Today, I turn to Mister Rogers for comfort:
The values we care about the deepest, and the movements within society that support those values, command our love. When those things that we care about so deeply become endangered, we become enraged. And what a healthy thing that is! Without it, we would never stand up and speak out for what we believe.
I did not go to Penn State. Although, ever since I was a little girl I said I wanted to go there. When I entered high school, I swore up and down that I was going to be in the Blue Band. My parents said I could not choose a school because of their marching band, even though I also really wanted to be a part of a school with a winning football team, unlike my high school’s football team.
My dad went to Penn State and so did a few of my uncles. I have many friends who also attended the university, a few of which were in the Blue Band. Sadly, I never was able to go; I didn’t even apply.
My heart aches for those children who suffer because of the wrongs carried out by a few men. Those men should be punished, and already have been. The university should not have to pay the ultimate price of losing their passion, their voice, their Penn State. When most people think of Penn State, they think of great football. That greatness has been threatened by the mistakes of people whom are not even in the Penn State picture anymore.
I went to visit Penn State, once, a few years ago. I was able to eat at the creamery, sit on the infamous Nittany Lion statue, and walk the same sidewalks my dad did when he was in college. I did not get to see the Joe Paterno statue , and now, I never will. It should not have been taken down, and I hope that one day it will be put back up. You can take away the statue, but you can’t take away the memories.
Are they going to decide to change the library’s name next week, even though Rodney Erickson said it’ll remain the same? Joe Pa can not be erased from Penn State’s history books, or out of our hearts, but can he be taken out of the College Football Hall of Fame?
Yes, Joe Paterno should have said more, way more, but he is gone, and he can not stand up for himself anymore. He knows that he didn’t do the right thing, and that can not be changed: not now, not ever.
I am at loss for words when I think about the NCAA taking away 111 wins from Paterno between the years of 1998 and 2011. The wins are not only being taken away from Joe Paterno, but from the entire Penn State community. Not only are wins being taken away, but also scholarships; scholarships that belong to well-deserving athletes. Yes, they can go to other schools, and probably will, but what if it was their dream to go to Penn State? What if that’s what they wanted to do ever since they were little?
I understand there has to be repercussions for this awful event that has affected many lives, but why should the students, who had absolutely nothing to do with the incident, have to suffer? Why should players of the past have wins taken away from them: wins they worked hard for? Why should the players not be able to participate in bowl games for four years? What GOOD is that doing? I know an example has to be set in regards to doing the right thing, but how is this “doing the right thing?”
Nothing can change what Sandusky did; it was wrong, unfair, and disgusting. Those children haven’t been and never will be the same. I just don’t understand how punishing the entire University is making the pain of the victims and their families disappear. As the old saying goes, “Two wrongs do not make a right.”
They ask me what I’d like written about me when I’m gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place not just that I was a good football coach. – Joe Paterno, December 21, 1926 – January 22, 2012, beloved Penn State coach from 1950 to 2011. Most winningest college football coach, with 409 wins, prior to having 111 games taken away from his legacy, now leaving him as number 12 on the list, with 298 wins.