant research projects. For example, Penn State scientists made a discovery about how viruses replicate themselves. It is considered an important step toward the improvement of existing vaccines, as well as toward the design of vaccines against viruses that have eluded vaccination strategies in the past. A team of Penn State researchers has developed field effect transistors using graphene and hexagonal boron nitride on a 75-millimeter wafer, a significant step toward graphene-based electronics. Graphene is the wonder material that could solve the problem of making ever faster computers and smaller mobile devices when current silicon microchip technology hits an inevitable wall. The SageGlass project is one of seven initial Opportunity Research Fund grants totaling $1.3 million awarded by GPIC to explore new integrated window and lighting systems for energy-efficient building design
  • Sports: The women's soccer team has won every Big Ten Championship since 1998; the women's volleyball team has 10 Big Ten Championship in the past 13 years.
037:

When something like this happens, it becomes difficult to punish the guilty without penalizing the innocent. Although the NCAA ruling permits any member of the football team to transfer schools without needing to sit out a year – anyone who’s dealt with college athletic scholarships knows it’s not that easy. Athletes compete for scholarships and they have missed their chance to win a scholarship somewhere else.

129:

I found an interesting article about what’s actually taking place since Penn State football players became eligible to be recruited by other schools. I guess some are circling the campus like vultures. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/psu-alum-opposing-coaches-descend-upon-state-college-222600489--ncaaf.html

204:

You can’t help but feel sorry for the new head coach at Penn State.

Note from IWD: Prior to becoming head coach at Penn State in January, Bill O’Brien was offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. Here is the statement issued by O’Brien after the NCAA decision: "Today we receive a very harsh penalty from the NCAA and as Head Coach of the Nittany Lions football program, I will do everything in my power to not only comply, but help guide the University forward to become a national leader in ethics, compliance and operational excellence. I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes. I was then and I remain convinced that our student athletes are the best in the country. I could not be more proud to lead this team and these courageous and humble young men into the upcoming 2012 season. Together we are committed to building a better athletic program and university."

Here is a link to an open letter from the NCAA president before the ruling was issued: open letter from BCAA president http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/ncaa/resources/latest+news/20...

247:

Aside from all the talk about football, I was impressed with the connection between life and power/self image – Paterno dying so soon after the story came out – just like Mubarek falling ill so soon after being deposed. What is it that makes us cling to life or decide to give it up? How tenuous the strands that hold our bodies on earth.

227:

I DO NOT feel sorry for Graham Spanier. Whether he really "doesn't remember" getting any e-mails suggesting there was something wrong going on -- or he's using the oldest cop-out in the world -- the world doesn't need any more leaders of anything that are so caught up in being important that they ignore things they should be paying attention to. The problem of sexual abuse where he was supposedly in charge went on for a long time, he ignored it, and then he decided what needed protecting was the image of the football team.

060:

Graham Spanier was not on my radar until I read that comment in IWD (#097 posted August 23). I thought all the guilty parties would fade away into the background and we'd never hear from them again. But shortly after he began giving interviews to exonerate himself, I read that he has a new job -- working for the government on something related to national security. He must have friends in high places!

263:

If you want to see the strangest thing on twitter, use this link. http://twitter.com/GSpanierPSU It's pretending to be tweeted by Spanier himself, but it can't be, can it????

097:

It seems like a long time since Penn State was in the news, but now the president of the university, Graham Spanier, who was forced to resign because of the scandal, is giving interviews. You have to feel sorry for a guy whose subordinates kept the truth from him. He said he was the victim of abuse as a child so his instinct would have been to do something about it if he had known.

058:

I was wondering if, after the Penn State punishment, there would be any lingering impact on college sports in general. Would people a stop looking the other way at minor -- and even major -- rules infractions? It proved a good topic of discussion for my son and me -- he is a college athlete. He reads Sports Illustrated, I generally don't. But he sent me this article and it looks like the NCAA has raised the level of punishments it may hand down. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/08/02/ncaa-penalty-structure.ap/index.html

114:

SHAME, SHAME!!! It's all about GREED......the directors of PS need to face their just desserts. Was it worth sacrificing these children? SHAME.....it's almost too good of a word to use on these despicable guardians of children. And for a game?!! Our priorities need to be reassessed quickly. Yesterday's revelations has made me so angry. Heads need to roll. PS shouldn't have a football team going forward. That privilege should be taken away. I vent....

