Why? Just because I could. And because the epitome of evil theme music seems somewhat appropriate these days.
In case you hadn't heard...A verdict was reached in the Jerry Sandusky trial late Friday night, and to the surprise of few, he was convicted on most of the charges he faced. Yahoo!'s Dan Wetzel, who'd been covering the trial since jury selection, had a great write up of the aftermath. A key part in his summation?
The verdict ended the fallacy that this was an area too devoted to Penn State football to render a fair and proper judgment. The anger at Sandusky was deeper than the outside world could fathom. There may have been a conspiracy to protect Sandusky in the highest levels of Penn State. That will be played out in legal proceedings against university officials, an independent investigation set for release next month and the inevitable slew of civil cases to come that will seek to tap into the school's $1.8 billion endowment.
None of that represents the rank and file here, not the good people who never hesitated to see Sandusky as a monster and were pained when he seemingly dragged the entire region's reputation down with him.
If only all could admit that many, probably most, in the community are not supporters of Sandusky (*cough* SbB *cough*).It's not so much a leap. LaVar Arrington has been pretty vocal throughout this whole ordeal, both on his radio show and in his blog for the Washington Post--sometimes to the detriment of his fellow Penn Staters. In the aftermath of the verdict, however, Arrington hits the nail on its head:
There’s a bigger travesty than Jerry Sandusky that can exist if we let it. Moving on and not getting involved in some way, somehow — financially, time or even donated resources. Don’t just move on to the next reality television show now that this one is over. These are very real issues, and sadly enough, this trial represents only one offender; how many more are out there? Are you willing to do what’s right when you see one?
In addition to LaVar's comments, the CDT gathers some reactions of other former Penn State football players, including many who knew and played for Sandusky. Former linebacker Dennis Onkotz's reaction shows what unfortunately typically happens when cases like this see the light--his response?
"I guess he got what he deserved. I don’t even like to think about it."
That shouldn't, can't, be our response. This trial, this scandal, has brought up an issue that's much more prevalent than many would like to admit. I only hope we as a society continue to seek truth, and not bury our heads in the sand in our continued blissful ignorance of what can, and does, happen to many. We have to think about it, because only if we acknowledge and think about a problem can we as a society work towards prevention and a solution.
Enough of the trial, let's talk about football...but will there be football to talk about? In today's last link about the elephant in the room, Tim over at VBR writes up why NCAA sanctions, specifically the death penalty, are unlikely for Penn State.
Even if the NCAA wants to bring penalties on Penn State athletics, where do they begin? As I said, this is not a football crime, regardless of how it has been portrayed. If a penalty comes, it has to be big. It has to be everybody from women’s basketball, to wrestling to baseball and fencing. A hockey team that doesn’t yet exist would be penalized. Will the NCAA punish hundreds of athletes because of the wrong-doings of an administration? Has there ever been an NCAA punishment that didn’t involve a single athlete committing a single infraction?
It all makes sense to me, Tim. But that doesn't necessarily mean it will make sense to the NCAA.
Now, really...on to football. Wide receiver Devon Smith has been released from the football team. Details of the why and why now have yet to emerge, but there's a strong chance it has to do with recent drugs charges against the player. While we wish him the best in his off the field life (and in the courtroom), I assume there are very few who won't be excited to see more of Alex Kenney on the field this fall. The guys who meticulously take care of the grass at Beaver Stadium included.
Come early. Stay late. Root hard. The four-time national championship women's volleyball team at Penn State has released their schedule for 2012. Of note is a home match at Rec Hall against powerhouse Texas, at 7 pm on September 1. For those of you few who don't have the schedule memorized, that's the day of the season opening football game versus Ohio, ensuring a sellout and a decided homecourt advantage for the Nittany Lions.
One of the most memorable volleyball moments in recent memory came against Texas in the 2009 NCAA finals:
Also of note is the team's first Big Ten match, a home tilt against fellow powerhouse Nebraska on September 19. If you're a student, go--you won't be disappointed.
In other women's sports news...Last week was the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, which began to give women more equal opportunities in the world of sports. Penn Live has dozens of profiles of women who witnessed the changes in attitude before and after the law was passed. Some women with Penn State ties, including Suzie McConnell-Serio and Coquese Washington, are amongst the profiles. I'm not going to touch on the controversies that have since sprung up; instead, please read this. Title IX has done quite a lot for female athletes over the years...but it's not all sunshine and roses and equality. Hopefully, some day, it will be.
Follow @BSDtweet on Twitter
And join us on Facebook