College programs too often lack morals

Right now there is a sickening feeling in my stomach not just as a Penn State football fan but as a person. The acts described in the 23 page Grand Jury Report on Jerry Sandusky, are among the worst that can be done. But what makes it the most sickening is how the entire situation was handled.

Being from Pennsylvania, when it comes to college football, it is all about the Penn State Nittany Lions and even more about Joe Paterno.

“Joe Pa” is not only the face of the University but is probably the most recognizable person in college football.

He has held the same position for 46 years, holds the all-time wins record in Division 1 football and until now it was all thought to be done “the right way.”

Paterno was never one to run up the score on an opponent, donated countless amounts of his salary to the university, and earned the respect and trust of his players enough for them to send their sons to play for him (coaching 25 father-son combinations), all while wearing simple blue and white jerseys with no nameplate on the back because that didn’t matter.

As more and more NCAA violations get revealed across college football community, it seemed that no major program was clean, except a few and Penn State was one of them, a fact the fans and alumni take pride in.

But has he and college football gotten too big for the greater good? Has success in college athletics become more important than doing what is right?

In the case of Penn State it has, not just with the football program but the entire University, all the way up to the president.

In my time at Seton Hall, I have already seen plenty of controversies and blemishes to the top sport here, starting with Keon Lawrence getting arrested before the first basketball game my freshman year.

I’ve also been here when a player was arrested on a felony, a player gave an opponent a cheap shot below the belt, a coach has gotten fired, players suspended on numerous occasions, two players dismissed from the team and an alleged incident with a firearm on campus.

However, unlike what is being reported at Penn State, not once did the Seton Hall athletic department or administration try to cover up what happened. When necessary action was needed it was taken after the facts were found, not worried about what the general public would think immediately, but to uphold the values of the University.

At Penn State they did nothing, despite being alerted of Sandusky’s actions in team facilities on three separate occasions, according to the report, but try and keep the perception that no one does anything wrong in “Happy Valley.”

Because of this however, Penn State looks worse than they ever could have if they just reported the incidents when they happened. If “actual” action was taken when the first incident was reported in 1994 or 1995, by now the scandal would have passed and the incident would have been viewed as one individual.

But with the news getting all the way to the top to the University president and then nothing done it becomes obvious that they cared more about the perception of the football team then what was morally right.

I had thought the Seton Hall basketball was out of control with the off-the-court incidents but at least everyone involved in the athletic department and administration did what was right to keep the University’s integrity, unlike Penn State.

One line from the Penn State Alma Mater reads, “May no act of ours bring shame,” but after these reports, how can anyone in the stadium against Nebraska on Saturday say those words proudly.

Stephen Valenti is a junior journalism major from Lansdale, Pa. He can be reached at stephen.valenti@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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