- Posted July 24, 2012 by
You, The Media, Failed Penn State
Your claim to understand the "Penn State Culture" is a bit like landing in Rome for a day and saying you are Italian. Few of you have ever visited State College, You might know how the phrase "We Are" came to be, but you will never understand what it means. (We are one in the face of adversity and competition--in Penn State's case, racial segregation in the late 40's & 50's being unacceptable)
WE ARE the millions who loved our coach because we looked beyond the football field. WE saw the millions of dollars the Paterno family gave to academic projects. WE saw the "Grand Experiment" become institution-wide, with academic honors and graduation rates for all Nittany Lion athletes exceding those of the general student population at nearly every major university. WE saw Ki-Jana Carter lose a Heisman and our team lose rankings because Joe refused to run up the score against our opponents and because he called you out on your inane questions and the many times you misquoted him or took his words out of context.
WE ARE appalled by your characterization of our football program, its staff, the University, and the town as "win-at-all-costs." WE supported them during the lean years at the beginning of the last decade when you were calling for JoePa's head. WE saw a program that continued to garner blue-chip recruits without promising them early starts and while making it clear to them that they would be held to a higher standard of academic performance and personal conduct than their counterparts at other top programs. WE saw that staff pass on some extremely talented players who were unwilling to do it The Penn State Way. WE saw our star receiver dismissed before a bowl game for skipping class. WE knew the bye weeks were important to our coach because he wanted to give his players time off to study for midterms, even with the Michigan game coming up.
WE ARE the ones who endured years of barbs about our coach's age. WE heard you call him senile, say the game had passed him by, he has lost control, he is out of touch. And now WE hear you call him the mastermind of a criminal coverup that fooled everyone for years on end. WE know that Sandusky's hasn't had an office right down the hall from Joe for thirteen years. WE have read the Freeh report in its entirety and have used the skills WE honed at Penn State to critically examine the "evidence."--which is not based on fact, but rather innuendo.
I will not defend what Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of. The wheels of justice worked just as they should have. The investigations continue in the halls of justice and those who are guilty of wrongdoing will pay the price in the appropriate way. I fail to understand how the press justifies serving as judge, jury and executioner.
WE ARE, WE always will be, and WE will never allow you to define us. We are the home of the largest student fundraising project in the world. We are a top academic institution in the sciences, business, and education. We are an institution that cares about the world we exist in. We are....Penn State!
You have tried to destroy us, but we will pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and we will march forward, and not allow you and your rush to judgment to ultimately define who we are.