In the Nov. 16 Penn State Gameday supplement, Frank Giardina presented an article on, "Some lessons learned from Paterno," and I'd like to respond to it.
I worked in State College for 35 years. All three of my children graduated from PSU and are doing extremely well. I am saddened about this current scandal.
JoePa was PSU, and no matter where you went in this country, people identified with him and his football program. His fall from grace, as with others, that Giardina summarizes did not have to happen if he would have taken bold action in 2002.
After the 1998 Gricar DA sting, the 1999 resignation of Sandusky after he was informed that he would not succeed Joe, Spanier's edict banishing Sandusky from PSU, which was not enforced, the 2000 janitorial witness event and the 2002 McQueary-witnessed event were all red flags.
Someone had to be covering Sandusky's conduct in order to protect PSU's image, and I don't believe it was JoePa. If JoePa would have sat down with Spanier, Curley, Schultz in 2002 and insisted that Sandusky be banned from all PSU activities, JoePa would still be the coach.
He was dismissed because Sandusky continued to have access to PSU facilities.
JoePa got roped in with the cover-up actions of Spanier, Curley and Schultz because of his silence over the years.
As Giardina pointed out in his article, JoePa had incredible vision, but it should have extended beyond the gridiron. JoePa should have realized between 1999 and 2002 that if Sandusky's actions became public, his legacy would be over.
Spanier is the culprit, followed by Curley and Schultz. JoePa was a pawn.
He should have taken them all on in 2002 and do you realize what a hero he would have become on top of his football legacy? It's a sad day in Happy Valley.
America needs its priorities checked
"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."
We, as a country and culture, should be ashamed of ourselves. How many times will we allow the proverbial wool to be pulled over our eyes?
Athletic directors, coaches and players on huge, money-making college teams need to lose their God-like status and be brought back down to earth. Last year, it was the scandal involving Jim Tressel at Ohio State, part of a cover-up as players sold championship rings for cash and tattoos.
Today's scandal in the area formerly known as Happy Valley makes the scoundrels in the aforementioned fiasco look like saints.
The smile was forced off the Penn State community's face when former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period.
Grad assistant Mike McQueary allegedly saw Sandusky assault a boy in the shower in the practice center in 2002. The reaction of the chain of command at PSU was to take away Sandusky's locker room privileges.
Why did he have those privileges to begin with?
The man retired in 1999.
In any other profession, are former employees -- even those with "emeritus" status -- trusted to still have keys, still roam around buildings freely, unattended?
Coaches, no matter how successful, no matter how well-liked or how legendary, should not be elevated to a level higher than other workers in society.
Maybe then it wouldn't be such a shock when we find out that some of them are no good.
Maybe then, scandals involving them wouldn't evolve to monstrous proportions, before blowing up in the public's face, and scarring numerous victims. Maybe then their trespasses would be dealt with, like other breaches and sins in society, when they first come up, when they are small and can be taken care of - right away.
Maybe then justice can be achieved for those at fault, and changes can be made, instead of more victims made.
America, check your priorities. No one deserves your respect because they win games, sell tickets, produce talented players or even preach lofty ideals.
People deserve respect because of their actions.
In this Penn State case, the inaction of so many speaks louder than any action ever could.
Kathleen (Katie) Cianci
Nov. 5 will live in infamy
I hope the charges against Sandusky ultimately prove untrue.
Sadly, given the traditional thoroughness of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury process, I fear they won't.
The alleged cover-up is even more painful. Is this yet another case of those in control believing that they must protect the Penn State brand - at any cost?
This isn't about some players trading rings for tatoos. In reading the indictment, it appears that very creditable folks witnessed among the most horrible of crimes being committed on university property by one a most respected man. They rightfully reported it. Too bad they fully trusted the PSU system and didn't drop a dime to law enforcement.
Perhaps they had convinced themselves they were invincible. Heck they've even survived losing football seasons and quarterback controversies. How trivial.
But this is different. On a bright warm autumn day, my wife and friends, many of them PSU alum, gathered here in Falls Church to watch a day of great college games while we enjoyed the bye.
We noted the similar weather to September 11, 2001. And each of us commented that like 9/11 - as PSU fans, Saturday, Nov. 5 seems like they day we all lost a bit more of innocence. This hurts.
Falls Church, Va.
New regime needed to wipe away stain
Penn State will fill Beaver Stadium again - and fill it every week - as soon as they're a legitimate Big Ten contender again.
How long has it been since PSU was a legitimate Big Ten contender - and not a shocker such as 2005?
Once the new coach makes them contenders, the bowl will be filled because there are thousands of people like myself who backed away from the program around 1999 and have spent more than a decade waiting for the long-running soap opera to play its way out.
That it ended in tragedy makes it all the more likely that fans will flock back to a contender. We need something to wipe away the boredom of the 2000s and the stain of 2011.
Players deserve bowl trip
In response to Neil Rudel's column that Penn State should decline a bowl invitation:
Kids come to Penn State to play before big crowds and to play in bowl games. The kids on this team have worked hard under difficult situations (Bolden vs. McGloin) and still played well enough to earn a bowl invite.
You can't deny them this opportunity if their record warrants a bowl invitation.
Now, as for the bowls' desire or decision not to want a Penn State team, well here we go again. Those same bowls and their directors, not without scandals of their own, have used Penn State to their advantage for years because Penn State travels well as a team due to their loyal fans. They like the profits but when a little adversity hits they want to turn their heads and hide.
Let the team enjoy what they earn. There is a great story right there considering what they would have gone through by that time to get to a bowl.
Bowl would be chance to heal
I disagree with Neil Rudel on the Lions not going to a bowl game.
I think the best thing for healing would be a road trip where the alumni and the players can get out and show the world that we are more than this scandal.
That the team and, in many ways, the school that Joe built is loud, proud and more than the few who smeared their name in the mud.
It would be a great way for the folks to get together and release the old and start the new - hopefully with a new coach and new administration.
I think it would incredibly cathartic and powerful.
Keep Sunday quiet in the woods
I don't agree that Sunday should be open to hunting for a number of reasons.
That is the only day that I would comfortably take my grandkids into the woods, knowing that I don't have to worry about their safety but also out of respect to the hunters in the area.
How would a hunter feel about kids laughing and playing in an area he's hunting? And I know that it's just as easy to push deer towards a hunter when walking in the woods, but what about the one he's got his eye on that gets pushed away?
That's also the only day during hunting season that I'll go horseback riding or let the kids go riding further into the woods. Most horses are gun shy, and I wouldn't want to see a horse spooked and its rider injured.
There are a lot of people who think if a hunter is in the woods, where is that bullet or arrow going to end up if the hunter misses their target?
By letting kids enjoy the outdoors and understanding the importance of controlling animal population, you might find that more parents will feel safer taking their children into the woods and that those young people will become future hunters if they get that one day a week to enjoy and learn about nature first hand.
Hunters have six days a week to hunt. I don't think it's fair that all considerations should be given to any one group. I enjoy reading Walt Young's articles, but as a hunter myself this is one topic we'll have to agree to disagree on.