I went to the Penn State-Virginia game in Charlottesville and was impressed by the PSU fan support there, but then I went to the Northwestern game and couldn't believe how many empty seats there were.
It's a shame. That was more entertaining than PSU has looked in years.
It's unfortunate and disappointing that attendance at Beaver Stadium has shrunk this year. Among the theories for sinking attendance is that some fans are staying home to demonstrate their displeasure with the manner in which the university treated Joe Paterno.
For the sake of their own credibility, I hope that these same individuals aren't complaining about how unjust the NCAA penalties are because they unfairly punish parties who were not involved with the scandal. By failing to support the current Penn State players, these individuals are doing exactly the same thing.
The Sandusky scandal saw every notable authority figure shrink from the challenge, shirk responsibility and try to protect their hides.
Penn State's current players have elected to embrace the challenge and have put their hides on the line for Penn State and their teammates, despite opportunities to leave and advance themselves individually.
These players have proven themselves more than worthy of our support. They exemplify the very qualities that Joe Paterno celebrated and cultivated in his players, and they deserve a passionate, supportive, raucous Beaver Stadium.
PSU granted NFL access but not often
I just read the article in the Mirror about NFL scouts being able to attend Penn State practices.
It definitely sounds like PSU is more scout-friendly under Bill O'Brien than under Joe Paterno.
However, to clarify, scouts were allowed to attend practice during the Paterno era. I worked in the scouting department of the Cleveland Browns from 2002-2010, and I was the northeast area scout for the Browns during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
During the time I was with the Browns, PSU was open for scouts one week out of the season - typically the week leading up to the Temple game in September.
Scouts could stay and watch practice after watching tape during the morning/early afternoon. Some seasons there was also a second week open to scouts - in November, often leading up to Indiana or an off week.
However, some years the second open week was either canceled or not scheduled at all.
Penn State was considered to be the most difficult visit for scouts in the east with regard both to days of access and the ability to get background info on seniors beyond what was available in the media guide.