Amid Allegations, We Should Support the Team
Usually, Saturday mornings in November induce anxious excitement as I make my way to the Holy Grail of Penn State collegiate athletics, Beaver Stadium. But this Saturday was much different.
First I saw a simple tweet, then I looked over the allegations, then I read the report, then I received an ESPN text, then I read Graham Spanier’s incredibly angering statement, and lastly I saw the lead story on CNN… The University, no, my home, had been irrevocably tarnished in the span of 90 minutes.
The valley deemed happy quickly turned sad.
The things I read Saturday morning and into the afternoon were nothing short of saddening and disappointing. Additionally, the 23-page report released by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury could quite possibly be the most horrid thing I have ever laid my eyes upon.
Should we be upset and embarrassed with Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, and (dare I say) Graham Spanier? Yes, we absolutely should. Hell, I’m not even going to talk you out of blaming JoePa right now.
With that said, even if supporting the football team may not seem like a high priority, I ask that you all provide your support during the remaining games. These guys do not deserve any of your booing, sitting down, or moral turpitude. They learned about what happened just like we did, they’re as shocked and disgusted as we are, and disrespecting them amid all of this would be wrong. We’re better than that.
Moreover, maybe the Penn State community can learn something from this group of men. I’ll admit it, I was a skeptic this year, but they proved me wrong. They could’ve folded when they lost arguably their best player, to injury… but they didn’t. There have been plenty of times this season where they could’ve quit… but they didn’t. They could’ve succumbed to public scrutiny, to the horde of experts who continue to disparage the “overrated” Lions… but they didn’t.
They didn’t quit on us, and you shouldn’t quit on them. In case you didn’t notice, they’re the 12th ranked team in the country. Although it’s unfair, Penn State football might be our only positive national publicity over the next month, so let’s bear down and make it count.
In this time of great strife, we students, alumni, fans, ambassadors of Dear Old State ought to band together around the team, around the university, and around each other. As Joe Paterno said in his statement, we can’t “let these events shake [our] beliefs nor who [we] are.”
We will weather this storm.
We are… all we’ve got.