Amidst Scandal, Penn Staters Need Unity
In the wake of the heinous charges against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky and the subsequent perjury charges facing Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President for Business and Finance Gary Schultz, students are left frustrated, angry and let down by their university and its administration.
Response to this has been varied, though anything but quiet. From angry tweets, to the sharing of Facebook posts and general outcry, Penn State students and alumni have not been shy in voicing their disappointment towards those involved. A variety of protests have been proposed in reaction to the events of the past few days. Saturday’s game against Nebraska, despite the previously announced student section Whiteout, a Blueout is in the works and some are even lobbying for a blackout of the Nittany Lions’ welcome of the Huskers to the Big 10.
According to their Facebook event, the Blueout hopes to spurn the Whiteout and “support the victims of child abuse worldwide” by rallying the student section to sport Penn State’s other color, which also happens to be the color of child abuse awareness ribbons. With all do respect to the victims and the event’s creators, I don’t think this is the road we should be taking.
Because a Whiteout was already announced for this game, it would be impossible to rally everyone behind one event, and debate on the wall for the Blueout is evidence of this.
Each side presents a viable argument–the Blueout striving to make a statement against the actions of the accused while paying respect to the victims and those in support of the standing Whiteout because the lack of notice in comparison to the announcement of the Whiteout, which was made alongside that of the Illinois game prior to October 29th. This division isn’t what the student body needs right now.
Instead, we should stick to the original Whiteout. I understand and completely support the goals behind the Blueout, however, with support divided between the two “outs,” we’re just going to end up with the same mix of blue and white commonplace at any Penn State game, and the message behind each will be muddled in the process.
For me, a Whiteout makes a stronger statement. It’s a much bolder color and Whiteouts are, for lack of a better term, very Penn State. It’s a symbol of support for our football team, something they need now more than ever. If students are going to try to make a statement, it must be in unity.
With that being said, a rally to blackout the game from television networks is absolutely ridiculous. Doing so does nothing to punish Sandusky, Curley, Schultz or anyone responsible for the horrific actions of these crimes. This is purely punishment for the team.
We can’t blame them for the injustices of others, no matter how large they may be. We’ve stood behind them through the ups and downs of this season. We’re carrying an 8-1 record and a #12 ranking into the final home game of the season, now isn’t the time to lose support in our players. After all, we still are Penn State.