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Please bear with me — I am adding to the Cohn Zohn discussion of whether or not to cancel the rest of Penn State’s football schedule this season. I already have lost the debate — no one is canceling anything. But I have more to say on the subject, anyway.

Thoughtful people on both sides of this issue have written into the Zohn. Many of you said “innocent” people should not get punished for what others perpetrated. By innocent people I take it to mean the current players themselves. Or perhaps you would include the fans.

Wait a minute. Who are the innocents in this story? They are the young children who got raped on the PSU campus. The players are not in their category.

The university should honor the real innocents by taking a moral stand and canceling the season. When you take a moral ┬ástand you usually give up something. You pay a price. That’s why moral stands are moral — because you sacrifice something by doing the right thing.

I can’t stand the way people think nowadays. I hear this from athletes all the time who do bad things — they say “I take full responsibility for what I did.”

It’s just empty words because they give up nothing. If PSU wants to take responsibility it should give up this season.

Or maybe not the whole season. Just tomorrow’s game against Nebraska. Cancel the game for God’s sake. Stan suggested this and I agree. Wow, do I agree.

Mrs. Cohn Zohn said this to me. “If there was a murder on the campus or if a serial killer murdered people on campus, they would cancel the next game out of respect. What happened to those boys is like a murder — some of their lives are ruined. They should cancel the game.”

Mrs. Cohn Zohn is 100 percent correct. Just cancel the game. For God’s sake, cancel the game. And if you say raping 10-year-old boys and then covering it up does not equal murder, then shame on you.

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Comments

40 Comments

  1. Jerod

    Couldn’t agree more. As things get more and more out of control I continue to lose respect not only for Sandusky but for every person who has the opportunity to begin to try and right the wrongs and still chooses not to. The university is only affirming the beliefs that it places a higher value on a few football games than the serious damage that has been done to those kids by a sick individual that was sheltered by cowards.

    November 11th, 2011 5:14 pm

  2. Stan

    I swear-not more then minutes after I posted that Penn State might still have those on the football staff who knew of the rapes and molesting, that are taking the field this Saturday?..the interim President of Penn State said at today’s press conference that the school does think there are even more who knew and they are right now investigating. But the game will be played. And,he added the school “owes” Joe Paterno gratitude to be shown at “A later date”. Right now being he said, “Not the right time”..
    Just a total disgrace.

    November 11th, 2011 5:14 pm

  3. TJB in HMB

    Joe Paterno, the University administartion, the students (including the players) and the fans have built up this program to a degree that they think it is above the bounds of maorality. What does football really have to do with the true mission of higher education. The institution of big-time college footbal is a corrupt abomination. Not only should the rest of the schedule be cancelled, the program should be cancelled. I wish we could do away with all of the BCS programs. You would probably never see a cover-up like this at a Bucknell (or a Lafayette). Let all schools who want football operate like the IVY or Patriot league. I am so sick of college football in general. Want big-time football? Watch the NFL!

    November 11th, 2011 5:20 pm

  4. Rickraff

    They need the revenue from the games to pay off all the forthcoming lawsuits… Penn State should abolish the progam like USF did for basketball…

    November 11th, 2011 5:30 pm

  5. gary

    The real world is a tough, complex place. Canceling the Penn State season does a bit more punishment to Pateno and cronies, and certainly the Penn State institution. The athletes who had nothing to do with this? Let the University honor their scholarship, or allow movement to anouther school, without penalty. Who should they be angry at? Paterno and cronies.

    When Russia and the US took turns boycotting the Olympics, yes athletes were “harmed’. Were they harmed like the citizens of the countries being fought over? Of course not, not even close.
    But I would be willing to bet the athletes affected by bycotts
    are much more savvy about world affairs, right and wrong, tough
    decisions, than those of other olympiads…..sorry, off topic, but an example of athletes being “caught in the middle”

    November 11th, 2011 5:41 pm

  6. Jack Orion

    The USF correlation isn’t apt. There, a student-athlete was at the center of the issue. No student-athletes are culpable in this Penn State scandal. None. I can’t think of any other NCAA scandal that didn’t include a student. Recruiting scandals tacitly implicate the recruit.

