High Ideals, Higher Cowardice

“I would ask all Penn Staters to continue to trust in what that name represents, continue to pursue their lives every day with high ideals, and not let these events shake their beliefs nor who they are.”

The final paragraph of Joe Paterno’s twisty turny Sunday statement asked Penn Staters to keep on living the “Penn State way.”

The high ideals Paterno asked for, a high mark of a university that has high ideals and ethics in its daily diet, were dwarfed, disregarded, and promptly shattered by what might be the pinnacle of cowardice in the annals of public relations hell, and the continued silence of the very people who so desperately need to speak on a story that is every evolving, every growing, and now promptly the center piece on the table, sitting on the carpet it was once swept under.

As countless media members, local, state, and national awaited Paterno’s weekly press conference, a simple statement was delivered by the helpless messenger, athletic communications director Jeff Nelson, that simply read:

 November 8, 2011

Due to the on-going legal circumstances centered around the recent allegations and charges, we have determined today’s press conference cannot be held and will not be re-scheduled.

That’s it. 30 words that speak as loudly as 3,000 words, a statement so simple it screams of confusion, of fearfulness, of public relations disaster that would make Janet Jackson blush.

Scott Paterno released a statement saying his father was disappointed and prepared to take questions about the scandal, and that the Paterno house was called at 11:05 and told the press conference was cancelled, presumably by Graham Spanier’s office.

If this is the case, the pace in which Spanier resigns must be quickened, followed by an unceremonious exit by Paterno, certainly not fitting of his past, but certainly of his future.

They say actions speak louder then words, and while the words remain silent, the actions are the only thing that could begin to save a proud Penn State program.

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Greg Pickel

Content Contributor for all things Penn State and member of the Pennsylvania Sports Network.

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