Saturday, November 12, 2011

Penn State Starts To Get It Right With Students/Fans Supporting Victims Of Sex Abuse

After what has been the most turbulent week in Pennsylvania history since the battle of Gettysburg, Penn State University and its students are finally getting the right message out.

When long-time head coach Joe Paterno was fired on Wednesday night, it provoked a riot of roughly 2,000 distraught and angry students.

On Friday night, the student body held a candlelight vigil dedicated to the victims of the child-sex abuse allegedly perpetrated by former coach Jerry Sandusky.  Several thousand students attended and listened to speeches by student leaders and alumni.  The students seemed to get it.

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Tim Shaffer
 Today, for the football game, fans are being encouraged to wear blue in support of victims of sex abuse.  It's another good step forward.

There is still a reckoning to be had.  Months of legal battles will ensue, and now even JoePa has lawyered-up with his own high-powered attorney.  Please note that while Paterno isn't being charged with a crime, his moral failure in this situation leaves him wide open to civil lawsuits potentially (depending on if he has protection as a Penn State employee).

Penn State Receivers Coach Mike McQueary has been placed on administrative leave.  McQueary is at the heart of the scandal, being the one person who not only saw the heinous act by  Sandusky on a child in the Penn State locker room, but the only one who had a chance to stop it.  In recent days, more and more anger is being directed at the former quarterback and the University elected to put him on administrative leave while they sorted everything out.

However, McQueary isn't done with angering people.  When he called to talk to his receivers on Friday to tell him he wouldn't be coaching them, he told them that he out of town and under protective custody.  While he is probably not still in State College, the University confirmed that he is not in protective custody.  Was it an attempt by McQueary to garner sympathy for himself in a situation in which he deserves none?

I'm not sure how I feel about Penn State football at the moment.  They're playing in a crucial game today against Nebraska.  Football in State College seems so very unimportant right now, and I wonder just how much the emotional whirlwind of the past week will affect the players.

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