The Latest from Dan Wetzel

So, Yahoo Sports just posted the latest article from Dan Wetzel, titled "Penn State continues to be Penn State despite Freeh Commission report's damning effects." It's an interesting read, and it's a pleasant surprise to see such an optimistic portrait of the school and the team. I appreciate the fact that Wetzel respects the success O'Brien is having. While I think he might be underestimating the effect the sanctions will have down the road, the important thing to take away from this article is that he's suggesting that it's OK if Penn State football continues to do well--in fact, it might even be a good thing. When you consider the prevalence of the angry mob who wanted to bomb Penn State back to the stone age, who reveled in the footage of sad Penn State fans when the sanctions were announced, a position like Wetzel's could hasten a shift in public opinion.

On the other hand, there's a lot in this article that made me bristle. Yes, some of Wetzel's mischaracterizations of the Freeh report still rub me the wrong way, but I was more troubled by the way he characterized members of the Penn State community. He equates those who question some of the assumptions and conclusions of the Freeh Report with those who "believe, passionately, that Sandusky is innocent." He characterizes those who disagree with the NCAA sanctions as people who see it as "Penn State's birthright to go 10-2, at least." And the mere suggestion that anyone at Penn State today might be "blissfully unaware" of the fact that Sandusky was being sentenced shows that he is completely out of touch with what life has been like in State College for the past year. For someone who is apparently, finally, trying to see some of the complexity in Penn State's situation, he glosses over a lot, and ends up painting things in black and white.

Overall, I appreciate the positive press for Penn State. It's far from perfect, but it's a big step in the right direction.

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