Sara Whitman

Penn State: Get a Grip

Filed By Sara Whitman | November 12, 2011 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living
Tags: child exploitation, child molestation, McQueary, Palermo, Penn State, Sandusky

How many children need to be raped before a University does something? Who could watch a child be raped and do nothing? Nothing at all?

I see something like that? I'm getting a baseball bat penn-state-logo.jpegor the heaviest object near me and I'm stopping it. Then, I'm going to the police. But I do not wait and go to my boss.

If someone was murdered, would you wait to tell your boss? Or do you call 9-1-1?

What football program is more important than reporting directly to the police a crime?

My god, what is wrong with this country? Full disclosure: I am a football fan. Love watching, playing, and I've been a Penn State fan for years. My grandfather went there, left a large donation and there's some plaque by a pond on campus with his name on it. I have always respected the graduation rates of football players from Penn State.

Paterno knew for years. Years. Not a week, or a month, but long enough to have stopped the pain for many more victims. He could have stopped a predator.

But he didn't.

I'm suppose to sit here and shed a tear for him? I don't care what he did for how many years. He made a choice. Did any of the kids make the choice to be raped? To have their whole lives shattered? Their trust and innocence taken away forever?

Students rioting over Paterno's firing can go visit a rape trauma center for children and decide if their precious football coach is more important. The football season at Penn State should be over. And over forever.

The purpose of a University is to teach and develop young minds to enhance and further our society. There was a time when football was a fun diversion, a source of pride. Now it's about big time dollars, contracts and televised glory. It has no place on any college campus anywhere in this country.

Because when the loss of a coach who broke the law causes outrage, a coach who did more than break the law, who ignored a heinous, disgusting crime, we have lost our way. Power dynamics around money in college sports have warped people's sense of morality.

But it's deeper than that. It's about the culture of football that has become larger than life. It's about a game that has become much more than a game. I can only wonder why McQuery didn't immediately call the police or stop the crime. Why? Was Sandusky that precious?

I doubt it. It was about the program.

The Trustees of Penn State did the right thing. I love football. I've been a Penn State fan for a long time. I'm not sure I can ever watch a game again without thinking of this crime.

To those protesting? Get a grip. Get a goddamn grip.


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Right on, Sara. You've said it better than anyone else I've seen.

Jaime Dunaway Jaime Dunaway | November 12, 2011 12:29 PM

I've a problem too with some claiming that he didn't do anything and shouldn't have been fired, but that was the whole point, he didn't do anything...

The whole thing is just disgusting and disturbing.

I hadn't followed this so I searched and found articles on the grand jury charges. 8 victims and they all were between 10 and 15 years old when molested (one was 8 when he first met Sandusky). Perhaps others will surface. I had wondered if the victims were prospective Penn State recruits and maybe 17 or even 18 years old. That clearly was not the case. Yes, we are talking about children.

"The purpose of a University is to teach and develop young minds to enhance and further our society. There was a time when football was a fun diversion, a source of pride. Now it's about big time dollars, contracts and televised glory. It has no place on any college campus anywhere in this country."

In what alternate reality do you live in? Universities are financial ventures. Gatekeepers to financial bracket advancement in one of the most well contrived rackets in this country.

Universities are not for student enrichment. That's a side-effect from necessary marketing. Students are just financial fuel for the more mundane running costs and serve as bait for endowments and funds the university can in turn use to attract hefty federal fund bucks from research.

Indentured servant factories will never under any circumstances place the well-being of individuals over the very image that keeps the institution running financially.

Annette Gross Annette Gross | November 12, 2011 5:30 PM

I am not, nor have ever been, a football fan. I don't drool over sports events and lose sleep over who wins or loses. I know millions of people do, but not me. I am a product of the 60's. I saw students protest the Viet Nam War. I saw students march in the Civil Rights Movement. I was at Kent State that fateful week in May, 1970 when four students were murdered protesting the bombing of Cambodia. I have marched and rallied for the pro-choice movement and gay rights movement. But to see the Penn State students riot because they fired a pedophile rapist is beyond comprehension! How important can football be compared to the life of a child? Are these future parents? Are these future leaders? If so, our country is doomed! We deserve better than this! What are these students learning, and from whom?

As someone who was the leader for an anti war group in college, I recall that it felt like pulling teeth to get other students (outside of the small number involved in the group) to even care in the slightest about what was going on in Iraq or Afghanistan. So my reaction to the Penn State riots was pretty much the same as yours. Of all the things to protest...

*stands and applauds*

The story turned my stomach. But watching those kids riot over a football coach instead of the victims made me sick.

"My god, what is wrong with this country?"

Seems as if we have returned to the days of ancient Rome and the gladiators. Our gladiators fight under Friday night lights or in the colossal stadia of university and professional teams on Saturdays and Sundays. The "glads" are our heroes and can do no wrong. The amount lavished upon them either in scholarships or in salaries gives some the impression that they are above the law. Further evidence of the dumbing-down of America.

Many years ago when I taught on the university level, my classroom budget figured out to be about 25 cents per student per year. The amount per gladiator, however, was thousands per. I shudder to think about the contrast today.

Paige Listerud | November 13, 2011 1:30 PM

When Penn State acts like the Catholic Church, you know that there's trouble.