Nittany Liars:The pride before the fall

"Besides pride, loyalty, discipline, heart, and mind, confidence is the key to all the locks."

"We are in the business of trying to help kids grow up."

"The minute you think you've got it made, disaster is just around the corner."

Those were the words of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

Those were eerily prophetic.

Former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky when he wasn’t sexually abusing young boys wrote a book called Touched. Read excerpts from the book here.

When the story originally broke last year, many supporters were lining up to defend them both. The word that mostly used to describe Sandusky and Paterno was integrity.

Define the word integrity.

I say that in reference to what most alumni, students and local supporters of Penn State University would say when speaking about former football coach Joe Paterno.

Let’s define the word Integrity:

  • An adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
  • The state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
  • A sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.

I looked up several definitions on what integrity meant. I believe I have picked to best one. You read what it said. This version of the definition best explains what has been going on at Penn State.

We read the Grand Jury testimony (click here to refresh your memory).

Then we read the Freeh Report (click here to further refresh your memory).

After all that the NCAA decided that enough was enough.

The NCAA hit Penn State with a $60 million fine, a four-year football postseason ban ,vacation of all wins dating to 1998,and a reduction of 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period.

Some say that these sanctions weren’t enough. I say to those people don’t forget about the civil lawsuits. By the time that all of this is figured out, there might not be much left.

As a writer and as an avid sports fan this stuff just sickens me. It sickens me that an iconic football coach cared more about winning football games than that lives that one of his underlings ruined.

Me and my friends would joke around for years that Joe Paterno was not “aware” enough to coach. We though he would go into homes to recruit kids and forget their names and forget where he was.  It turns out that Paterno was plotting an exit strategy when the sexual abuse allegations came to light.

At this point, I am not sure who is worst. The people who covered for Sandusky or the people who still do not fathom what took place at Penn State. I get that it is very difficult to find out that someone they put on a pedestal turned out to be not to be whom they thought. I hope one day that the Paterno apologists will stop wondering around the darkness and step into the light.

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