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Stay Classy, Penn State

Let’s go back to November 19. It was my first day back in good ole Philadelphia for Thanksgiving break, the afternoon of the Ohio State football game. I decided to meet up with a few friends at Chickie’s and Pete’s to watch the game. I was the first to arrive, so I planted myself next to the biggest TV at the bar. Before I even sat down, a lady in her early forties curiously asked, “Are you a Penn State student?” I proudly responded, “Yes I am, I’m a junior there now.” Her next words to me were, “You know you go to school with a bunch of pedophiles, right?” Now I would never hurt a woman, but if there was ever a time when I was close, it was then. I just shook my head and laughed to myself in disbelief. After I moved a few seats down for her own personal protection, she left me with this grand statement, “I hope your school goes down, along with that dumb statue.”

Fast forward three weeks. This weekend, I traveled to Pittsburgh with fellow Onward Stater Kevin Horne to visit a good friend and cover the Penn State-Duquesne basketball game. I wore a Penn State hoodie as I went ice skating with a few friends on Friday night. Some adults heckled me saying, “Watch out, Sandusky is gonna get ya.”

The next night, Kevin and I went to the basketball game at the CONSOL Center. Everything was relatively normal: Billy Oliver was air-balling threes and Pat Chambers was trying mentor his young club on the road in a very audible fashion. The status quo lasted until the final ten minutes of the second half. The Duquesne student section, which was located in close proximity to about 50 Nittany Nation members who drove up from Penn State earlier that afternoon, started chanting “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” But this was okay, because their player Jerry Jones was at the free throw line. Soon after, they began to yell, “Hit the showers!” There was a tremendous double-meaning there that I’m sure the Duquesne student section was well aware of (They could’ve easily used “Start the buses.”) However, their next move made their malicious intentions crystal clear.

When Nittany Nation chanted “We Are!” some Duquesne students returned with “rapists!” Don’t believe me? Here’s proof.

The purpose of this post isn’t to ridicule the rude lady at the bar or criticize the Duquesne student section, it’s to make you all aware that we (students, faculty, alum) will be scrutinized by outsiders for the foreseeable future. Does it suck? Yea, it really does. Like it or not, this scandal is a part of our lives now. I suggest you learn to live with it. That being said, when these comments do come flying your way, understand that the person doesn’t understand the pain and hurt that you feel. Don’t get argumentative or confrontational. We’re better than that.

Anything I do reflects you, and anything you do reflects me. I speak for you. You speak for me. Never forget that.

Also read Duquesne senior Keegan Worley’s response, explaining what their student section actually meant by their chanting.

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About the Author

Ryan Beckler

Ryan is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He is a Lion Ambassador who loves giving tours to prospective students. His favorite activities include distributing news and consuming Chipotle.

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