071:

I am disgusted and shocked at this scandal and at how it was covered up by university officials. What a black eye for sports all around. These vile people have robbed young kids of their innocence and youth. I think Penn State should lose their football program for 5 years. An example needs to be set with regards to this issue. This type of revolting behavior MUST not be tolerated ever again.
I am sure Joe Paterno was a good coach, but the fact he basically condoned such behavior by a member of his staff is unconscionable.

328:

Shame, shame, shame on Penn State. I do give the Penn State Board of Trustees credit for their fast action dismissing the President, Athletic Director, the legendary coach Joe Paterno and others. I hope that in the future the Board puts in safe-guards to protect other young people, both boys and girls. The worst part was that all involved thought only about the reputation of the school; they had no interest in what happened to these young boys. Perhaps what happened in Happy Valley was a case of an isolated school taking their reputation and sport success too seriously...perhaps they should get out of Happy Valley now and then and see what the rest of the world is about, there is more to life than football Saturday...

322:

When will male-dominated institutions like Football at Penn State and the Catholic church hierarchy stop protecting/hiding and moving around pedophiles?!!! Sexual assault by a trusted adult is such a betrayal, and then to have an entire institution ignore or actively suppress what is happening--it is certainly illegal and ethically wrong, so why do these cover-ups continue...

 

Note from IWD: On July 23, penalties rained down on Penn State. Some were symbolic: Coach Joe Paterno’s statue was removed from its prominent spot outside the stadium and a total of 111 victories earned by the Penn State football team between 1997 and 2011 were erased from the record, effectively dropping Paterno from being the “winningest” coach in college football to #7 on the list. Other penalties were financial: The university must pay $60 million over the course of five years and those funds will be used to support programs that treat young victims of sexual abuse. The football team is banned from competing in post-season bowl  games for four years and the number of available scholarships for football players has been significantly reduced. The Big Ten also withhold $13 million in conference bowl revenue and prohibit Penn State from completing in the Big 10 Championship Game for four years. The withheld funds will be donated to a fund for the protection of children.

015:

Many people are saying that this punishment sends a message to all schools where the football program is “too big to fail.” In my own experience as the mother of athletes, I’ve seen small examples – and not sexual – of coaches having offensive behavior or language that’s allowed to continue. Maybe this will trickle down in some way to people like that as well.

296:

Punish the offenders – I’m all for that.But I was distressed to learn that Penn State may lose its Aa1 credit rating. It is a great institution – for many reasons besides its football team – and it should not be brought to its knees.

Note from IWD: Here are some facts we found about Penn State outside of football:

  • U.S. News & World Report ranks Penn State # 45 among the nation’s colleges and universities
  • The School of Education ranks #26
  • The School of Engineering ranks #25
  • About 15,000 students volunteer in THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.
  • Penn State is involved in significant research projects. For example, Penn State scientists made a discovery about how viruses replicate themselves. It is considered an important step toward the improvement of existing vaccines, as well as toward the design of vaccines against viruses that have eluded vaccination strategies in the past. A team of Penn State researchers has developed field effect transistors using graphene and hexagonal boron nitride on a 75-millimeter wafer, a significant step toward graphene-based electronics. Graphene is the wonder material that could solve the problem of making ever faster computers and smaller mobile devices when current silicon microchip technology hits an inevitable wall. The SageGlass project is one of seven initial Opportunity Research Fund grants totaling $1.3 million awarded by GPIC to explore new integrated window and lighting systems for energy-efficient building design
  • Sports: The women's soccer team has won every Big Ten Championship since 1998; the women's volleyball team has 10 Big Ten Championship in the past 13 years.
037:

When something like this happens, it becomes difficult to punish the guilty without penalizing the innocent. Although the NCAA ruling permits any member of the football team to transfer schools without needing to sit out a year – anyone who’s dealt with college athletic scholarships knows it’s not that easy. Athletes compete for scholarships and they have missed their chance to win a scholarship somewhere else.

