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PSU Fan Take: Child Sex Scandal Forever Shames Penn State
May no act of ours bring shame
To one heart that loves thy name.
May our lives but swell thy fame,
Penn State pride is hard to explain to a non-student or non-alum. "We Are" isn't just some meaningless phrase to us. It's both a motto and a reminder that all of us, those with diplomas, those wearing blue and white in the stands and those working anywhere in the PSU administration are part of something bigger than any one individual, even if that individual is arguably the biggest legend in the history of a sport.
The child sex scandal which has rocked State College, PA has made the phrase "Success With Honor" one which the university can never rightfully use again. Reports that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky may have sexually abused up to eight underage boys has left those of us in the Penn State family disgusted and mortified. The fact that Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and PSU vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz may not have done all they could to report the issue to the proper authorities leaves me absolutely speechless.
This has nothing to do with boosters, a quarterback getting a car or some other shady recruiting practices. If proven to be guilty, all of those involved with this despicable debacle have tarnished both the program and the university. "Child sex scandal" and "cover-up" are two things which may forever be linked with Penn State. That's incomprehensible to me, and it's going to be quite awhile before I say the words "We Are" without feeling at least a small amount of shame.
Penn State students, alums and fans of the football program all understandably have plenty of questions this weekend. How will this affect Penn State's current roster during what was already slated to be a very tough November? Will Tim Curley be forced to resign? Will he get jail time? How does this affect the program one, five and even ten years down the road? Could Joe Paterno have done more? Should he have? What happens to Joe Pa after this week or this season? According to the grand jury report, it appears that Paterno did what he was "required" to do regarding the matter. That doesn't necessarily mean, however that he did enough.
The fate of a football program is hardly the significant issue here. My hope is that all of the victims involved see a day of justice, one which also brings with it at least a small amount of closure. As for us Penn Staters on the outside looking in, things truthfully may never be the same. More than a few stunned, disappointed and even angered Penn State supporters posting on Twitter, Facebook, Fight On State and other websites have commented that this will forever change the way they view the football program and possibly Joe Paterno's entire tenure while at the university.
A rather significant football game takes place at Beaver Stadium next weekend, and Penn State fans with tickets should absolutely go and loudly support the team. After all, those players aren't responsible for this mess. This story is likely only going to get uglier as the days and weeks go on, however, and Penn State football may have a very different look to it next fall; as it probably should.
May no act of ours bring shame.
For more: Read the entire grand jury report here. It is extremely graphic and disturbing.
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