Jul 272012
 

Let’s be frank here- This was not good for the school. Despite Spanier’s asinine claims, in the face of overwhelming evidence, that he didn’t know what was going on… he did. They all did.

However, this completely and utterly disgusting cover-up was, most probably, restricted to the higher-ups in power.

My point is, this scandal, and the subsequent penalties enacted by the NCAA, in no way takes away from the accomplishments of the many football players who took to the field during those sordid years. In fact, it doesn’t take away any of the many accolades earned by many of the student athletes. In fact, it doesn’t, in any way, lessen the hard-won (if terribly expensive) advancement in personal knowledge and skill from the many students who trod the hallways of Penn State and earned their degrees during that near decade-and-a-half. In fact, it doesn’t detract from the great discoveries made by departments doing research in the sciences, humanities, and other fields. It definitely does not touch the thousands of excellent professors who have put their time in educating so many of those students. Nor does it have anything to do with Penn State’s support staff of all departments.

But, here’s the thing. Penn State really IS an insular community. You know it. I know it. And if the rest of the world didn’t recognize that before, they definitely see it now.

And when you insist on tagging every comment in defense of PSU with a “WE ARE”, you are just reinforcing the idea (however misguided) perpetuated by the student riots when Paterno was fired, and countless others since (and up until this day), that the Penn State Community just doesn’t get it. That they don’t understand the severity of these crimes, and that these crimes definitely overshadow the personal record of a coach who allowed a child molester to run free in order to protect the image of his beloved football program.

Listen, I know many of you do get it. I know, first hand, that a few don’t. But most of  you do.

But if Penn State is to weather this crisis without having its reputation tarnished FOREVER then, seriously, lay off the “WE ARE” for a while.

Continue to fight the good fight. Continue to calmly remind everyone that Penn State is not a bunch of blindly loyal idiots. Continue telling them of the great (if terribly expensive) education and research that is done there.

But stop with the “WE ARE” until the dust is settled. You think you may be showing pride, but the rest of the world associates this phrase with the stupidly naive solidarity that many students, alumni, faculty, and others expressed in the early days of this debacle.

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