Struggling to find the proper perspective on the Penn State scandal

Forum: College Football
Author: [College Football] Topic: Struggling to find the proper perspective on the Penn State scandal
Josh_Nagel PM Josh_Nagel
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Posted: 11/15/2011 2:09:12 PM

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said he believed Penn State, amid the controversy engulfing its campus and football program, should have canceled last Saturday’s game against the Cornhuskers.

This is the same guy who seemed to think there was nothing wrong with verbally lambasting his then-19-year-old freshman quarterback last year in front of a national television audience.

In both cases, he couldn’t have been more wrong. Canning the game would have accomplished little other than penalizing a group of college football players who have no connection with Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant coach who is facing allegations of child sexual abuse.

If there’s one thing we should learn from this whole ordeal, it’s that the proper perspective is hard to come by. Yes, we need to stop and take stock of ourselves and acknowledge that there are more important things in life than a college football game.

We also have to make sure we don’t veer too far the other way. The Sandusky scandal already has cost a lot of people their jobs, reputations and potentially jeopardized their personal safety.

Some of which is deserved, but I’m not sure the fallout has been falling on the right people. Least of whom, Joe Paterno. The legendary coach now has to go out on someone else’s terms instead of his own, and sympathy for Joe Pa has been hard to come by because the consensus seems to be he “should have done more.”

I guess this depends on your definition. I’m here to argue the coach did enough and his superiors, the AD and president who also lost their jobs, should more so be the target of the incessant – and mostly justified -- outrage that has been thrust toward Penn State because of this incident.

The notion that Sandusky should be presumed innocent is an awfully thin one, even for my open-minded nature. The evidence appears to be overwhelming and damning, and the former coach did himself no favors last night in a horrifying interview with Bob Costas in which he repeatedly hesitated to answer questions about his level of attraction to children.

Still, it’s too easy to jump to conclusions and assume blind eyes were turned and arrangements were made in order to protect the reputation of Paterno and uphold the sacrilege of Penn State football. This might have happened, but it doesn’t mean Paterno was in on it.

From all accounts Paterno, who is not under investigation for any wrongdoing, relayed the incident reported by an assistant coach and took it to his superiors.

From my experience, this is the protocol in just about every employment setting in the country. If you felt harassed in the workplace, would you contact the FBI or your HR representative?

Paterno essentially did the latter, took steps to fire Sandusky, and I think it’s unfair to assume he could have or should have done more when none of us were there to see what took place. It appears that his superiors are the ones who really dropped the ball here, no pun intended.

Even so, it seems the general public and even Penn State students are so enraged by the charges against Sandusky that they’re not sure who deserves their ire, and perhaps it’s a question that doesn’t have a black-and-white answer.

When news of Paterno’s firing came down last week, it was fascinating to watch coverage of the rioting on Penn State’s campus. What appeared at first to be a show of blind support for their beloved football coach turned out to be something else entirely.

At least half the students interviewed said they supported the decision to fire the coach and any administrator connected to the case.

Why, then, were they out on the streets, vandalizing vehicles and engaging in potentially dangerous mayhem? Some of them struggled to find an answer, other than the incident couldn’t help but inspire anger on many levels, and this seemed like a good way to vent.

I’m not sure playing the game against Nebraska equated to any sort of healing, as some who took part suggested, but I’m pretty sure nixing it would have unnecessarily punished players and fans who didn’t deserve it.  

Ag87 PM Ag87
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Posted: 11/15/2011 2:33:35 PM
Dude. Really? This is a gambling forum. I am so sick of all the threads on this garbage. It will all take care of itself. Go to the Midol website and post this garbage on its "Feelings" forum.
MastaLock PM MastaLock
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Posted: 11/15/2011 3:22:39 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by Ag87:

Dude. Really? This is a gambling forum. I am so sick of all the threads on this garbage. It will all take care of itself. Go to the Midol website and post this garbage on its "Feelings" forum.


Iam sure it says College football.. and Not College football gambling..

he can use this forum for whatever he wants if you dont like it then dont look at it. 
Kraze PM Kraze
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Posted: 11/15/2011 3:41:48 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by MastaLock:



Iam sure it says College football.. and Not College football gambling..

he can use this forum for whatever he wants if you dont like it then dont look at it. 

 

It actually says " Sports Betting Forum " Under the Forum index

This stuff belongs in General Discussion.

Cooler999 PM Cooler999
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Posted: 11/15/2011 3:46:23 PM
Why, then, were they out on the streets, vandalizing vehicles and engaging in potentially dangerous mayhem? Some of them struggled to find an answer, other than the incident couldn’t help but inspire anger on many levels, and this seemed like a good way to vent.


Nope!...In every cause there's always the bad element that sees a "FREE PASS" to do whatever they want to do. Including...beating the garbage out of someone.....burning cars or buildings......stealing stuff from stores.

They somehow feel entitled to create this mayhem under the guise and protection of the cause.
tjohnsont PM tjohnsont
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Posted: 11/15/2011 3:51:53 PM
QUOTE Originally Posted by MastaLock:



Iam sure it says College football.. and Not College football gambling..

he can use this forum for whatever he wants if you dont like it then dont look at it. 

It does say 'sports betting forum'.  If you want to get technical.  So he is right.

This junk belongs in general discussions.  No one cares about a child molestor and how half of the staff and some students probably knew about this for many years.  Hundreds of people would probably be in jail if it was illegal to have no morals.   So who cares- our job is to win money, it's the police's job to figure out the crime.

evilelvis PM evilelvis
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Posted: 11/15/2011 7:24:09 PM

All should have done more..from Joe Pa to the school pres and anyone else that knew about this predator's actions. With that being said, you do not penalize the Penn State football players that had nothing to do with this action or lack of action. Let them play. If advertisers want to cancel, fine. If televising then game gets canceled, fine. But let the players play their games. 

crocnzeeba PM crocnzeeba
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Posted: 11/15/2011 9:22:31 PM

Josh, enjoy your work here and at the RGJ.

Eventually, what actually happened as far as who at Penn State reported what to whom, and when, will come out.  Until then all we can do is speculate, which is pointless. 

As far as the psychology of college kids rioting, I know a bit about that subject.  I worked and taught at Chico State for more than a decade, and shortly before I got there students rioted twice, I believe in 1989 and 1991.

There usually isn't a concrete "reason" for rioting, it's just a release of pent-up post-adolescent energy and anger.  Inevitably alcohol is involved, which leads to reduced inhibitions and atypical behavior.

But more than that, the experience of being AWAY at college makes all of the difference.  In Chico, at least, the overwhelming majority of students come from towns far, far away.  This gives them a psychological distance from the rules and standards they grew up around.  In other words, when students are away at college they will behave in ways they never would if they were still in their home towns, where people know them and their parents.  Young adulthood is almost always a time when people question the restraints they've grown up with, and push back against those conventions.  Once you get a mob of drunk, dumb kids who are primed to "lash out," well, you get what we saw at Penn St. the other night.

Oh, and, ummm, Georgia Tech -9.5

 

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