One of the first things I learned at Penn State was a little something they now call multitasking.
So Id like to tell anyone who thinks Penn State supporters dont care about Jerry Sanduskys victims that I can feel terrible for the boys and want to ensure that no childs suffering is ever again missed. At the same time, I can question the knee-jerk reactions of the media, the NCAA, the Big Ten and everyone else who has piled on Penn State to assign punishment and blame when the court cases are not completed, all of the pertinent information is not available and many key people have not been heard.
I can sympathize with the young men who came forward to convict the monster and those who havent had the courage to do so while I decry the lack of investigative integrity in Louis Freehs report and the news conference in which he offered up huge conclusions not supported by factual data in that report.
I can demand an investigation into the actions of every person involved with Sanduskys unfettered access to young boys not just a cherry-picked few with glaring omissions like the only eyewitness, the leaders of Sanduskys charity and whoever let him adopt six sons at the same time I reach out to distressed fellow alumni because the leaders of our university did such a poor job representing us in the public forum after their pathetic handling of Sanduskys crimes.
I can question how any human being could have witnessed an adult sexually abusing a child without taking immediate physical action at the same time I feel awful for the Paterno family because the leaders of what should have been a grateful institution made their husband and father a scapegoat to conceal their own inaction.
I can feel deep satisfaction that the monster will rot in jail for the rest of his life at the same time I feel deeply sorry for the members of the Penn State football team whove been victimized for something they didnt do and for every other student-athlete whose experience will be diminished by a reduction in football revenue.
I can shudder at the perversions described by Sanduskys victims at the same time I shake with rage because the Penn State-hating head of the organization charged with enforcing the rules of college athletics would so abuse his organizations power to punish Penn State for notbreaking any NCAA rules. This encouraged vultures from other colleges to pick at Paternos remains by seducing away players.
I can be proud that Penn State students have raised so much money to help abuse victims through RAINN at the same time that I am furious with every media moron who looks down his or her nose to declare that Penn State should have been less focused on football and more focused on academics. Penn State is the only major university that has consistently done just that, at least since Paterno took over the football program.
I can shake my head in disbelief that a smiling monster fooled parents, children, community leaders, fellow coaches, law enforcement, his wife and everyone else into thinking he was a great guy who cared about kids at the same time I shed bitter tears over what has been done to the legacy and accomplishments of a genuinely great man I loved, respected and revered and still do.
I can hate everything Sandusky did with every fiber of my being while I continue to be proud of the traditions that make us Penn State.
And I can do all of that at the same time, so dont insult my intelligence by suggesting that if I support Penn State or decry whats been done to Paternos legacy that I dont care about the suffering of Sanduskys victims.
We are Penn State, and we can multitask with the best of them.
Donna Baver Rovito is a freelance writer, advocate for patients and physicians rights. She has a degree in journalism from Penn State and lives in Allentown.