Thursday, July 12, 2012

An Alumnae's Thoughts on Today's Revelations

Today at 10 AM, former FBI director Louis Freeh released his report regarding the actions of Penn State University in regard to the child sexual abuse committed by Jerry Sandusky.

Read it here.

If you didn't know, I am an alumna of Penn State.  Twice: bachelors and masters.

Happier Times (a photo shopped pic)

At work, I was able to listen to the press conference on the radio while I worked at my first job.  I did so in the company of two fellow alumni.

Back in November, when the scandal hit, I wrote a blog about my feelings.  (Read it here.)  I wrote the following then:

"Now what? The university is disgraced. All that I was taught there, was it a lie? A big fat lie wrapped in Blue and White?

And if Penn State is dirty, then can ANYONE be clean? Anywhere?

I hurt. Still. No end in sight as this will probably get so much worse before it gets better."

Since then, Sandusky was convicted of 45 charges of sexually abusing ten boys over a period of fifteen years.  He will go to jail for the rest of his life. 
Since then, Coach Joe Paterno died.
And today, the world found out that he KNEW.  That President Spanier KNEW.  And they covered it up. They allowed this monster to prey upon more victims and for what?  Reputation.  The "brand" if you will.
I bleed Blue and White.  I stuck up for Paterno- repeatedly and publically.  I really believed that there was no way Joepa could stand by and knowingly allow that predator to continue his deprivations.
But he did.  He did.

I can't put into words how I feel, but I'm trying anyway.

I wrote the following on Facebook:

"I am sad beyond words. I defended paterno. To learn that he KNEW and covered up child abuse... I am horrified. I was wrong. I'm STILL proud to be a Penn Stater, and always will be. That said, the Paterno statue should come down. All involved should rot in jail forever. Spanier especially. I had a Joepa bumper sticker on my car. i removed it this afternoon and threw it away."

The Bumper Sticker

The rest of my day at my first job, my fellow alums and I discussed what we heard.  And how we felt.  We all were stunned.  And angry.  We all feel betrayed.

I've received messages from friends and fellow alums as well.  The messages are supportive and I am so grateful for them. 

I can't get past the fact that so many people's lives were destroyed because people were worried about "a brand."  How can Spanier, Curley and Schultz bear to look in the mirror knowing that they actually helped that monster prey upon more children?

I can't imagine how those victims feel now, knowing that their pain could've and SHOULD'VE been prevented.  They deserve our thoughts and prayers. 

How can people put Money above concern for fellow people?  (A question I ask about the GOP as well, btw.)

I simply cannot comprehend this.  My brain doesn't work that way. 

I concluded my earlier post on the topic this way:

"The only thing I know is this:
And I always will be."

And I still feel that way.

But I hurt. Deeply.

And I don't see that hurt ending any time soon.

1 comment:

  1. Sophie,

    The only thing that comes out of this mess is unbridled sadness and depression.

    I agree with all that you have written (with one small exception about your linkage to the GOP).

    I feel your pain and the pain of the thousands of good and wonderful and generous people who are now and/or have been associated with Penn State over the years. It is a shame that the evil of one man has cast a pall over an otherwise fine and outstanding institution.

    The pain that Sandusky inflicted on those children may never go away. We pray that they can overcome their trauma.

    As for those who knew and kept silent to 'save the brand' they need to feel the shame of their acts and omissions. Other punishment and sanctions may also be in order.

    Please understand that you and the thousands of other PSU students are not complicit in this evil. You need not punish yourselves and you have no reason to hang your head in shame. The guilty should be punished but you and your fellow alums are not guilty and you need to focus on the honor and decency that, at least to my mind, defines the majority of the good people of PSU.

    Sadly, the stench of this mess will linger for a very long time.