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Mike Schopp's Blog



SCHOPP: Perspective 101

Just got done reading about the rally at Joe Paterno's house last night. Whereas prior to that no one in his or her right mind would have ever connected the current student body to any of the alleged wrongdoing in Happy Valley, that's over now. Once students rally on the side of the embattled football program, they become de facto opposition to alleged child-abuse victims.

Apparently Penn State offers no courses in perspective.

Penn State is the latest example of the many major universities in this country that, evidentially, prioritize football over all else. Whatever happens -- pay-for-play scandals, cheating on tests, child abuse, murder, where does it end? -- it all gets dealt with the same way. Holy Football must endure.

Fans rallying at the knees of the deity send that very message. That the tenure and legacy of the coach are the most important thing in the equation. Not the tortured kids who probably haven't slept a peaceful wink since that monster laid his hands on them. Did the assemblage also do the wave?

Most of us know right from wrong, but so many of us put it aside once it involves one of our own. It's San Francisco Giants fans giving Barry Bonds standing ovations while the rest of the country was shouting and snickering. It's Richard Nixon's political allies in the time of Watergate bugging offices and spreading lies in the name of means to an end. They're wearing a blindfold made of yellow tape from a crime scene.

Well Penn State needs someone to rip off that tape. Yes, it'll leave a scar. Otherwise though you just won't see the light. A coach molesting a 10-year-old boy in the football shower room? How could this not be dealt with criminally for so long? It's unconscionable. The only reason it's not shocking is that it happened within a setting where the power existed to cover it up, where that same power blurs perpetrators' understanding of what's right and what's wrong.

How is Paterno still the Penn State head coach today? Young men accusing Jerry Sandusky of child abuse are coming forward one after another -- and this is despite the presumption that many victims of child abuse would never want to talk. (Logically, this seems especially true if the perpetrator were a man of distinction and renown, which is what these coaches are.) The reason is that Paterno holds the power. He's not the president of the university, but he is its king.

I would say it's all unbelievable, except it happened in college football where nothing is.


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Topics : Sports
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People : Barry BondsJerry SanduskyJoe PaternoRichard Nixon




 
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