In light of this week's mind-numbing events, I, like many within the PSU family, have transitioned from the "Rage" Phase to the "what's next" chapter.
The Booster's Our Team Status fan post resonated and had a profound impact on me:
"I respond to that by saying Penn State is in a position to teach the rest of the world a valuable lesson. This doesn’t have to be a one sided story anymore."
Reflecting not so much on the overall lack of leadership (BoT, president, PR) I've been in awe witnessing TRUE LEADERSHIP taking root. Couple this with The Booster's statement above and I, for one, have made a decision to also "lead from the front." Before I outline my families mission, here are just a few fundamental examples of PSU leadership and character taking root as we speak:
- Reaffirmed his commitment to us, our team, his coaching staff, and the parents of our players.
- Conducted a series of power interviews to proclaim we will not sit back idly and worry about the past (specifically penalties levied) but rather focus on the "now" and control those elements to perfection.
- Invited those current commits back to our home (campus) and assured them that if your initial intent on becoming a member of this family was based on receiving a top-rate education, being a contributor towards something BIGGER THAN YOURSELF, and you have an unwavering desire to compete at the highest level athletically...those fundamental principles have not nor will ever be compromised.
- These band of brothers held an impromptu gathering to reassure EVERYONE they are here for the long-haul, will continue to make us proud, and look forward to "raising hell" on Saturdays.
- Several individuals assumed a self-leadership role by allowing interviews and echoed a consistent message to ANYONE doubting their resolve...WE control our performance and WE will be judged not by the acts of a few but by the content of our collective character.
Current Football Commits
- These young men assumed a self-leadership role by confirming their commitment to seeking a top-rate education, competing at the highest level, and being part of something bigger than themselves.
- They utilized various social media assets (interviews, twitter, etc.) to reaffirm their steadfast commitment.
- Whether they realize it or not, for young men (literally teenagers) to possess these characteristics is remarkable and a direct reflection of their family, integrity and intellect...they are LEGENDS themselves.
Black Shoe Diaries
- There isn't enough internet bandwidth to describe how this team has assumed a self-leadership role and instrumentally enhanced our ability to collaborate.
- From Day 1 of this undeniable nightmare, the BSD team continues to "lead from the front" and provide both a platform for us to opine as well as an organic journalistic vehicle for us to leverage. It's refreshing to have such a forum for us to debate intellectually and hold one another accountable for Fact vs. Fiction (unlike the majority of other outlets).
Us (PSU Family)
- First and foremost, yes, we do "get it." The overwhelming majority of our family has and will continue to expect a few simple yet overlooked elements: (1) we want the facts; (2) EVERYONE who directly/indirectly contributed in allowing a monster to exploit children is held fully accountable; (3) these allegations and facts are the absolute antithesis of our belief system...we unequivocally condemn those actions of a few and will not allow anyone to correlate the 99.999% of us who exhibit Success With Honor on a daily basis.
- We must begin accelerating our self-leadership efforts and support for our institution. Don't misinterpret this with supporting the university leadership - this re-organizational effort will take time to replace the BoT with those who truly emulate our ideals and uphold their duties unconditionally.
- When (not if) we begin to take a personal role in contributing toward the restoration of our institution, the sooner we can support those mentioned above and resuscitate our brand.
- Stay true to who WE ARE...I have a daughter (11) who dreams of one day swimming for the PSU team. Although it literally broke my heart having to describe the events with her and the vitriolic tone being stricken down up us, I reiterated our individual responsibilities in life, how doing the "right thing" will not always be the most popular option but never compromise your character. Every morning before she heads off for school, she says, "I love you daddy and Success With Honor." So, yes media - we get it!
Although my family doesn't possess abundant financial resources, we had a family meeting and agreed on a "game plan" for us to personally contribute and be part of the solution. As of Saturday, we invested in purchasing football season tickets. For us, this was a significant financial decision considering we're talking about four tickets, we reside in Georgia and will be driving 12 hours for the games. We won't be able to attend every home game so those remaining tickets will be donated to other PSU members who have not had the opportunity to take their family to the Greatest Show In College Football. Lastly, we will be aggressively involved in our Atlanta Chapter of the PSU Alumni Association and donate our time and contribute in any other way possible (including child abuse advocacy).
Please consider this post a declaration of my family's unwavering support for the PSU family and the personal/financial sacrifices we have accepted in order to contribute. As one PSU family member to another, I challenge you to identify one initiative that directly contributes to our mission. Collectively, the results will be nothing short of extraordinary.
Lastly, for those disinterested in our restoration (media, NCAA, trolls) you are about to experience a chain of events that will redefine UNPRECEDENTED. Yes, we "get it"...and soon you will too!