Tuesday, November 22, 2011

rrpenn state forever--molder of men..!! q b
 that phrase, and the tune of the fight song to which it belongs have skittered around in my brain  for the past many days, as its irony alternately causes me to shake my head and smile a sad kind of smile—and then, to sit and stare at the wall and wonder at how life turns on a dime. I graduated from PSU in 1966 and joe paterno, “jo pa” graduated to head coach  the very next season, in 1967. penn state football has barely had any losses since then: 46 years of winning…no surprise, then, that at penn state, joe pa’s status is that of a god!

Last year, age 83, and some would say, considerably slowed down as coach, on his and his team’s reputatation, he still managed to turn a $50.4 million profit on $70.2 in revenue—3rd only to texas and Georgia…nobody else came close!!

this is all background noise, because anyone who thinks what happened at penn state last week was about pedophilia is, I believe, mistaken….

a pedophile was a player in the drama…but in this case, only as a catalyst. this tragedy happened at penn state, but given any trigger to set it off, it might have happened at any of the large schools—it apparently happened this week in some way or another at Syracuse!-- that depend on huge revenues from crowded 100,000+ seat stadiums each week, and pots of gold that come from the tv exposure that goes along with being a winner, and alumnae donations and endowments… all literally life’s blood to any college as it grows and grows and becomes a university, with the capacity to attract even more….

if there is, god forbid, a scandal, the money begins to dry up, and it is possible to destroy an entity by “whispering down the lane.” in this case the trouble is very real, but so far, we still only know the basic outline—contained in the grand jury testimony. it will be quite some time before all the facts are known or made public. but the little we know is pretty awful. and the sad OVERRIDING truth is that on many “big football” campuses, football players and sometimes other athletes are coddled and enabled in ways that allow them to get away with almost anything short of murder—

Consider: Allegations against…[the] University…cast a dark shadow over a generation that has lost its way. [Other major schools] facing problems caused by misbehaving athletes include: Colorado, Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

The problem starts and ends with the university’s policy on certain matters and enforcement of those policies. College athletics bring the big name schools millions of dollars every year. Therefore, it is easy to see why some administrators are lenient on certain matters involving their star student athletes. That is no excuse for errant players getting away with a slap on the wrist when they should be expelled from the school for detriment to the team, school and themselves.

[Student athletes have] learned they can bend the rules when they know they offer something of value…

what makes the foregoing interesting to me is that it’s not about penn state…it was an opinion piece written in the collegian online newspaper at duke in 2006, after the lacrosse team was accused (and later exonerated) of an evening of gang rape. And it was properly concluded then, as now, that all over the country colleges may be, in turn, both victim and victimizer…

Again, consider:  EAST LANSING — 9/29/10  THE MICHIGAN MESSENGER. “Documents obtained by Michigan Messenger show two high-profile Michigan State University basketball players have been accused of committing sexual assault on campus in August. Despite the allegations, prosecutors have declined to take up the case, and the victim disputes the reasons offered for not bringing charges.
The heavily redacted police report released by Ingham County Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III alleges the two team members took turns assaulting an unidentified woman for nearly an hour in their Wonders Hall dormitory room late on Aug. 29 and into Aug. 30.” 
no school, no year…NO ONE is exempt from the penn state mess. only the details are different. at duke, it was the lacrosse team and supposed gang rape, at Michigan basketball players allegedly doing the same…if you want to spend the time looking it up you can find examples from all parts of the country…and the issue is not sex, though the output, often, is; the issue, at heart, is MONEY—so so much money…if the star of your moneyball team, which is responsible for bringing in multiple millions and millions of dollars every year, is also a date rapist, but you NEED him for the team…do  you throw him off the team and out of school and into jail?  how about the pedophile coach who’s responsible for making champions—can you throw him to the wolves? can you/do you take that chance?

I’m shaking my head as I write this because I can hardly believe this goes on, for real…but it does! maybe even, you know stories from your own experience that you’d want to share with us… please jump in here and tell us what you think.

I have to add one more thing because ethel feels so strongly about it. so many of our blog pieces take on a religious focus. I guess that’s because it’s what she and I talk about, often enough, when we get to seriously talking. But once in a while, usually I’ll find a story that has nothing to do with religion—no religious coloring at all—but which has importance to me for some other reason, in this case rah rah rah, I graduated from penn state. but now ethel wants it pointed out strongly that there is no religious nut ball involved here doing nefarious things in the name of god…just an unfortunate guy who apparently had a very serious problem for at least 30 years, it would appear, from evidence gathered so far…and in doing nothing to stop him, his so called friends may have consigned him to prison for the rest of his life…
           cool friends…

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