129:

I found an interesting article about what’s actually taking place since Penn State football players became eligible to be recruited by other schools. I guess some are circling the campus like vultures. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/psu-alum-opposing-coaches-descend-upon-state-college-222600489--ncaaf.html

204:

You can’t help but feel sorry for the new head coach at Penn State.

Note from IWD: Prior to becoming head coach at Penn State in January, Bill O’Brien was offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. Here is the statement issued by O’Brien after the NCAA decision: "Today we receive a very harsh penalty from the NCAA and as Head Coach of the Nittany Lions football program, I will do everything in my power to not only comply, but help guide the University forward to become a national leader in ethics, compliance and operational excellence. I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes. I was then and I remain convinced that our student athletes are the best in the country. I could not be more proud to lead this team and these courageous and humble young men into the upcoming 2012 season. Together we are committed to building a better athletic program and university."

Here is a link to an open letter from the NCAA president before the ruling was issued: open letter from BCAA president http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/ncaa/resources/latest+news/20...

247:

Aside from all the talk about football, I was impressed with the connection between life and power/self image – Paterno dying so soon after the story came out – just like Mubarek falling ill so soon after being deposed. What is it that makes us cling to life or decide to give it up? How tenuous the strands that hold our bodies on earth.

247:

Aside from all the talk about football, I was impressed with the connection between life and power/self image – Paterno dying so soon after the story came out – just like Mubarek falling ill so soon after being deposed. What is it that makes us cling to life or decide to give it up? How tenuous the strands that hold our bodies on earth.

204:

You can’t help but feel sorry for the new head coach at Penn State.

Note from IWD: Prior to becoming head coach at Penn State in January, Bill O’Brien was offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots. Here is the statement issued by O’Brien after the NCAA decision: "Today we receive a very harsh penalty from the NCAA and as Head Coach of the Nittany Lions football program, I will do everything in my power to not only comply, but help guide the University forward to become a national leader in ethics, compliance and operational excellence. I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes. I was then and I remain convinced that our student athletes are the best in the country. I could not be more proud to lead this team and these courageous and humble young men into the upcoming 2012 season. Together we are committed to building a better athletic program and university."

Here is a link to an open letter from the NCAA president before the ruling was issued: open letter from BCAA president http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/ncaa/resources/latest+news/20...

129:

I found an interesting article about what’s actually taking place since Penn State football players became eligible to be recruited by other schools. I guess some are circling the campus like vultures. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/psu-alum-opposing-coaches-descend-upon-state-college-222600489--ncaaf.html

037:

When something like this happens, it becomes difficult to punish the guilty without penalizing the innocent. Although the NCAA ruling permits any member of the football team to transfer schools without needing to sit out a year – anyone who’s dealt with college athletic scholarships knows it’s not that easy. Athletes compete for scholarships and they have missed their chance to win a scholarship somewhere else.

296:

Punish the offenders – I’m all for that.But I was distressed to learn that Penn State may lose its Aa1 credit rating. It is a great institution – for many reasons besides its football team – and it should not be brought to its knees.

Note from IWD: Here are some facts we found about Penn State outside of football:

  • U.S. News & World Report ranks Penn State # 45 among the nation’s colleges and universities
  • The School of Education ranks #26
  • The School of Engineering ranks #25
  • About 15,000 students volunteer in THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.
  • Penn State is involved in significant research projects. For example, Penn State scientists made a discovery about how viruses replicate themselves. It is considered an important step toward the improvement of existing vaccines, as well as toward the design of vaccines against viruses that have eluded vaccination strategies in the past. A team of Penn State researchers has developed field effect transistors using graphene and hexagonal boron nitride on a 75-millimeter wafer, a significant step toward graphene-based electronics. Graphene is the wonder material that could solve the problem of making ever faster computers and smaller mobile devices when current silicon microchip technology hits an inevitable wall. The SageGlass project is one of seven initial Opportunity Research Fund grants totaling $1.3 million awarded by GPIC to explore new integrated window and lighting systems for energy-efficient building design
  • Sports: The women's soccer team has won every Big Ten Championship since 1998; the women's volleyball team has 10 Big Ten Championship in the past 13 years.

