Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Obviously, I haven’t been blogging in a while. Life happens. And honestly, there hasn’t been anything that I have felt was important enough to write about recently. Until now. I’ve debated saying anything about the subject, knowing there are so many people out there who are quick to place blame and judge. But there are so many people out there saying such disparaging things about the school I love that I can no longer keep quiet.
What Jerry Sandusky did was disgusting and reprehensible. And anyone who knowingly covered it up is equally horrible. However, I honestly do not believe that everyone involved was out to “keep it quiet.” I’ve read the indictment. All 23 pages. If you have time, you should do so as well (just don’t do it before lunch).
But the point of this post is not to analyze who-knew-what-and-told-whom. That will all come out in the days to come. The thing that drove me to this post is plain and simple. I had a moment this morning where I considered taking the Penn State magnets off my car. I felt ashamed of my school…that something this heinous could happen at a place that I considered home. There has never been a moment in the eleven years since I left State College where I felt anything but pride at being a Penn Stater. It’s not just a college. It’s part of who I am. After all, those of us that went there “bleed blue and white,” as the saying goes. I have a (small) Penn State flag at the office. I worried that people would walk by and see that flag and associate me with the disgusting, horrible acts committed by Sandusky. And it breaks my heart that my beloved school is now being associated that pervert.
But Sandusky is not Penn State. He is a disgusting individual who used his power to prey on children. He is not the hundreds of thousands of PSU alum. He does not represent the approximately 45,000 students there. There is a sense of pride at home games that is indescribable. The students of Penn State have done so much good in the world. THON (the annual Penn State Dance Marathon) raised almost $10,000,000 last year alone for "The Four Diamonds Fund, a charity devoted to defeating pediatric cancer through research and caring for patients at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Children's Hospital"(thank you, Wikipedia). And, having participated in THON, I can tell you, the sense of pride at that event is as overwhelming as the sense of pride on a Saturday in Beaver Stadium.
So I will not be ashamed that I’m a Penn Stater. Yes, I am broken-hearted and hurt. Yes, it saddens me that people are losing sight of the victims. The actions of one horrible excuse for a human being do not reflect on my school. Whatever details come out in the days ahead about who-knew-what-and-told-whom, it cannot detract from the pride of having been a part of such an amazing school.
Most importantly, more than ever, we need to hold our heads up high and say “I am Penn State.”