Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hopes for the New Year for Penn State

2011 was wonderful for 10 months, hellacious for the last two; may the recovery begin in 2012

May the New Year bring to Happy Valley ...

 ... as swift and painless a resolution to the Sandusky scandal as possible. May there be no more victims, no drawn out legal process, no more jarring and scarring revelations, no more national media convergence. May there simply as good a resolution as there can possibly be at this horrible juncture.

 ... recovery for the alleged victims, and peace in their lives.

 ... recovery for the Penn State community from the anguish imparted by the scandal.

 ..  recovery for Joe Paterno as he battles cancer and other health issues, as well as the emotional toll of the Sandusky scandal and his removal as Penn State football coach. And may he have his day to explain himself. And may people listen with clear minds. For example, telling your administrative boss and the head of campus police about possible wrongdoing by definition means you attempted to have that possible wrongdoing investigated properly. A clear mind can recognize that.

 ... much more knowledge of what Paterno and many, many others connected in some way to this scandal knew and did - including those from Penn State, and from the Second Mile, and from campus police, and from State College police, and the DA, and on and on - and may that knowledge in some way help in the recovery process.

 ... a dose of perspective from the national media - a better grasp of what has happened in State College/PennState and the ability to properly focus on that. For example, Joe Paterno and Penn State football are a part of this scandal, not the focal point of it. And a hundred people on JoePa's lawn is not an overwhelming outpouring of support - it basically means his neighbors came over. And an estimated 2,500 and 3,000 people in the streets of State College, with maybe 40-45 of them recklessly misbehaving (the same video truck toppled on its side has been replayed a million times) and the other 98-plus percent just watching and recording on their cell phones, is not a riot. Watch video from Vancouver after the Stanley Cup defeat - that's a riot. And let's wait to pass withering final judgments on individuals before all of the facts come in, and before everyone who wishes to speak on their behalf has had an opportunity to do so. (Though, it must be said, the overwhelming preponderance of the accusations against Sandusky is enough to know that he did something abhorrently wrong on many occasions.)

 ... wisdom and success for the football coach search committee.

 ... a new football coach, one with the equanimity to gracefully cope with everything that comes his way; the perspective to always do the right thing; the patience and resolve to deal with the perpetual scandal lurking in the background, possibly for years; the focus to not let it impede success; the unyielding energy to make a full commitment and to recruit relentlessly; the connections and pull to compile a stellar coaching staff; the confidence and clout to follow a legend (albeit a suddenly greatly diminished one); the experience to be at his peak professionally; the persona to deal with the media, boosters, public, former players and student body in an engaging manner; the skill to produce a team that consistently contends for the Big Ten title and puts 100,000-plus in the stands week-after-week.

 ... reason to believe some good can come of this monstrous scandal, whether it's in giving abuse victims elsewhere the courage to come forward, the strengthening of abuse laws and reporting procedures, justice for the guilty, or increased funding for organizations that raise awareness of and/or provide support for victims of abuse. As bad as the Sandusky scandal is, some good will come from this.

 ... hope for the future. For the future of everyone directly involved in this calamity, for the future of Penn Staters past, present and future, and for the glory of old State.

We Are ...

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