Penn State Football remains the tail which wags the dog at the University. The dominance of the football culture was the downfall of the institution and nothing much has changed $26 million later. Joe Paterno is dead but his ghost lives on and it haunts a once great university. Alumni and PSU insiders have never “gotten” that the nation is disgusted with the “football first” culture and how it led to the sexual molestation of boys in campus football facilities by a former coach. It still doesn’t grasped how the cover up by top officials has resulted in a massive loss of support and confidence in Penn State. It’s all still about football.
We saw it twice this past week. First when coach Bill O’Brien essentially extorted a $1.3 million bonus to not coach the Philadelphia Eagles. He denied that a wealthy alumnus (who owns a professional sports franchise) gave him the money as a gift but perception is reality and the perception here is that he grabbed a wad of cash to do what he was hired to do.
Granted I developed a deep respect for the new head coach when he held together and built upon a difficult situation. The football team was in dire need of a change and he brought the right stuff. Until he sold out last week. He lost whatever respect he had earned in one fell swoop.
Then Tom Corbett sued the NCAA over those football sanctions citing losses of revenues from university related sportswear and trinkets. That was his basis for establishing flimsy legal standing to bring the lawsuit in federal court. The state would lose business produced by the Penn State football program. So it’s all about football again. What happened to the victims? Does anyone at Penn State care about them? Isn’t it time alumni focused on the kids and not the players? So should the Governor. Penn State will never put this scandal behind it until it puts football in perspective.