Man...I Don't Even Know Anymore

As most of you know, I enjoyed every bit of watching Ohio State's football program crumble earlier this year. Why? Because it's Ohio State – it's in my DNA. But honestly, its because I know they deserve it...and I know they'll be back.

But watching what's going on in State College, PA right makes me sad. It makes me sick. It makes me unbelievably uncomfortable. It makes me wonder. It makes me feel conflicted. It makes me furious. It makes me question everything.

I'm afraid I can't add anything to the conversation that hasn't already been said. Things are still being played out, and from where I sit, it looks like Joe Paterno is probably done coaching after 46 years. As a Michigan fan, I'm thankful that all we have to discuss right now is what went wrong at Iowa last week, and how we can fix it for Illinois on Saturday. We have football problems. Thank God.

If only half of what is alleged has taken place in Happy Valley, then someone other than Jerry Sandusky needs to be held accountable. Sandusky is a sick man who obviously had no self-control over the situation. Adults who knew what was happening had a moral obligation to act, and they did not. And now at least nine young boys, that we know of, have been scared for life.

And for what? Penn State Football? What kept these people from manning-up and turning Sandusky in? Why did Joe Paterno stop at just informing the athletic director? Why weren't the police notified? Why did the AD do nothing? How deep does this go?

I suspect these questions will go unanswered. They usually do.

This is probably the most disturbed I've ever felt about sports.

Jim Tressel is one thing. He lied, numerous times, to protect his reputation and his legacy. Miami Football is one thing. It was the combination of access, money and greed in the wrong hands, Nevin Shapiro's. Lloyd Carr is one thing. He willingly sabotaged Rich Rodriguez by greasing the rails for his former players to leave and signed their transfer requests before Rodriguez took office.*

Those are all serious problems in their own right. They're not good, and I'm certainly not defending them, but they're not even close to what's going on at Penn State. I mean, how do you even punish Penn State? What precedent is there for this?

This goes well beyond the football field and the realm of sports. But it's the shadow cast by sport and Penn State of the most successful and storied programs in the country, that makes this situation unlike any other. And not in a good way. Suddenly, fans from every corner of college football are looking at Penn State and it's football program a lot differently right now. Obviously. But I'm curious what will happen over time? How does Penn State go on? How does the Big Ten treat this? How does this change the way adults and children interact in sports?

I think the effects of this will be felt for a long time in many areas of sport all around the country on many levels. In a way, I feel bad for Penn State. They're going to be dragged down by this for a long time. I'm sure most of the people who work for the athletic department and the football program had nothing to do with this. But unfortunately, that doesn't matter. Everyone associated with their football program, current and former players included, are going to be affected.

Like I said, I take no joy in this. If this were Michigan, I'd be writing the same things. Sexual crimes against children are despicable. Joe Paterno will pay the price for his lack of vigilance. Ultimately, the buck stops with the head coach...whether he's just a figurehead or not, that's just how it needs to be. But he certainly won't be the last.


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