    November 11th, 2011 6:28 pm

  7. Mike

    Cancel the damn game, alright!!!?

    November 11th, 2011 7:22 pm

  8. Peter

    Cancel the season. One game is token. Canceling only the Nebraska game would appear to be an attempt to buy some time and shallow moral collateral in order to get back to industry the following weeks. This awful ..mess will slowly and painfully unfold. The business of Penn State football must be suspended.

    November 11th, 2011 8:16 pm

  9. Rory B

    What would even be better is if the individual students and alumni CHOSE not to attend the game… Ain’t gonna happen of course, not with the mindset of the kind of people who demonstrated on Wednesday night…

    November 11th, 2011 9:28 pm

  10. Hacksaw

    Lowell,

    Could not agree more. Further, I would like to see Penn State stripped of its football program for the foreseeable future.

    On Wed I watched Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN argue why Paterno should be allowed to finish the season. I was shocked. Kids got raped and he looked the other way. Finish the season??? He should be in jail.

    November 11th, 2011 10:03 pm

  11. Dee

    Football has nothing to do with it. Psu have over 100000 students. 3 people dnt define a community. jerry is not Psu…the rioters is not psu….But the oneser who workin hard every night and day, the ones who raises MILLIONS of dollars for the kids through THON every year! What have any of you done as a ppl lately?…I didnt cover anything thing up nor do I support those who did….what I support is my school my fellow penn staters…we are Penn State! Yall are too focus on football…how about focus on the case!…I dnt blame a whole race or gender or age group for something a couple idiots did….why shouldnt you blame a whole student body for something 4 or 5 people did?…minus the fans and the team you still have PSU….instead of focus all your hatred toward the hard workin students you need to focus it on the individuals who are responsible and victims, because right now ppl like you, the media and the rioters are taking the light off of the real problem!

    November 11th, 2011 10:04 pm

  12. Mike

    I believe after the point shaving scandal of 1951, Kentucky, yes that Kentucky canceled the 1952-53 season. I know the point shaving involved the Kentucky players so they got what they deserved, but this is about the raping of children and those in charge doing little to stop it, or just whitewashing over it. Canceling a season would send a message that some things are more important than sport.

    November 12th, 2011 12:50 am

  13. Johnc

    Lowell, You are corect. This is an university crisis of epic proportions. The football game is meaningless in light of the murder of children.
    The players should grasp that by playing they are paying homage to false gods and false heroes.

    November 12th, 2011 12:59 am

  14. c. nova

    This is a sad situation and of course people are angry, but empty grand gestures (like canceling a game or the rest of the season) accomplish nothing. Your stance on this is unrealistic and seems childish. What happened is awful but what you are calling for makes no sense. What should be done now is to let the legal system punish those who are actually guilty. Raping 10-year-old boys is a crime as bad as murder, but if your suggesting that those who aren’t for the empty grand gesture you have called for are somehow soft of this horrific crime, well, then shame on you.

    November 12th, 2011 2:48 am

  15. GWHIZ

    Let see now, Sant Rosa, the Cathlic Archdioce, pedofiles,, did they cancel Mass?? By the way. Jimmy Carter canceled our participation in the Olympics, How did that go???

    November 12th, 2011 6:10 am

  16. Dennis

    I agree with Dee! I think a lot of people on this blog, including Lowel, are focusing on the wrong people. When the Catholic Church cases were brought to light, did anyone suggest that they punish the parishoners by canceling Mass on Sunday? Punish the people who commited the crime and those that covered it up. The Catholic Church didn’t even do the latter part of that.

