400th Post – Paterno Loses Halo & Dietz Vindicated

WordPress tells me that this is my 400th message. At about 300 words each, that comes to 120,000 words—a book. Sure, these messages could, with some effort, be compiled into a book, either print or ebook, but who would buy it? Darn few, most likely.

Here in Central Pennsylvania, Penn State/Sandusky/Paterno/Spanier stories dominate the media and will probably continue to do so for some time. Many have been shocked by the behavior of Penn State’s bureaucracy but I haven’t. What Sandusky did was unthinkable and criminal beyond belief. However, Penn State officials did what college and universities always do—at least when they think they can get away with it—cover it up. Colleges are insular by nature and Penn State is worse than most, possibly because of its relatively remote location. I remember reading in my student days about female students getting raped in dark campus parking lots across the country and how college administrations did their best to keep news of it from being made public. Congress finally did something about this in 1990.

The Clery Act, named for Jeanne Clery, a Lehigh University freshman who was raped and murdered in her campus residence hall in 1986, requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs (about all except Hillsdale College) to keep and disclose information on crimes committed on or near their campuses. Failure to report heinous crimes can result in a school being suspended from federal student aid programs.

There has been a lot of chatter about the NCAA giving Penn State’s football program the “death penalty” but, perhaps, suspending Penn State from the student aid program might be a more effective punishment. The major thing that federal student aid has accomplished has been to increase tuition costs and for schools to increase their revenues. Higher costs make working one’s way through college more difficult with the result that students rack up so much debt that many are unable to pay after leaving college. It may be that eliminating federal loans would be the best thing for students long term.

The only actions taken so far is to paint away Joe Paterno’s halo (and remove Jerry Sandusky) from a mural and to rename Paternoville to Nittanyville. The statue of Joe Paterno remains in front of Beaver Stadium and he is still in the College Football Hall of Fame.

One wonders what Lone Star Dietz is thinking as he readies his better-than-best suit for his induction this weekend. Could it be that he feels vindicated after seeing how the Paterno/Bowden fiasco turned out?


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