spoiler alert: i linked this
Is there no Penn State fan who truly gets it?
I’ve been browsing fan websites for weeks, looking for a sign that Penn State fans understand why there is such enduring controversy surrounding their football program and school. I can’t say that I’ve seen evidence that even a single fan really gets it. The current president of the university seems to understand, but the most vocal PSU fans and alumni want to ride him out of town on a rail. The PSU fans seem to respond to the lunatic fringe of the blogosphere with answers to questions that no sane person is asking.
For example, PSU fans acknowledge that pedophilia is horrible and should never occur, but then act as though that somehow shows that they “get it.”
PSU fans list all the positive attributes of Penn State, its football players, its graduates, etc., etc. Yes, we sane “outsiders” all understand that there is more good than bad in Penn State and there is plenty to be proud of. Again, that’s never been in question, except to the lunatic fringe.
It is the next point, though, that begins to get at the crux of the problem. PSU fans point out the half truth that this sort of thing happens everywhere. Yes, child sex abuse is far more prevalent than most people realize, and most of us probably do know someone who has been abused and very well may know an abuser without realizing it. These truths, though, ignore the difference, the reason Penn State is singled out and stands alone among US universities (as far as we know): at no other institution were there repeated allegations of child sex abuse that rose to the very top of the university where the response was to cover up, protect the pedophile, thereby allowing him to continue abusing children for over a decade.
Now, many PSU fans do acknowledge this last point, but almost none without spinning it in such a way to convince themselves it was just an isolated incident with just a few bad apples (I don’t know how many times I’ve heard it was just one monster and two, perhaps three others) and they are now out of the university, so the problem has been resolved. That third individual, which many PSU fans still refuse to acknowledge, played a role in this is a if not the central figure in the cover up. Joe Paterno, for all the teaching and preaching (and leading by example) he did about honor, integrity, doing things “the right way,” failed miserably on the biggest test to ever come his way. There is no getting around this. But these are the points I’m waiting for a Penn State fan to acknowledge, and it is some semblance of refusal to acknowledge these or similar points that leads to many saying Penn State fans still don’t get it:
1) There was a cult of personality surrounding Joe Paterno. This is not unique to PSU, so I’m not quite sure why there is such resistance to acknowledging this point. The only difference might be that Joe Pa’s longevity and success led to a level of reverence perhaps never achieved at another university.
2) Joe Paterno was the most powerful individual at Penn State for decades.
3) While he might not be culpable legally under Pennsylvania law, morally and ethically Paterno failed the child abuse victims and the community by not doing more to stop Jerry Sandusky.
4) When the most powerful person on campus, the athletic director, and the president of the university all cover up and enable a child rapist to continue his abuse for decades, and others in far lower positions in the university are afraid to come forward with complaints there is a question that must be asked and answered: who or what enabled the enablers?
Those of you who had Lane Kiffin as the first scumbag coach to pick at PSU's carcass, you're a winner. Wonder if he told Ty Isaac.
I'm all for giving the PSU players the freedom to transfer unrestricted because God knows they didn't deserve this but allowing players to transfer to other schools under NCAA sanctions seems a little distasteful. I guess at least their bowl ban is over.
USC has notified PSU it is recruiting Redd, per source
PSU RB Silas Redd (1,241 yards) considering transfer to USC, per sources
Movement starting on Facebook to eradicate the "You Suck" chant for Air Force game (hopefully it sticks...)
I'm all for the "Go Blue" replacement of "You Suck." I tired of You Suck sophomore year and would love to see it leave. Maybe the dumbest thing the Michigan fan base does is to chant "You Suck" when we're down several scores...
Just received this email from a friend. Apparently, the B1G logo will be painted on the 25yd lines on the field at ohio stadium. It also mentions that every team will wear B1G logo patches on their jerseys, which has been confirmed. However, it then said....
Whether you like it or not, get used to the Big Ten’s “B1G” logo. This fall, every football team will wear the logo on its jerseys (here’s a look at Illinois’ patch) and it also will appear on the teams’ fields.
Full article.... http://btn.com/2012/07/23/b1g-logos-added-at-ohio-stadium/
Part of me thinks all of this is because of the SEC, PAC-12, Big 12 etc. having their conference 25yd line logos/jersey patches. Especially with all of the SEC pride crap going on.
EDIT: Thanks to All_In_For_Michigan (still hated that slogan) for the picture of the logos.
It seems the B has been painted blue.
Seems to be a lot of legal action involving football players today.
From The Chicago Tribune:
Rees, 20, plead guilty to resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor, and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor, a Class C misdemeanor. Prosecutors dropped a second resisting law enforcement count as well as a Class A battery charge.
The plea agreement includes a 30-day suspended sentence, 11 months of probation, 50 hours of community service and letters of apology to the officers involved from Rees.
Any further discipline of Rees now rests with Notre Dame's Office of Residence Life, the school's disciplinary arm. A source said Rees already has had his hearing with Res Life, though no ruling had been set forth. Res Life can add additional penalties and/or leave discipline to Irish coach Brian Kelly.
A Notre Dame spokesman said Kelly would have no comment on the end of the legal proceedings.
Rees and linebacker Carlo Calabrese were arrested after a confrontation with police who arrived at a "loud party" less than a mile from campus early May 3. While Calabrese's legal wranglings remain unsettled -- he has been charged with misdemeanor intimidation -- a source said Calabrese already completed the Res Life process and received school-mandated community service.