    November 12th, 2011 7:11 am

  17. Dave T

    Lowell, I completely agree that the innocents in this case are in fact the to this point alleged victims, no one should ever have to be subjected to that type of treatment. I hope that any individual who would do such acts is justly punished. However, if I am not mistaken, these acts, while allegedly taking place on campus, using said facilities, by a member/former member of the staff, did not in fact involve the football program or Penn State athletic program. Instead, and I could be wrong here, it was a charitable organization for at risk youths, run by said individual on those facilities. If that is in fact he case, which I believe it is, then how can you possibly want to cancel the season for a group of young men who had absolutely nothing to do with any such accusations or acts against others. It would be something like any group, using any facility of any school, allegedly committing some act against another person, then shutting down the school and their athletic programs. You can’t hold them, the student athletes, accountable to begin with, and further, can’t do so at minimum 8 years later. You do hold accountable those that perpetrated teh acts, those that did not report it accordingly and any who simply covered said items up. Which in fact it seems has thus far taken place.
    .
    Lowell, I and countless other Penn State alumni and current students are as equally disturbed by what has allegedly taken place. Our thoughts and hearts go out to those young men who were subjected to this nightmare. We want to see justice brought in this matter and healing take place for everyone involved. What we don’t see is any kind of value, moral or otherwise, to cancelling todays game or any of the remaining season games. Perhaps the young men who take the field today will dedicte their play and the remainder of their season and maybe even playing career to the memory of what is taking place. To remembering that in the end it is just a game, that most things in life are more important, and that the game, it a distraction and a positive in their life. I doubt any of them will ever forget this time in their lives and I for one, as an alumni hope they will learn from it and apply it to their own lives.

    November 12th, 2011 9:49 am

  18. Stan

    What I see from Penn State and supporters is an almost total lack of shame. Remove the those they KNOW are legally responsible-and then do all they can to make like as nothing happened for all else. Go on like those kids are nameless,faceless colateral damage..dont blame the culture of Penn State or those who visit Paterno’s home and pray for him. The enabler of a monster that he is.
    They need more proof.

    November 12th, 2011 10:05 am

  19. Stan

    The new coach? Just terrible..he lionizes Paterno and said Paterno’s place on the bus will be kept empty! Like Paterno passed on to heaven-not FIRED for child abuse and rape he enabled.
    The media is just as bad sometimes..ESPN already on NCAA spin to protect Penn State.

    November 12th, 2011 10:10 am

  20. danilo

    Canceling one game is meaningless. Penn state should drop its entire football program. Penn state football became an autonomous institution, more powerful than the university, which enabled such atrocities to take place and swept under the rug. When the university president went over to Paterno’s house back in 2004 and asked him to retire, Paterno threw him out of the house. Penn Sate is supposed to be an academically good school, but no one ever talks about it, because football has taken everything over and became a cult, an a dangerous one. Let Penn State become a university again, and it can be achieved only through dropping football.

    November 12th, 2011 10:10 am

  21. Frank in Minnesota

    Yes, perhaps after this season when all comes out in a legal manner, not before…..the sanctions should be done as to give the player-students a chance to move on, or whatever….

    November 12th, 2011 10:30 am

  22. 5decadefan

    Dave T: The shower room is a part of the athletic department, which is on Penn St. property. The victimizer who was sodomizing the victim is a former Penn St. coach. At one time, Sandusky was considered the man who would follow Joe Paterno when Paterno retired. Joe Paterno is the HC of the football team and he didn’t take the information to the police and instead participated in the cover up, if not initiating it. Of course it involved the football program.

    November 12th, 2011 11:28 am

  23. 5decadefan

    Why would any football player WANT to play this game?

