FanPost

My fight with Rittenberg


his original opinion:

http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/55137/obrien-urges-penn-staters-to-move-forward

my response:

"At some point, it stops becoming about restoring legacies or wins or blasting the NCAA or the university president or the board of trustees. At some point, the focus and energy needs to shift toward what's happening now and what will happen in the future. "

Why don't you let the PSU community do that without providing a judgmental timeline...determined by the media. Despite what you may think, you don't know what kind of effect this has had on the community. Graduating from PSU for meteorology was a life goal and source of pride for me. Cheering for an icon was a privilege. Just because the reporters are not there anymore, espousing their narrative, does not mean the pain has healed and that we need to move on because you think we have to.

On the contrary, the PSU community has repeatedly been dealt blow after blow. We are trying to assess and assimilate all that has happened in less than a year. Nobody knew, outside of the select few, anything about what was happening. So it is an understatement to say PSU was rocked by this. And if you expect us to work through it in the speed of the twitter-verse that we now live in, it is you that has lost touch.

We are dealing with it...and 'it' has a lot of layers (child abuse and victims, failing of our leaders, media bombardment, failing of the BoT, firing Paterno, a riot, Paterno's death, the Sandusky trial, the Freeh report, and seeming blind acceptance of the Freeh report despite not interviewing key witnesses. So sorry if we are reeling...and would like due process and objectivity...even though that doesn't meet your or ESPN's timeline for how things should go. Stick to the football side of this...please don't moralize about our reaction as this ongoing saga continuously unfolds before our eyes.

His response:

I never wrote Penn Staters didn't deserve time to process all that has happened. React how you want to react. My comment is directed more toward those who clearly aren't helping the situation. What's the point of appealing the NCAA sanctions, which aren't subject to appeal? To show that you're not weak? To show that you're standing up to evil? I understand those folks are hurt by what happened, but they're not making the situation any easier, especially for Bill O'Brien and the current team. Of course, Penn State has been rocked by this, and it will take a very long time to get through what has gone on there. But to keep blaming the media or the Freeh report investigators or the board or whatever, doesn't seem to serve a purpose at this stage. Neither does throwing out the term "due process" without understanding that the NCAA viewed the Freeh report as a self-report from Penn State. There's little need for an infractions hearing at that point.

Some very bad things happened in State College. No one can refute that. The perception of the school has been harmed, and is further harmed by these appeals. Doesn't it matter how this looks to the outside world? Again, quietly processing all that has happened is completely fine. Doing so while supporting O'Brien and the current team seems like the best approach.

And my response:

First off, I'm shocked that you posted that. Thanks.

This is about more than the NCAA sanctions as you seem to think. I care about the reputation of my university. So yes, they should be afforded "due process" and objectivity. This is America after all. The NCAA and media have condemned the school, Paterno and the football culture based on a Grand Jury presentment and the Freeh report. Maybe they are right; however, all facts and testimony have not been heard. This should be a simple concept for people to understand, but sadly this is not the case anymore.

So if certain affected people feel like they need to appeal something in search of the whole truth, whether it be for their Father's legacy, their coach's legacy, or their school's reputation, then so be it. It is their right to take action, as others have taken their action against us. And by us, I mean the PSU community, which was NOT involved in, nor supported child abuse.

So let people stand up for themselves. I'm sorry if you find that distasteful or don't understand it. There are many relevant questions that the Freeh report does not answer. Why can't we ask for answers...ask for more investigation?

So to you "blaming the media.....doesn't seem to serve a purpose at this stage." is appropriate when when all answers are known and the story is closed. It is NOT for those that actually have a stake in the reputation of the university and would like to know the full story. Not an abbreviated one for SportsCenter.

"The perception of the school has been harmed, and is further harmed by these appeals. Doesn't it matter how this looks to the outside world?"

Sorry, I like to go deeper than "how it looks" when it comes to crimes and their repercussions. And the harmed perception is exactly why it's worth looking into more.

Why don't you do some investigative reporting? Sara Ganim won a Pulitzer for her work. C'mon you're better than this.

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