Rees has an Aug. 20 hearing to determine restitution.
I'd enjoy reading the interpretation of the dropped charges from any MGoLawyers out there, so feel free to speak up. Personally, it seems like Rees got off easy for kneeing a cop and scuffling with him, but I'm also not a lawyer.
For what it's worth, a poster on NDNation said that he doesn't think ResLife will suspend Rees, although it was only one poster in a 4 comment thread.
In the wake of the NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State, many fans are wondering what this means for the future of Nittany Lion football. Many of the forecasts are quite dire: that Penn State is now (effectively) an FCS team; that they’ll go 0-12 for four years; that no one will want to play or coach there; that the program will take a decade or more to recover; or perhaps that it will never recover its former glory.
These predictions are grossly exaggerated, and they ignore many of the basic realities of college football.
Like most of the sport's premier teams, Penn State has huge structural advantages that NCAA sanctions can't erase. Their stadium seats 106,572, more than any in the U.S. except the Big House. The rest of their facilities are top-notch, as you'd expect at such a program.
Penn State fans are loyal, just as Michigan's are. Even in the darkest times, they will continue to fill their stadium; boosters will continue to donate money. Although I pray that such a scandal would never occur at Michigan, if it did I would remain blue, and so, I suspect, would most Michigan fans. Those at Penn State are no less dedicated to their school.
Penn State benefited historically from a geographical accident. In relation to its population, the New England and middle Atlantic states are very densely populated, but they have very few football schools. New York is the third-most most populous state in the country, and it has just one school in a major football conference: Syracuse. New Jersey, the 11th-most populous state, has just one: Rutgers, and they're terrible at football.
The upshot is that there are millions of kids in the Northeastern U.S. for whom Penn State was always the best football school within driving distance, with very little real competition. For kids that cared about playing close to home, which is a lot of them, a Penn State offer always meant that they'd made it. These loyalties, built up over generations, don't just disappear because of Jerry Sandusky.
The NCAA hammered Penn State with two sanctions that affect the ability to field a competitive team: a reduction of 20 scholarships per year for four years; and a post-season ban for the same period. These are substantial penalties, no question about it — the worst the NCAA has ever imposed, aside from the death penalty. But they are not as serious as they first appear.
Penn State can still give out 65 scholarships a year, enough to give a free ride to all of the starters and many of the key backups on the football team. It's true that they can't go bowling for four years, but consider the following:
Many of the schools Penn State is now being compared to (Indiana, the MAC, the FCS), never or hardly ever go to the post-season. But Penn State's facilities are far superior to those schools, and it offers a better education than most of them. Penn State will still play a Big Ten schedule, which means it will see better opponents, and 100 percent of its games will be televised. Many athletes, though admittedly not the elite ones, will consider those advantages sufficiently compelling.
Penn State will still get a few recruits with competing Big Ten offers. How much better is it, really, to go to a school like Purdue, where you go to bowls about half the time (and usually a "meh" bowl at that)? Even kids with top-tier offers will see opportunity in the Penn State depth chart. Many will prefer the chance to be a near-certain starter at Penn State, than going to a bowl-eligible school but spending most of their career as a backup. Given the choice of starting 12 games at Penn State or the potential of sitting on the bench for 13 at (say) Illinois , some will surely choose Penn State.
Penn State has historically scheduled weak OOC opponents (notwithstanding their home & home with Alabama the last two years). In 2014, they'll face the gantlet of Temple, Akron, Rutgers, and UMass. Even with a 20-scholarship handicap, they'll probably be favored in those games. Some of their Big Ten match-ups will be favorable (e.g., Indiana and Minnesota), and some of the others could be a push (e.g., Purdue, Illinois).
Although the sanctions last four years, after the first two they can recruit kids who'll be able to play in bowls by the time they're juniors, the point in their careers when they would have hoped to be starters under the old regime. Instead, by the time the sanctions expire, they'll be juniors with two years of solid playing time behind them, instead of garbage time somewhere else. By the time the sanctions expire, Penn State's starters will have lower recruiting rankings than your typical Penn State squad, but more experience, because most of them will have started as freshmen and sophomores.
Although the next couple of years could be dire, you could easily imagine Penn State fielding a squad of mostly 3* starters in years three and four of the sanctions, with a handful of 4*'s who choose Penn State due to academics, geography, legacy ties, or because they like their chances on such a thin depth chart. Such a team would be easily capable of getting to 5-7 wins with Penn State's fairly soft schedule.
If Bill O'Brien can get Penn State up to around .500 while playing under such severe sanctions, which is very clearly possible, imagine what he can do the instant the sanctions are lifted. By that point, Jerry Sandusky will be five years in the rear view mirror, which is an eternity from the viewpoint of a kid who's deciding where to play football in college. All of Penn State's structural advantages (stadium, facilities, academics, fans, geography) will still be in place.
Of course, Bill O'Brien's ability to lead any program, much less a program with such a cloud hanging over it, are unknown. He has never been a head coach on any level, and he was an offensive coordinator in the NFL for only a short time before Penn State hired him. My point here is not to predict what will happen, but to show how Penn State could quite easily get out from under what appear to be practically nuclear sanctions.
Although Penn State's recovery might not proceed exactly as I've described, the premier programs have historically made their way back to prominence, no matter how severe the sanctions. Penn State's sanctions are unprecedented, but their overwhelming structural advantages will probably work in their favor, once they are again able to recruit a full class.