I Am... Penn State...

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I am…  so many things that I can’t list them all.  But let me name a few.  Disgusted, shocked, ashamed, humiliated, angry.

I am a Penn State grad class of 2000.  While I don’t talk about it all the time and I’m not constantly rah-rah-ing about my choice of higher educational institution, I have always been very proud to be counted among the Penn State Alumni base.  Penn State Nation.  It is one of the things in my life I am the most proud of.

Having that stripped away…  I feel almost like I’ve lost a part of my identity.  And it’s one of those things that you never really know how much a part of you it is until it’s gone.

I am not proud of my alma mater anymore.  I don’t know if I will ever be proud of it again.

By now the news has gone national.  Maybe even global as it seems like Penn State grads are everywhere.

I’m completely dumbfounded.  And so despondent for these victims of these heinous acts.  For those not of the faint of heart here is the grand jury report.

While I know the athletic director and his co-worker or whatever were the ones indicted , I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Joe Paterno.  St. Joe.  And it KILLS ME to say that.  Along with my Philly sports I don’t miss a Penn State football game.  I do the cheers from my couch.  My husband thinks I’m a big dork.

But he KNEW and yes, he did his legal duty and followed the protocol for such a situation.  But that’s IT.  That’s IT.  Are you KIDDING ME?  We’re talking about Joe Paterno.  Should he not be held to a higher standard?  He’s run a fantastic program.  Full of unspoken morality and always seemed to do it the “right way”  and now this?  Seriously?  How?  HOW?   How did he sleep at night?  How did he look at himself in the morning?  How did he WATCH Sandusky continue to surround himself with boys and not do a thing?  How?

To me, the Joe Paterno that *I* thought he was would have gone in there to the AD and said, “This is happening, you’re going to do something about it and if I hear that nothing is being done about it I’m going straight to the authorities.”  But he didn’t.  HE DIDN’T.  Why?  We’re talking about children… CHILDREN.  These aren’t 18 – 21 year old men being victimized who could beat the crap out of someone.  These were kids.   And not just regular kids… at risk kids…  kids that probably didn’t have a home life where they could say what was happening and have their dad come beat Sandusky into oblivion.  Because that’s what a dad would do.  Mine would have.

And I have to hold Mike McQueary in contempt, too.  He was 28.  And if you’ve seen a Penn State game he’s the redhead with the headset on the sideline.  He’s not a little guy.  He SAW this activity and why he didn’t rush in and rescue the kid on the spot still boggles my mind.  And while he was a graduate assistant then, he’s a full blown assistant coach now.  He was there the whole time, too, and saw Sandusky continue to be with kids and did nothing.

How many victims wouldn’t have been victims had some thing been done at all the way it was supposed to be done.  Sandusky should have been in handcuffs 9 years ago…  maybe even 13 years ago.  And right now there’s 8 kids.  I know most of them aren’t kids now, but they were then and I guarantee you we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg.  Today it’s 8.  Next week it’ll probably be 18.

While I am disgusted by the actions of Sandusky I understand that he is a sick man.  I am infuriated and enraged by the INACTION of so many others.

Penn State has always been a proud institution, it should have always remained a proud institution.  And it could have if this would have been nipped in the bud immediately.  But instead it was covered up, shushed up and thrown under the carpet and there are Lord knows how many men and teens out there whose lives will never be the same.  Never.

I’m not anyone to anyone, but I’m calling for the resignation of Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno and Mike McQueary.  Right now.  Effective immediately.  (At the time of this post Paterno has announced his retirement at the end of the season - not sson enough, Spanier is expected to be fired today and McQueary's resignation is expected imminently.)  

They’ve allowed a legacy to be ruined, a school to be cloaked in shame for who knows how long and children in the most need of a safe place and understanding to be victimized in ways that are incomprehensible.

They allowed the wolf to tend the flock.  And it’s absolutely inexcusable.  Anyone standing up for Paterno just because he’s St. Joe should be ashamed.   He’s single-handedly disgraced us all.

We’re talking about CHILDREN.  When it comes down to it I know it’s not about a legacy, it’s not about an era, it’s not about a school and it’s not about football.  It’s about children.

They were just children.

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