By Seth Love:
“I thought football was going to win,” my dad said this morning after I told him of the decision made by Penn State to remove the Paterno Statue, a symbol linked with fame, hard-work, and unfortunately overhanging resentment and fear. With the decision conveyed from Penn State’s President Rodney Erickson this morning about Joe Paterno’s legacy represented in the statue outside Beaver Stadium, I assume many people are set at ease, in a very uneasy time, knowing that our national community does still care about morality rather than points/money. As Erickson said today:
“I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our University and beyond. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.”
This is a recognizable step towards national and community unification. One that deserves notoriety, for a few reasons: there are people out their (like me) who do not follow sports urgently. I have never really watched sports unless I had a friend playing; however, I, as others do, recognize the aesthetic and magnitude of those physical accomplishments. There are just as many if not more people who could never be capable of such feats.
I thank the school for finally speaking out, and letting us, who only vaguely knew of Paterno through society—and then hear that name in association with child abuse—know that Penn State still stands for education and morality. Before last November Penn State was known for its Education, as, arguably, one of the most prominent schools in the USA. But, yes, it was also known for its football, and therefore, I think, it is rather ill-fated for education to now suffer, for the lives of so many other young men and women may be near stymied by a lecherous man. More than just the victims of the scandal, for we have heard about them—and all our prayers are out for them now—but rarely do we talk about collateral damage.
I quote the president of Penn State again because, as I did not know being a graduate from Nevada, the University Library was also named after Paterno:
“On the other hand, the Paterno Library symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University. The library remains a tribute to Joe and Sue Paterno’s commitment to Penn State’s student body and academic success, and it highlights the positive impacts Coach Paterno had on the University. Thus I feel strongly that the library’s name should remain unchanged.”
To me, to all universities, the library is the center of the campus, and, well, the cornerstone of a college education. I spent countless hours in UNR’s Knowledge Center studying, writing papers, etc. I needed that place to survive.
Coach Paterno passed this January. Sandusky is still in the judicial system. Penn State is being sued by its insurance company and then suing in return—what am I to think of this scandal, what is any American to think who lives in the west instead of the east, who has never been to Penn State? Was Paterno a passionate man of education with a legacy in American college football yet to be challenged? Or, a man who did not know what he saw? Or, a man that saw nothing? A man joined in subterfuge?
I only can give hope to education, to justice, and peace. As I was taught, “Do unto others as you would want done unto you.” And, furthermore, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” Meaning, Penn State stands for more than statistics and numbers—more than even state or neighbor community—it is national. An average 7,000 students attend Penn State each year. Collegeboard.com states that 87% of the graduating class of 2011 stayed all four years. Penn State still represents a hope for a future education, perhaps it can again. It represents a student body that used to challenging the deep questions, the questions that acknowledge all humanity! Questions that link American to Cosmopolitan.
We, as Nevadans and as Americans, know what was done was wrong. Yet, it still feels so far away. So, I have a suggestion: litigations ensue and who knows if Penn State, and then maybe its student body and faculty, will still prevail for education—I say education has been hit enough. They are worried about the money: well save their money to keep the school running and give free education to all the victims, all their family members for life—and any one deemed in-need, or qualified.
Maybe this will create a positive out of a negative; that is, basing education around the fear of money will only harm more, and haven’t enough people had to pay with more than cash?