015:

Many people are saying that this punishment sends a message to all schools where the football program is “too big to fail.” In my own experience as the mother of athletes, I’ve seen small examples – and not sexual – of coaches having offensive behavior or language that’s allowed to continue. Maybe this will trickle down in some way to people like that as well.

322:

When will male-dominated institutions like Football at Penn State and the Catholic church hierarchy stop protecting/hiding and moving around pedophiles?!!! Sexual assault by a trusted adult is such a betrayal, and then to have an entire institution ignore or actively suppress what is happening--it is certainly illegal and ethically wrong, so why do these cover-ups continue...

 

Note from IWD: On July 23, penalties rained down on Penn State. Some were symbolic: Coach Joe Paterno’s statue was removed from its prominent spot outside the stadium and a total of 111 victories earned by the Penn State football team between 1997 and 2011 were erased from the record, effectively dropping Paterno from being the “winningest” coach in college football to #7 on the list. Other penalties were financial: The university must pay $60 million over the course of five years and those funds will be used to support programs that treat young victims of sexual abuse. The football team is banned from competing in post-season bowl  games for four years and the number of available scholarships for football players has been significantly reduced. The Big Ten also withhold $13 million in conference bowl revenue and prohibit Penn State from completing in the Big 10 Championship Game for four years. The withheld funds will be donated to a fund for the protection of children.

328:

Shame, shame, shame on Penn State. I do give the Penn State Board of Trustees credit for their fast action dismissing the President, Athletic Director, the legendary coach Joe Paterno and others. I hope that in the future the Board puts in safe-guards to protect other young people, both boys and girls. The worst part was that all involved thought only about the reputation of the school; they had no interest in what happened to these young boys. Perhaps what happened in Happy Valley was a case of an isolated school taking their reputation and sport success too seriously...perhaps they should get out of Happy Valley now and then and see what the rest of the world is about, there is more to life than football Saturday...

071:

I am disgusted and shocked at this scandal and at how it was covered up by university officials. What a black eye for sports all around. These vile people have robbed young kids of their innocence and youth. I think Penn State should lose their football program for 5 years. An example needs to be set with regards to this issue. This type of revolting behavior MUST not be tolerated ever again.
I am sure Joe Paterno was a good coach, but the fact he basically condoned such behavior by a member of his staff is unconscionable.

114:

SHAME, SHAME!!! It's all about GREED......the directors of PS need to face their just desserts. Was it worth sacrificing these children? SHAME.....it's almost too good of a word to use on these despicable guardians of children. And for a game?!! Our priorities need to be reassessed quickly. Yesterday's revelations has made me so angry. Heads need to roll. PS shouldn't have a football team going forward. That privilege should be taken away. I vent....

058:

I was wondering if, after the Penn State punishment, there would be any lingering impact on college sports in general. Would people a stop looking the other way at minor -- and even major -- rules infractions? It proved a good topic of discussion for my son and me -- he is a college athlete. He reads Sports Illustrated, I generally don't. But he sent me this article and it looks like the NCAA has raised the level of punishments it may hand down. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/08/02/ncaa-penalty-structure.ap/index.html

097:

It seems like a long time since Penn State was in the news, but now the president of the university, Graham Spanier, who was forced to resign because of the scandal, is giving interviews. You have to feel sorry for a guy whose subordinates kept the truth from him. He said he was the victim of abuse as a child so his instinct would have been to do something about it if he had known.

263:

If you want to see the strangest thing on twitter, use this link. http://twitter.com/GSpanierPSU It's pretending to be tweeted by Spanier himself, but it can't be, can it????

060:

Graham Spanier was not on my radar until I read that comment in IWD (#097 posted August 23). I thought all the guilty parties would fade away into the background and we'd never hear from them again. But shortly after he began giving interviews to exonerate himself, I read that he has a new job -- working for the government on something related to national security. He must have friends in high places!

227:

I DO NOT feel sorry for Graham Spanier. Whether he really "doesn't remember" getting any e-mails suggesting there was something wrong going on -- or he's using the oldest cop-out in the world -- the world doesn't need any more leaders of anything that are so caught up in being important that they ignore things they should be paying attention to. The problem of sexual abuse where he was supposedly in charge went on for a long time, he ignored it, and then he decided what needed protecting was the image of the football team.

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