Living in a Top Ten College football town myself (Columbus, OH), I’m all too aware of how passionate both students and members of the community can be about the game. That said, I’m stunned by the thousands of Penn Sate students who rioted and destroyed property Wednesday night in angry protest of the dismissal of their Head Coach, Joe Paterno.
The facts: One of the assistant coach’s of the Penn State Football team, Jerry Sandusky, has apparently been sexually violating little boys for years. In 2002, another coach actually witnessed Sandusky raping a 10-year-old in a Penn State locker-room shower. The 6’5″ witness did not try to stop the rape and did not call the police. But he did do what many other members of Penn State Football “cult” might have done when confronting a potential scandal, he informed the High Priest of the community: Head Coach, Joe Paterno.
Paterno, also elected not report the event to the appropriate authorities, but he did take away Sandusky’s keys. Did Paterno think that by taking away Jerry’s keys to the locker-rooms he was going to put a stop to the molestation? Or did Coach Paterno just want Sandusky to take his private business off campus?
Sandusky’s evil history came to light in the last week along with the fact that the patron-saint of Penn State, Coach Joe, knew what was going on. On Wednesday night, the trustees of the school appropriately dismissed Joe and the school president, Graham Spanier.
News of Saint Joe’s dismissal drove thousands of Penn State students into a riotous, destructive-emotional frenzy. Apparently, many Penn State students didn’t give a damn about any child molestation scandal; they just couldn’t deal with the prospect of THEIR favorite coach no longing leading THEIR football team. Some students interviewed on camera during the Wednesday night brouhaha, spoke of how “unfair” it was for such a great man to be treated this way.
But what about those annoying incidentals like: morals, ethics and the law? What about the well-being of the victims? “Don’t know – so I don’t care?”
The Wikipedia definition for: he·don·ism/ˈhēdnˌizəm/
Noun: The pursuit of pleasure. The ethical theory that pleasure is the highest good and proper aim of human life.
Penn State is not a school for dummies. A person has to have pretty good grades to get in there. So what does Wednesday’s riots tell us about some Penn State students? A person can have “book smarts” but still be selfish hedonist with no scruples?
“My needs, my pleasure, my self-interests always take priority over the common welfare.”
If I were a leadership development recruiter for the Republican Party, I’d be planning on spending some extended time in State College, PA.