Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The "state" of Penn State

What is the "state" of Penn State?





Last night I was contacted by the Dr. Drew staff to call and comment live on his show with the comment that I made to his question about PSU taking down the statue of Joe Paterno.   Unfortunately I did not get to my email in time for the live show to respond to the email and call the staff.  But I did reply to the show staff with this response:

Hi XXX,
I'm so sorry that I didn't check my email in time for tonight's program with Dr. Drew but I left a message on your machine explaining to you that I'm a former educator myself of Severely Emotionally Disturbed children (and am out of teaching right now on a physical disability) and I'd be happy to call in and comment with Dr. Drew about this situation. 

I'm a Pennsylvania transplant living here in Southern California (26 years now) and am married and have two grown adult sons.  I would love the opportunity to write/speak with someone influential to this situation at hand at Penn State and share my suggestions with him/her/them.

I think the key is education.  The statue and the football program are side issues. That's something physical that would only stir up riots within the school.  I think the  best thing to do about that statue (in my humble opinion) is to have the Joe Paterno family buy a gate/fence and enclose the statue and retire it to some part of the campus that is not highly visible.  This way he is not the focus of the football team/program.

Start now and require the professors to come back to campus earlier than usual and have a professional team come on campus and teach them about abuse (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) and then test them at the end and require that all staff (including the professors) be trained in this and please don't call it "sensitivity training" because we are not just 'sensitive" to the matter, we are proactive!

Then when school starts, every freshman takes a required course for graduation in their freshman year (and every student in the university takes the course to graduate).  Immerse the school in education. 

Dr. Drew is a prime example of an educator.  He uses his show to educate the viewers and the people who come on the program.  Not everyone accepts the education but everyone is given the same free opportunity to receive it.  

I will stop here so you don't regret having asked me to comment...  :o)

Regards,
Carolyn


I tried calling the phone line today but got the voice mail and did not leave a message as tonight Dr. Drew is discussing Sex and Relationships and this is off-topic for the topics that he is covering.  I won't try again tomorrow.  They know how to contact me if they care to reach me and in the meantime I'm going to draft a more professional type letter to PSU (a number of offices) and will probably link that letter to this one when that happens.


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Michael Watkins wrote:

My hopes after today’s NCAA sanctions against Penn State.

To Penn State University:
Use these events to become the world’s biggest advocate for children. Raise money for children in need. Create safe and fun camps during the summer that allow children who can’t afford other camps an opportunity to experience a taste of college life and the benefits it brings. Donate unsold sports tickets to Big Brother/Sister. Make the location that held JoePa’s statue an entrance for children. Pull the football team buses up to that area. Allow the children to line “their entrance.” Have the team enter that gate, high fiving the children and making incredible memories for each one of them.

To my family and friends who are Penn State fans:
Stop the debate about Joe Paterno’s involvement, the fairness of the sanctions and where the blame should go. At this point, every discussion continues to delay moving forward. Accept that terrible things happened and bad choices were made. Move on and accept we’re not what we were. Continue to cheer the Nittany Lions on Saturdays. Don’t cancel your season tickets. Go and cheer them on, even when they’re far outmatched. Regardless of final scores, cheer a group of young men who are there despite millions of reasons to go elsewhere. Celebrate their sacrifice, cheer their courage and make them know you appreciate their effort. Leave the trash talk at home. Welcome opposing fans. Cheer both teams as they enter the field. Become a fan base that is known for being the most gracious in all of the land. If you can’t go to a game, give your tickets to a kid who may never get to go to a game otherwise. Don’t know one? Call Big Brother or Big Sister of Centre or Clinton Counties. They’ll get them in the hands of a kid who will remember the game forever.

To the players who will take the field the next four years:
Play with all your heart, giving 110% every down. Know that we’ll cheer for you, win or lose. You playing for Penn State, under these circumstances, makes us proud of you and appreciate you. Don’t trash talk or taunt. Let your effort and passion speak for itself. Hit your opponent and help them back up to knock them down again. Hand the ball to the refs. Make “success with honor” applicable again at Penn State.

To Coach O’Brien:
Show us passion and energy that we haven’t had in a coach in years. Teach honorably, win graciously, and lose humbly. Recruit kids the next four years that are great leaders. Worry less about wins and more about restoring Penn State to the respectable, outstanding university it was. Know we’ll cheer you, love you and support you…win or lose.

The worst day just passed. It’s time to become a blue and white sea of people who lift up kids, live with honor and support a bigger purpose than the scoreboard. WE ARE…PENN STATE!

What would you do?  What are your thoughts?

2 comments:

Maureen Timerman said...

Do I think the statue should come down? By all means YES! To turn a blind eye to the plight of children, unforgiveable! I don't care how much he did, he did negotiate a very nice retirement package prior to leaving in disgrace!
I can just see those little boys idolizing those men....and then letting the filthy hands of Sandusky betray them.
I think the whole football program should be shut down for at least a year!
Sorry for my rant...but people like this make me sick!

Diane said...

This is going to be a long rant

I know the Paterno family is very upset and stuff about the sanctions being placed at the school but lets face it, Its not like JoePa went to the police or tried to be a whistle blower. He continued to let sandusky have access to the facility for years. AND his family is still collecting on his retirement package. Yes its not their fault their family member covered up the abuse, but my gosh i wouldn't want that money - I would feel so guilty. If I was them I would donate it to programs to educate athletic departments as to how to handle this sort of situation.

I disagree with Maureen above about the point about the program being shut down - that punishes the current students enrolled in the football program who had nothing to do with the child abuse. I LOVE that the kids are able to transfer with out redshirting for a year. Normally when a student athlete transfers to a new school they must sit out a year before playing. The NCAA didn't want to punish the kids so they are all being allowed to de-commit and transfer to other schools. A corner back already has, and there have been rumors that more are starting the process.

Going to, and hosting Bowl Games brings the school ungodly amounts of money. The fact that PSU can't attend for 4 years is going to hurt the program financially. They also don't get any revenue sharing from the Big 10 which works out to be another 13Million dollars they will miss out on.

Also one show we watched today also brought up the point about how many people games affect. Its not just about the football program itself. Its the local media, the people working concessions, the staff that takes care of the field and facilities, the bus drivers etc. If football was shut down completely they would all be out of work. Anybody who covered up stuff is no longer on staff. The new board and coaches are allegedly trying to start over by opening up all records / emails everything to the public.

I WISH PSU lost more football scholarships so it would be harder to recruit kids. Although i think the schools reputation is already so tarnished that a lot of kids will accept offers elsewhere.

I want ANY individual who had ANY part in the cover up formally charged. I know the NCAA said they would decided if additional sanctions would be placed on individuals over the next few weeks.

I wish the people involved in the cover up had to go IN PERSON an apologize to the parents/guardins of the abused boys. Unless of course the victims and their family dont want to see the people.

I think every single college kid should have to take a course about abuse / morals / sensitivity training. Make it a requirement like english and math.

One last thing about Joe Paterno - Being the "winningest coach in college football" and covering up sexual abuse and Pedophellia are two different things. They can't keep saying his winning reputation is tarnished because of the sanctions. He WAS a great coach. But he ALSO allowed the molestation to be covered up because he along with other board members were worried about the reputation of the football program. All educators, mentors, coaches and staff need to ALWAYS put children first. They could have avoided this huge mess if they said something right away to police and adressed the issue professionally as soon as it happened. People would have had a lot more respect for them than they do now.

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