Penn State football, Sandusky being separated in public’s mind
In the best news for Nittany Lion fans in at least seven months, the public seems in large part to finally be separating Penn State football from Jerry Sandusky.
With the trial again topping the local news, and even back in the national spotlight, it is encouraging to see most of the stories focusing on the individual on trial, and what he allegedly did, rather than on the football program and the late Coach Joe Paterno.
As the trial progresses, what various Penn State officials, possibly even including Paterno, knew and what they did with that knowledge, may again move to the forefront. Those who care about the image of Paterno, the football program, and the university, can only hope the trial discloses the circle of people who had specific knowledge of alleged wrongdoings, and chose not to take appropriate action, if that proves to be the case, is small and completely outside the football program.
Not that the national, or even much of the local, media will acknowledge that should it happen. Nor can we expect the Board of Trustees to own up to its unfair handling of Paterno’s situation, should it be proven he had little information on which to act, especially if the information he had concerned somone who was no longer on his coaching staff.
I recently had the opportunity to be with a group of admissions counselors from Penn State’s various campuses. There was mixed opinion on whether this whole episode was negatively impacting students’ desire to attend Penn State, but general agreement the student body and school as a whole have been unfarily tarred as being part of a conspiracy of silence to protect the football program, when certainly no one outside of a very small group had any idea of what was allegedly going on.
Bill O’Brien seems to have made a great start in getting the focus back on the action on the field, and recruiting seems to be picking up.
Let’s hope that’s a sign of things to come.