There's a lot of talk about our community "moving on". The start of the football season is supposed to be the next step in whatever our healing process is supposed to be which will help us to "move on".
I just read the transcript from O'Brien today and one thing immediately stuck out when I read it. He stated that the football team is going to help this community move on. They're not going to lead the way, but they're going to help us. This is a great attitude and approach, but it begs one question:
For all the talk about moving on, who is actually leading the transition? The "moving on" speak is coming from the BoT and the outside community, yet nobody is actually taking responsibility for leading the way. The concept of "moving on" is just a way to dismiss anything related to IT as a roundabout way to avoid the necessity for closure that we as a community are seeking.
So how do we "move on"? We don't. Moving on is abandonment. I'm not saying we need to dig in our heels, circle the wagons and say this is where we will remain. However, we need to abandon this "moving on" language and mentality. Let's be blunt. What we want is progress. However we want progress founded in the ashes of "IT", progress that keeps intact ties to the legacy that came before. What we're being told to do is start anew without maintaining that connection. We're not necessarily being told to forget it, but we're being told to leave it well enough alone.
That's not progress I can support. So you can call it "moving on" or you can call it starting anew, but regardless, it's bullshit. It's just another way of saying that we shouldn't continue to carry the torch from Paterno's legacy. It's ok to be Penn State, and it's ok to like football, but only if we do it on the terms laid out before us is the message being sent to us. I flatly reject it. We as a community will progress, and we will get over this. But we will not forget it, and we will not "move on" without it.
If we are to progress, we need leaders, now more than ever. And that is yet another place where our current leadership is failing us. They offer no support to anyone trying to take the lead and bring about progress, yet they offer no guidance themselves. They haven't tried to lead since November 11th, and they aren't trying to lead now.
So who will lead? Who will step up? I don't know. There have been a few valid attempts. Unfortunately without any support by the BoT and the administration, they won't make it very far before they are shouted down by the public. After all, anything that is Paterno's Penn State is still bad (experienced by hearing a comment today about Posnanski's biography where they said "I just don't think I can read about Paterno." in a dismissive manner that demonstrated their mind is already made up despite proving in the past that they are sorely lacking in actual information on the topic). As far as I'm concerned, we're still going to have to wait. We will have to wait on the actions of the Paterno family and we will have to wait on the Schultz and Curley trials. We will have football this year, which will help to serve as a distraction, but it will not carry us very far.
The reality is that we can not progress until we have the conclusions and closure to what has happened. There is only one thing that will bring that and that is discovering the truth about what happened. The longer that people tell us we need to move on from it, the more resolute we will become. The truth, and only the truth, is what will allow us to "move on". And if we are captained by true leadership, the direction that we will head should not be away from "IT", but to redress the grievances and injustices that the truth will uncover. Only then will progress and "moving on" have synchronized goals.