STATE COLLEGE, PA - JULY 23: Penn State students and others react to the sanctions the NCAA announced against Penn State in the HUB on the campus of Penn State on July 23, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty …
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I come from a family of Penn Staters. My grandfather was a benefactor at the school. I have several uncles and cousins who are PSU alums. In my house, watching Penn State football on Saturdays was a given. We held Joe Paterno in the highest of regard. He after all, ran a different kind of program. His was a clean, shining example of what athletics and education are supposed to be like. Obviously we now know that many opinions, including mine, have changed.
It was with great interest that I watched the NCAA's announcement yesterday morning about the unprecedented punishment it was handing down to Penn State's football program. What I saw moments after was even more damning.
ESPN showed the reaction of PSU students as they watched the announcement and got their immediate thoughts. Many continued to embarrass the school long after the sanctions were announced. Most of the students thought that the penalties were too severe. Some said the school shouldn't lose the chance to play in future bowl games, or complained about the NCAA stripping Paterno of some of his past wins. They clearly STILL just don't get how serious this matter is.
Leave it to an 18-year-old to lose perspective. Hopefully they will someday learn that life and college are more than football. Lives have been altered as a result of their institution and the failure to act.
The popular phrase for as long as I can remember around State College has been "We Are Penn State." If the students I saw on TV are any indication, you might as well make it "We Are Naive."
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