    November 12th, 2011 11:31 am

  24. 5decadefan

    Oh, wait! As the vice-chairman of the trustees said, (and this is a paraphrase),”There’s more than the football program to the ‘Penn St. Aura.’ “

    November 12th, 2011 11:38 am

  25. Chris from Santa Rosa

    Dennis, it is a documented fact that the Catholic Church covered up the sexual abuse crimes committed by some of its priests. That cover-up was systemic and institutional, involving the entire church hierarchy going all the way to the Pope. (Yes, JP II and Benedict are both implicated.) Same thing with PSU – Sandusky’s crimes were covered up by members of the coaching staff (including Paterno) and the university administration.
    .
    The comparison between Mass and a football game is revealing – it says a lot that maybe wasn’t meant to be said. Outside a few mega-bucks college programs (and Texas!), football is not religion.

    November 12th, 2011 12:01 pm

  26. GWHIZ

    It’s not the NCAA football program that is broken, it’s the LEGAL system that was a failure…The current Governor, Grand Jury, have known about this for years. That’s where the problem is, not the football players.

    November 12th, 2011 12:21 pm

  27. Stan

    I never rooted so hard for Nebraska to win..and probably never will again. The ABC/ESPN announcers couldn’t have made it more obvious they were wishing a Penn State win to pull a “tribute” to a criminal and his supporters. The march of 80,000 that planned to go to Paterno’s house to hand him a game ball?..again,just cult like blindness. Where the majority are dead wrong.

    November 12th, 2011 12:38 pm

  28. Dennis

    Chris, to me there is no distinction between football, religion, government, private industry, you name it, when a crime as serious as this has occurred and was covered up. They should all be treated the same.

    November 12th, 2011 12:53 pm

  29. danilo

    I believe that if Joe Paterno escapes criminal charges, it would be only through hair splitting legal maneuvers by very expensive criminal lawyers. The enabling and cover up of Sandusky’s activities were possible because Paterno ran the football program like an Italian crime family business with a code of silence protecting the made men, of which Sandusky was one. Penn Aate is a public university, therefore it should not be allowed to have a football program by the state of Pennsylvania, at least not until every person associated with the Paterno regime has been removed, and the culture that he created is drastically changed.

    November 12th, 2011 1:26 pm

  30. ready ranger

    All anyone has to do is just Google & Read the “Grand Jury Indictment of Jerry Sandusky.” Then decided what action should be taken for the pending remainder of the Football Season for Penn State. Its just sick & sad…

    November 12th, 2011 1:27 pm

  31. Stan

    One last-ESPN has not only interviewed many ex greats who played for Penn State..but I haven’t seen any attempts by ESPN to interview Psychologists,therapists,child sex abuse counselars to tell the public of not just the abuse but the life long effects. Or even other victims who trusted in sports figures growing up. Just basic background reporting. Nothing. ESPN is just trying to prop up the Penn State program. Today announcer’s were just aching to -as I said-make this a tribute to Penn State..so wrong. Have any of you seen mighty EPSN sending reporters to half way houses of abused kids or … ANY reporting of the “other side” of the abuse? I haven’t.

    November 12th, 2011 2:13 pm

  32. Dave T

    There is not one single time that I or anyone else has said to not hold accountable anyone who committed a crime in this matter. The question at hand is whether or not to allow the current group of student athletes to complete their football season. So let us deal with facts at this point. The facts currently are that we have indictments, not admissions or convictions at this point. And no matter how atrocious, heinous, vile and disgusting it may be, we still have allegations and indictments. Second, while it too place on school grounds, by a member/former member of the staff, it was done under the auspices of a seperate organization and not PSU, or the Athletic program. Whenever such things take place, said group or organiztion must provide their own insurance and structure for itself, not the owner of said facility. Thirdly, should it come to light that in fact there was a cover up, that those within the program itself committed a crime to do so, then yes, there in fact should be punishments metted out. No question, no debate. Right now we do not have that. What we have are those who should be held accountable, being done so, to the extent that it can be at this point. It has cost them jobs, careers and personal freedoms. And ultimately, if in fact it is shown coverups took place, further punishment, including action take against PSU Athletics could take place.
    .
    What is unreasonable and unfair is to lump all members of the Penn State family into this. Those young men who took the field today, who played their hearts out in honor of those who were subject to this, and all individuals who have been abused should not be lumped into this. Those students, alumni and faculty who support helping to protect our youth and to ensure that justice is brought to those who perpetrate such acts should not be lumped into this. Let’s all slow down, deal with facts, work together to get to the bottom of this and bring some closure to this matter. I assure you, and I think I can speak for most of my alumni brethren, we condone what took place, we want nothing more than to see justice served and support any and all work towards protecting our youth. And having said all of that, let these young men compete and play.

