PSU needs to control celebration

The “celebration” that followed Penn State’s football victory over No. 2 Ohio State last weekend caused damage not only on the streets of State College.

Much larger damage was inflicted on the image and reputation of Penn State’s student body, even though it’s reasonable to suggest that some of the “celebrants” weren’t members of the university community.

The after-game goings-on, which resulted in an estimated $18,000 worth of damage, borrowed pages from euphoria a number of cities across the country experienced in years past following their teams’ winning of championships.

It’s understandable that some officials and police actually fear a championship because of such potential adverse conduct.

No doubt the cities of Chicago and Cleveland already are bracing for how to manage and control raucous  celebratory activities, if their team is victorious in the World Series.

Last Saturday’s Penn State victory will be forever etched in the university’s sports history as one of the Nittany Lions’ greatest triumphs.

However, even the magnitude of that victory didn’t justify the unruliness that resulted in the destruction of streetlights, vehicle damage and furniture being set ablaze.

Days after, it remained unclear what the full extent of other property damage might have been, but officials were confident that they weren’t overestimating the dollar value of the damage identified initially at $18,000.

There’s a right way to celebrate and a wrong way. The start of partying Saturday night might have begun acceptably, but the celebration deteriorated quickly to become what many people likened to a riot.

Despite their training for handling such disturbances, police were hard-pressed in dealing with the estimated 5,000 to 10,000 mostly college-age fans who clogged streets adjacent to the university campus.

Parents don’t pay big bucks for their sons’ and daughters’ college education to, in effect, write a ticket allowing unlawful activity.

Meanwhile, responsible young people and responsible adults can sympathize with those parents who had the unfortunate privilege to see their sons and daughters in news footage participating in the unruly activities.

Likewise, parents don’t pay big bucks for their sons’ and daughters’ college education for the opportunity to be notified one day that their son or daughter has been injured — or worse — in a celebration gone out of control.

One person reportedly suffered a broken jaw in the post-Ohio State game melee. Then there’s the issue of stop signs that were removed by those partying. People have been killed in accidents stemming from a missing stop sign.

Those intelligent enough to go to college should be intelligent enough to realize the serious danger that a missing stop sign poses.

Yes, the Oct. 22 game was a big victory. However, it didn’t justify what occurred afterward.

It shouldn’t have provided a reason for the rest of the Big Ten and nation to regard Penn State as having a mob culture — or for some parents to be wary about enrolling their children at PSU because of how quickly lawful campus conduct can become unlawful.

Penn State still is dealing with terrible fallout from ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual crimes. It doesn’t need more bad publicity.

Hopefully, all guilty of the Ohio State game-related destruction will be identified and face appropriate penalties.

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