Let me finish tonight with this.
I don’t know what happened at Penn State to get that school in so much trouble. Not really. I believe a crime was committed. I believe a horror occurred in that locker room. What I don’t know is what was told through the chain of command, what got to the president, and how. Were there so many euphemisms used about “horsing around” and such that it was impossible to grasp what actually happened?
But what needs to be established by Penn State and by what is being done to Penn State is to say rape is not simply another cost factor in maintaining a big-time football program.
Hiding hell is not tolerable in the pursuit of an impressive Big Ten win-loss record. It’s not, in the end, about keeping the crowd excited or the alumni thrilled or the state upbeat. It’s about being truly and genuinely proud of what you’re doing with football. It’s about having a tradition of athletic excellence that’s as good as it looks in the next day’s sports page.
Penn State can’t reach that goal by exonerating what happened in Happy Valley when something like this shouldn’t happen anywhere. Penn State is a great school. If it ever came to it, it would be a great school without a football season.
It’s a truly great university today and it will be tomorrow if it will truly face up to what happened, takes the penalty, gets back in the huddle, and makes the best of a bad situation.
Anyone who counsels otherwise is not a friend of Penn State.