Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pissed and embarrassed

My master's degree is from Penn State. I lived in Happy Valley for almost 18 months, 15 of them getting the degree and 3 working at a job I ended up hating. I've never had any huge love for the school, but I generally have fond memories of it, and I met a lifelong friend there.

I mention this because I'm pissed the child-raping scandal at Penn State has left me angry at the school and, irrationally, embarrassed at having ever been associated with it.

I understand that there's always a chance the allegations will prove to be unfounded, but based on the university's actions, I believe that's highly unlikely. (Ref., for example, this sports-oriented article. Or this one.)

Fans are feeling sorry for good old Joe Paterno. Fuck that. I have no sympathy. When you learn that an adult man has been raping a child, you don't call your bosses and shrug. You fire the guy, call the police, tell your bosses, and help the kid. You stop the abuse. I don't care if the abuser is your best friend or the most important person in your company; you stop the abuse. Period.

Fans are worrying over whether this event will color Paterno's great football record. I sure hope it does. He turned a blind eye to a man raping a child. He deserves all the suffering life can heap on him.

Fuck Joe Paterno and all the other gutless Penn State football and administrative staff who let this child raping continue. They deserve no sympathy. The raped child (or children, as it may well be) deserve our sympathy and our help.

The adults who let it happen deserve only our condemnation and the harshest penalties the law can throw at them.


J. Griffin Barber said...

Damn straight!

Michelle said...

I heartily agree. And, even though the unnamed grad student that witnessed it went to Joe, he should have called 911 immediately. I do hope he stopped what was going on and didn't just quietly walk away before telling Paterno. I blame everyone. From the grad student to the president. Let's face it, at Penn State, the hierarchy is Joe Paterno, Football, President, school. That rapist should be in jail. Period. Sorry, Penn State, you blew it. Yes, it will leave a stain on a long career. As it should.

Anonymous said...

He wished he did more? Why, because now it's known you did nothing? Board of Trustees should not waste anytime on my future because I told them I will retire at the end of the year? How's that working out? I have my own kids and grandkids? I'm sure they are real proud of Joe Pa now. We could go on and on. Now the missing DA and he hired a defense lawyer? This sounds like the plot of a novel. Man, it makes me sick to know it was going on....And lets not forget the ass't coach who witnessed it in the locker room, was 28 years old at the time and turned and walked out to go call his father for advise....WTF.....Get the kid out bust the coaches jaw and then go report it....How can he sleep at night....Can not get my thoughts around this whole thing...Hope your feeling good after the medical issues....Best.......Chris.....

Mark said...

Every single person involved should have stopped this. Their behavior is reprehensible.

Michael said...

As a 2005 graduate of Penn State, I feel the need to speak up on this. You may not have had 'huge love' for the school, but I have. I spent 5 years attending classes at Penn State, though most of those were at a satellite campus, and gained a great deal of knowledge and experience from those years. Penn State is an institution of growth and learning. One thing they have always valued over the years is that academics are more important than athletics, and Joe Paterno led by example in that. He always held his athletes to high academic standards, and he gave back a lot to the university to increase it's capacity to impart knowledge to it's student body.

The events of this past week have certainly enraged me, and my wife who is also a Penn State grad. We can in no way condone or defend the abuse of a child because of the values imparted on us by our parents and mentors. Including mentors that work for Penn State. It is hard to fathom that men who lecture to us to always behave with honor and integrity could not do the same themselves. It is equally hard to explain in words the mix of emotions that this whole situation generates in all of the students and alumni of Penn State.

We want to believe that JoePa, who has been such a shining mentor over the years did not knowingly cover up such a scandal.

We want to believe that the men in power at our university have the integrity that they teach us to have in all our actions.

We want to believe that we as Penn State students, alumni, and teachers are a family. A family that cares, supports each other, and passes down strong values to the next generation.

We want to continue to be seen as a shining example of what a university should be. In both academics, athletics, research, charity, ect ...

When I look at Penn State I see the largest dues paying alumni association in the world. Those contributions provide for enhancements to the university that in turn give better learning experiences to new students. I see a university that continually gives back to the world with numerous charitable organizations. Every year Penn State students organize the largest student run charity event in THON. This organization raises millions of dollars towards care and research of pediatric cancer.

The events that have come to light this past week are contradictory to the values and teachings that I have received over the years from Penn State. That contradiction makes it hard to swallow. One of the things that Joe has always done is to hold his players accountable for their actions. Now he will have to do the same.

You say you are pissed, and I agree. You say you are embarrassed to be associated with the university, and that's where we differ. Penn State University is more than a football team, a coach, or even a president. Penn State is the sum of it's teachers, students, alumni, and organizations. It's because of this that I say I am still proud to be a Penn Stater. We will pick ourselves out of the mud, we will make changes, we will carry on with our values and teachings that are noble and just.


... and that will never change.

Mark said...

Michael, you raise fair points. I enjoyed my time at Penn State, and I see many good things remain about it.

That said, all evidence currently suggests that Paterno did knowingly cover it up, as did many others--and not once, but for many children. The corruption ran throughout the football program and higher, and the reason was almost certainly the power of the football program. I find the horrible, horrible behavior.

I must be fair, though, that on a campus with tens of thousands of students, at least hundreds of faculty, and more administrators, most were in no way involved.

I am still ashamed of what happened there, but I have to agree that coloring the school as a whole with the actions of this group is not fair.


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