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:

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)


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.

NCAA results
Big 10 results
PSU reaction to results
Sports Poll about your feelings

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?
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