They definitely are… Penn State

They are… Penn State.

But they (including football) are less than that right now.

They are… Penn State.

And they aren’t who we thought they were.

They are… Penn State.

And they have to be wishing right now that instead, on their hands is a Ponzi or tattoo scheme or kids cheating on tests just to get into the college. Actually, they’re wishing none of this ever happened.

They are… Penn State.

And they are in the middle of a horrid mess that will go down as the most infamous piece of news in NCAA history that not only closes the book on a very bad ending to a legendary career, it hangs an unavoidable black cloud over the university forever and ultimately – and this is the most disappointing of all – unfortunately brings light to the fact that Jerry Sandusky sexually abused little boys.

Which makes the firing of Joe Paterno so easy. Penn State had no choice.

What’s ironic about Joe is that he ran such a clean program. We never really heard about NCAA violations and scandals.

I think many pegged Joe Paterno to stay there till his death. That’s how I envisioned it. I figured Joe Paterno would die at the helm and be praised as the greatest coach of all-time.

That’s where I’m sure a part of us almost wished Paterno could escape these allegations, besides seeing justice served to Sandusky and the victims, first and foremost.

Paterno touched no kid. He made no sexual advance on little boys as Sandusky disgustingly did.

Paterno literally committed no crime himself. But morally, Paterno didn’t make the right steps when the University didn’t. And that’s what ultimately cost him. Paterno helped the problem along. And that’s why he’s gone.

He even admits there was more he could’ve done.

Joe, you could have. Whether you’re 84 or 24, 19 or 7. Anyone knows right and wrong.

I remember two years ago I was out walking my sister’s dog near Wrigley Field on a beautiful September afternoon. The day took a turn when I spotted a man slapping what I presumed to be his girlfriend in the face on a street corner just blocks from the stadium.

If I didn’t have the dog with me, I would have beaten the guy up. Immediately, I dialed 911 and Chicago police were on the scene within 10 minutes. I was hoping it was quicker since I had just scene a patrol on Clark street.

When police arrived to the scene they walked over to the couple, who were still across the street from me sitting against a building. They talked with them for a few minutes and then walked back to the squad car.

No dude in handcuffs, nothing.

I approached the cop in disbelief and told to him I was the individual who made the call and I asked why the guy wasn’t in cuffs. I told him I literally witnessed the creep hit the woman. I mean, why else would I call?

The cop, as smug as he was, told me the woman never mentioned she was slapped and has no reason to press charges. If there isn’t any substance they could go off and the woman didn’t want to file a complain, there was nothing they could do.

He told me to go home and pursue it no more. I walked off with my heart sunken. I couldn’t believe it.

Joe Pa could have called police when the University failed him. Paterno did do the right thing at first. He did turn it over to the University, who then slipped it under the rug for only God knows why.

Paterno in turn allowed the abuse to continue and all the while, he went back to coaching Penn State as if it never happened. Morally, we know that’s not allowed. You see something or hear something, you tell. For all I know, Paterno didn’t use his best judgment, a judgment so important to the moral code of humanity.

Penn State students against the firing: there’s your reason why he was fired. They also obviously did for the good of the university, and by gosh do they need it.

I’m still not quite sure why Paterno has stuck to his guns that he’s more so innocent of these actions. The idea that he didn’t even want to step down as coach goes to show you his priorities.

Paterno was right by going to the university. But where’s his rationale to stand behind not doing anything else?

Football has become secondary and rightfully so. This is a no-brainer. Journalism ethics can point to why this isn’t a football story anymore.

But you have to wonder if this was under the rug at Penn State – for crying out loud, they’re not even the top Big Ten school – what’s under the rugs of other schools?

Not to make an attack, but Notre Dame pops up in my head immediately. What do they have under their campus? It makes you really want to dig something up in South Bend as well (if the NCAA can afford something else).

Man, the NCAA has taken a hit this year. Miami’s Ponzi scheme, Ohio State’s tattoo issues that just like Paterno, ousted Jim Tressel. While Miami’s is still a big deal, both fail into comparison with Penn State. And I believe we’ve hit the tip of the iceberg with illegal activities.

There’s more widespread that we don’t know about. And that’s scary, too. But this one. Ah this one. This one  is going to hang with Penn State forever. It’ll hang with us forever. Penn State and the NCAA will never be the same. Mark 2011 as the start of the NCAA’s demise. It’s coming.

That’s why I couldn’t take seeing the kids rioting in State College last night. Some of the brightest kids looked just plain dumb last night. They turned over a station’s satellite truck. Some of them were arrested. Many were pepper sprayed. Only a few had the correct knowledge and opinion of the situation but they were rudely interrupted by idiots.

Makes me wonder who’s actually bright in college these days and how they get in. I thought the Vancouver Canucks just lost the Stanley Cup. This was as ugly as the Sedin brothers.

Penn State will live with this. They’re going to live with it without Joe Paterno and with his name all over campus. The University must cut all ties with anyone involving Paterno on campus – even if it’s unjustified. The name of the library, the countless trophies and records – that one is still a hot button topic that I think should be left to preserve records – but now to also reflect on what a college did wrong. It’s not a football thing gone wrong. It’s a Big Ten university gone wrong.

One might ask, why would a university sweep this under the rug? 

Obviously to avoid what’s happening right now. Scrutiny from the media. Immorality. Bad street cred. The sheer fact that they’ve done anything wrong.

Sandusky’s wrong doings, Paterno’s inability to inform and a Penn State’s ignorance will affect attendance and enrollment. This will affect advertising. Sponsorship. Boosters. Ticket sales. Morale. Donations. Everything. Everything involving money. Because it’s always about the money. It’s always about self-image.

Penn State wanted to protect its investment. Its legacy. Itself. What do bandits do when they’ve done wrong? They hide. They run and hide. Penn State can’t run and hide anymore and now has the greatest scandal to hit college football, college athletics and possibly sports. And it definitely goes beyond the football field into society that’s rapidly changing before our eyes.

Joe Paterno and Penn State let a wild, immoral lunatic loose around campus for years and it wrongfully altered the lives of many.

I can’t even begin to think of the psychological problems, let alone anything connected with the type of issues these, what look to be young men now, have. These are circumstances no human should go through. If anything, take everything earned by the former university president, Paterno and anyone involved and give it over to the 20 kids and families affected. It may not fulfill what was lost. It may not meet what was truly lost, but it’s a start.

Say a prayer for those victims. Say a prayer for Paterno. And say a prayer, it’s going to be hard, for Sandusky, too.

So here we are. A coach is out. A school has lost all credibility. And a sexually-immoral man who’s done his damage to a campus that may be doesn’t so deserve it, but more so deserves the scrutiny of the media, the questions from society and a strong rammifications for hiding the worst thing (that we know of) ever happening on a NCAA campus.

Yes, they are… Penn State.

But they’re less than that, right now.

And I didn’t even get into the fact that new reports are surfacing that Sandusky pimped the victims to other men, which adds on to this disgusting display of inhumanity.

I’d hate to say it again… but I have to.

They are… Penn State.

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