Come to Ped State!


A few weeks back – amidst the Ray Rice scandal and the chaos that engulfed the NFL – the NCAA quietly announced that Penn State’s sanctions had been lifted. No more bowl ban. No more scholarship reductions. Time had been served and reparations paid.

There are plenty of conspiracy (perhaps legitimate) theories out there as to why the NCAA decided to lift Penn State’s sanctions when they did. Regardless of why it happened, all you need to know is that it happened. Penn State is free to continue with business as usual… and that’s alarming.

When the sanctions were levied several years ago, there was a vocal minority who suggested that the NCAA was overstepping their boundaries and unfairly punishing current “student athletes” who had absolutely nothing to do with the situation. After all, if Penn State swiftly removed anyone who had any part of the heinous crimes and subsequent cover up, why should they be punished? Right?


That line of logic is exactly what is wrong with college athletics today and it shows a complete inability to see the forest for the trees. From the NCAA’s perspective, the real issue at hand should have been bigger than Sandusky, Paterno, Spanier or any other person associated with the crimes. The issue is one of culture. The football program at Penn State had become (and still is) bigger than the school itself. That culture still exists today regardless of whether the criminals who were a part of the past remain. Culture is bigger than any one individual and absolutely nothing has suggested that the culture at Penn State has changed one iota since the NCAA levied “strict” sanctions. This was blatantly apparent with the jubilant celebrations that ensued in State College several weeks ago when the announcement was made that Penn State’s football program was free.

The fact of the matter is the only way to change the culture at a place like Penn State, and I mean THE ONLY WAY, is to completely do away with the football program. Only then will people realize that Penn State isn’t about a football team. It’s a state university that serves first and foremost to educate young people.

I’ll be the first to tell you how much I enjoy reveling in the pageantry of Saturdays in the fall… particularly in the West Lot. It may not seem like it at times, but I’m fully aware that the livelihood of my alma mater, Northwestern University, does not hang in the balance with the result of our team’s games every Saturday. Unfortunately, I don’t think the same can be said at a place like Penn State, Ohio State, Alabama, etc. Saturday results define those universities.

At the end of the day, we shouldn’t be playing Penn State this weekend. Nobody should be playing Penn State this weekend. They shouldn’t have a team right now. Only then would the NCAA truly have addressed the issue at hand.

3 thoughts on “Come to Ped State!

  1. I really felt badly for the future of your great university when I saw the fans blatantly celebrating the football victory over Penn State University yesterday. It was truly a sign that your school is headed in the wrong direction. I would immediately call on the board of trustees to have Lois Free investigate. It was shocking to see Coach Fitz put so much emphasis on football. You should pray for deliverance from this scourge.

  2. Jealous Roger Rankin needs to resort to name calling because of his weakness. Poor fellow has to go through life like this. Stay classy NU fans.

  3. Thanks for the comments, gentlemen.

    Several things:

    1. Daniel Boone, I realize what you’re saying, but are you really suggesting that the short-lived post-game celebration by Northwestern’s players and fans on Saturday afternoon demonstrates that Northwestern has the same rampant football culture that exists at football factories like PSU, OSU, etc.? I’m not trying to be hypocritical here, but I just don’t think the two are aligned…. at all. Our players (and fans) are entitled to a little post-game celebration. I’ll admit that I’m on the brink of caring too much about college football (just like those I’m criticizing here), but I was taking a Saturday afternoon nap about 30 minutes after the game ended. I wasn’t rioting in the streets (

    2. Ken, I probably could have refrained from the “Ped State” reference. As you may know, that was in reference to an old B1G advertisement where Joe Paterno appeared yelling “Come to Penn State!” into the camera at the end ( That ad was filmed well after Paterno was made aware of the Sandusky events. I happen to find that kind of disgusting and it speaks to the larger issue at hand. Having said that, I agree, there’s no need to reiterate that with the reference I used.

    3. Out of curiosity, each of you is being critical of elements of this post, but you don’t really address the issue at hand. Do either of you disagree that football is as big, if not bigger, than Penn State itself? Or, better put, do you think that football defines Penn State?

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