    November 12th, 2011 3:56 pm

  33. observing

    Lowell, I think canceling games is the right course, but not this season’s–just canel the next three years!

    PSU needs to give itself the “Death Penalty” for about 3 years. PSU built a culture where everyone was frightened of allowing the football program to “look bad.” PSU must get rid of football for at least 3 years to tear apart that culture.

    Let them play this year out. By announcing now that you will drop football next year, all the players will be allowed to transfer and they can continue to “compete and play” at other places. The ones who don’t want to transfer should get their scholarships anyway until they graduate at PSU.

    The USF analogy is absolutely correct–the corrurpt culture of one sport was so pervasive, that only getting rid of the sport could remove. it.

    November 12th, 2011 5:02 pm

  34. Kathy

    @ Dave, I hope it’s just an unfortunate typo where you wrote “I can speak for most of my alumni brethren, we condone what took place …”

    November 12th, 2011 5:07 pm

  35. Dave T

    And that would be condemn, and most cerainly not condone. Humble apologies on the typo.

    November 12th, 2011 5:54 pm

  36. Johnc

    Thats a nice speech Dave T but it does not convince me. They should cancel the dam game and the season because they are Penn State! and JOPA is Penn STAte! Why is it not important to stop the madness and reflect and show some balance. Punish the poor students and football playes? They will learn nothing except that the money machine that generates $55 million a year must keep grinding on no matter what..no matter the cost of murdered children. We all know the truth ..it was a rotten cover up and fancy lawyer talk will not change that.

    November 13th, 2011 2:24 am

  37. GG

    Canceling a game is a gesture that shows blame and regret but what does it do to help prevent this crime from happening again? How about if Penn State champions a law in Pennsylvania that requires anyone with knowledge of rape of a child to report it to the police instead of the current Pennsylvania law which requires the person witnessing such a crime only to report it to a person in authority.

    Penn State Administration should also launch a campaign in the 10 or so states which have laws similar to Pennsylvania to get those states to amend the laws so that anyone witnessing such a crime against children must report it to the police.

    November 13th, 2011 7:02 pm

  38. Chris from Santa Rosa

    Thank you for saying that, Dennis. When we step back and see this situation from a larger perspective, that is how it should be. What concerns me here is that it appears that a lot of PSU supporters haven’t yet taken that step back. Example: PSU fans were encouraged to chant “We are Penn State” at the game. The implication being “We are Penn State, no matter what”, or worse “We are Penn State, right or wrong”. That disturbs me, as it should anyone. I watched a little of the game, and it all seemed hollow to me. I mean, what’s a football game, but rollicking good fun on a crisp fall afternoon? Last Saturday, there really wasn’t much to have a rollicking good time over.

    November 13th, 2011 8:34 pm

  39. Amir Talai

    WELL PUT.

    November 14th, 2011 3:36 pm

  40. GG

    Hi Chris,

    There may be another implication behind that chant. From
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/peter_king/11/14/Week10/1.html
    Peter King goes to Penn state student Emily Kaplan who says the history of the chant is, “. . . is believed to have occurred the same year Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier. In the pre-Paterno year of 1947, SMU didn’t want to play Penn State because of PSU’s two African-American players and wanted to negotiate a compromise. “We are Penn State,” said captain Steve Suhey. “There will be no meetings.”" If the use of the message was based on the spirit of the original saying then the implications chant would be different.

    November 14th, 2011 8:47 pm

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