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Too much change in PSU air

August 19, 2012
The Altoona Mirror

After driving all over the countryside saying he won't change the uniforms, Bill O'Brien changes the uniforms.

You know, I just don't get it.

"I want people to recognize these kids," O'Brien said during PSU Media Day on Thursday.

I recognize them. They all have a big fat number on their jersey, and I can tell Michael Mauti from Mike Zordich by their number. I don't need a name. Nobody needs a name.

Look: I don't expect anybody to understand or agree with me. But our uniforms are one of the best traditions in college football.

You know, with Joe Paterno getting ripped out and all the other nonsense, they're trying to rip our entire tradition away from us, and I'm sick of it.

Our uniforms are one of the few things we have left to connect us to our proud past. Lots of people want to completely wipe that entire past away, but I say no. Our past is filled with so much good and positive that I'm not willing to give up the link.

I think Penn State would be much better off if it remembers its wonderful past rather than pitching it in the dustbin.

I'm very much a traditionalist, and this move has really torn my connection to Penn State football away. I'm at the point now where if they want to trash our traditions, fine. But they'll have to do it without me.

I've been a fan for the past 45 years, but I just can't get on board. Too bad, too: I like everything O'Brien has done and said so far, but I just can't go along with trashing our tradition.

I'm going to miss Penn State football very badly.

Rob Johns

Jacksonville, Fla.

Begin replacing board - now

After months of dereliction of duty, the Penn State Board of Trustees finally showed a bit of energy.

Three days after learning that several members of the board (led by Ryan McCombie) planned to file an appeal with the NCAA, the "leadership" of the board decided to hold a special board meeting on Sunday, August 12 (the meeting was held via conference call.)

The sole purpose of the meeting was to "ratify the NCAA consent decree."

Isn't this the same consent decree that Rod Erickson - after consulting with only a few select members of the Karen Peetz-led board - signed on July 23?

For three weeks, our esteemed leadership - a cabal of liars, hypocrites, idiots and cowards - did not find it appropriate to involve themselves in the ongoing slander of our entire university community.

Now, when a few of the board's newly-elected members (as opposed to the cabal of political and business appointees) finally take a stand for true clarity and justice, these clowns jump up to try to quash their efforts. And make no mistake: This special session was nothing more than an attempt to squash the dissent of those few board members with integrity.

It would be lunacy to expect so many of the parties responsible for the current state of affairs (either through their actions or dereliction of their duties) to be effective in remedying the situations we now face.

Erickson, Peetz, John Surma, Jim Broadhurst and Ken Frazier (along with the recently departed Steve Garban and Cynthia Baldwin) at a minimum must go.

I realize that it may take some time to fully clear the decks - but the process needs to start now, and it needs to be conducted with urgency. The fact that only nine of the 32 members of the board are actually elected by and accountable to the shareholders of the university is unconscionable.

The structure of the board of trustees must change, period. No more political and insider appointees to the board.

The procedures and policies that must be amended to bring about this change may represent a sizable challenge, and it is for just that reason that the process must start now - while the stench of ruin still hangs over Old Main.

We will never again have as clear a sense of purpose to take on these tasks.

Barry Fenchak

State College

Rush to judgment

While I agree that the crimes of Jerry Sandusky were horrible, and he deserves the punishment, I think there was a rush to judgment of the school. Whatever happened to due process and your day in court?

I don't think one man's opinion of his review is enough to convict anyone in court. This should have played out in court before there was a punishment. If there was a cover-up found in court, then go ahead and throw the book at them - but not before everyone had a chance to talk and show all sides of the story.

Also, I find it ironic that President Obama can comment on this and state that this was a good punishment but he has done nothing to address the abuse in the Catholic Church -which was just as bad if not worse - and no one is doing anything to address this.

I also blame the janitors for not coming forward as they were just as guilty of worrying about money. You should not use fear of job loss as a reason for not protecting a child, no matter what your status.

There is just so much wrong here and nothing was really done right in the entire process.

Terry Heavner

Magnolia, N.J.

Emmert has too much power

What kind of NCAA board of directors would allow one man to decide on and apply all the sanctions placed on Penn State?

He fines millions of dollars, then takes away many of the avenues for making that revenue. The worst part of it is that Mark Emmert is penalizing 12 years of football players and any records they've attained, the present and incoming football players and the student body as a whole.

What Jerry Sandusky did was his problem, and these punishments should not be placed on the backs of any and all people affiliated with Penn State, including the Paterno family.

They've all been declared guilty and held accountable for Sandusky's crime.

I am not a Penn State alum nor even a resident of PA. I'm just an American who cannot believe all this punishment can be heaped upon so many for one man's crime. Shame on the NCAA and Emmert.

Sandra Barr

Shallotte, N.C.

Hairy issue:?Team will be more spirited

At first, I was taken by surprise when coach Bill O'Brien allowed the players to grow their hair longer and have facial hair.

But the longer I think about it, the more I will accept it. You see it with professional baseball players and football players. I think even with professional basketball, it has a presence. This is a sign of the times - a fad if you will call it.

When O'Brien allows a change, I tend to go along with it.

This football team and other teams in the future will be more spirited and want to play harder. Coach Paterno was out of a different era when short hair and clean faces were in.

It is time to allow these players to unwind more, which will be a good thing for player morale.

Les Hart


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