The past eight months or so have certainly not been a prideful time as a Penn State alumnus. And what is still to come isn’t something we honestly look forward to enduring. Daily poundings in the media, leaks of information even more damning than what came prior and the continuous tearing down of something we all hold dear have all been difficult to witness. To keep things in perspective, however, we all know that what those of us with Pennsylvania State University on our diplomas face pales in comparison to the decade or two that the victims have had to live with what was done to them, and the decades still to come.
That’s why I find it puzzling that the current debate is centered around a statue, and the legacy of dead man. Joe Paterno did many things with honor and integrity, and unless we learn differently, those do not simply vanish.
Those things are important still no longer because of Paterno, but because of those positively affected past, present and future - the young men who may never have graduated elsewhere and who formed relationships vital to who they became, and the students learning in a library funded in part privately by the Paterno family as well as by a campaign they lead to collect donations.
The legacy is written, however. The harm caused by a handful of secretive, power-hungry and ineffectual men, as well as one perverse monster, is immeasurable. One is going to rot the rest of his pathetic life in prison, one is dead, and the others will pay dearly for their lack of comprehending right and wrong. The University will monetarily pay dearly for what these few scabs have done.
But nothing fixes anything already done at this point. No amount of money undoes the hurt inflicted. No amount of punishment to those implicit in allowing the abuse to continue is enough.
And no amount of punishment to the the University going forward solves any problems. The curtain has been pulled back. We all now see who and where the problems were. I’m certain this has already had a positive impact on other major universities with influential athletic programs, correcting even the most minor instances of corruption and inappropriate influence. Nobody should continue to think they’re above answering for their decisions and actions, or lack thereof, no matter how many trophies they’ve been given, or how many buildings display their name.
Yes, the NCAA can shut down the football program, negatively impacting one hundred or so young men who had nothing to do with this. This would surely have a trickle-down impact on other, less high-profile student athletes and programs as well, who would surely see budget cuts to, or the elimination of, their athletic programs.
I don’t see how this is the answer, considering how far-reaching the negative impact would be on young men and women who have worked very hard academically and athletically to get to this point. They have done nothing to deserve such a punishment.
All anyone can do is wish it all never happened, learn from the mistakes made, support abuse victims everywhere, support prevention and awareness programs and make goddamned sure such a lack of institutional control never allows something like this to happen again.
We Are! Penn State! The ‘men’ who let this happen are not.
“As long as I have run those companies, not one gallon of polluted water went into a Commonwealth stream — period,” C. Alan Walker, a coal industry mogul and wealthy donor to Pennsylvania’s Republican Party told the Patriot News last month.
However, a review of court documents, state records and of Mr. Walker’s own statements since the late 1970s revealed at least 15 cases in which his businesses polluted the state’s waterways.
“Didn’t George Bush go to the United Nations? Didn’t George — Weren’t there how many resolutions before George Bush decided to act? You know, didn’t George Bush talk about the humanitarian toll and the death and the brutality of Saddam Hussein? Then what’s the difference here?” - Sean Hannity, March 28th, 2011.
Answer: The UN approved action in Libya, but did not in Iraq. Nice attempt to rewrite history and mislead your audience, Sean. Plain and simple intentional dishonesty in an attempt to argue a point. Disgusting.
Another new beginning here at poofle.com, a site that began on April 30th, 2001 and was fairly active for the first six years of its life. But a lot happened in 2007. And I believe I lost my voice somewhere in having my daughter and losing my father on the same day, moving to a new city, changing jobs twice and experiencing what, in hindsight, was a very blurry multi-year roller coaster ride.
That’s not to say this new beginning means that I’ve found my voice. But two nights ago, I felt a strong urge to try to find it again.
That’s when I found out my web host decommissioned the server on which my site was hosted sometime about 5 months ago, and had no backups present for any content on my site. I don’t believe that the Internet ever forgets, but I don’t see evidence that Google readily remembers anything I’ve said before either. But I’ve found it out there, sadly being reminded I seem to have launched this site with a one-liner about Little Nicky that was amazingly less interesting than the moving itself. If I keep reading those archives, I’ll cringe to death.
I honestly believe that this all is a good thing, and look forward to the fresh start. So to those of you who followed along with my tunnel-visioned political rants, bathroom humor or unnecessarily personal stories (I remember some of what I may have written), thanks for playing a part in what was a rewarding ‘artistic’ experience for me. I can’t promise this will be anything like what it was, be in any way entertaining or provide anything more worthwhile than the majority of hollow text any person with a keyboard is producing. But I’ll try.