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Is Penn State football elite, debating debates, and more: letters to the editor

Christine Blasey Ford speaks during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Christine Blasey Ford speaks during a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP

‘Hired by an elite program to rebuild elite teams’

At his post-game press conference, Coach Franklin said that Penn State Football was a “great program,” but not an “elite” one. This year’s team may not be an elite team, but the program is and has been an elite program since well before he arrived. Elite programs are judged by more than wins and losses, and are built over decades by players, coaches, ADs, fans, communities, etc.

Today, schools like USC, Nebraska, and Texas are struggling to win. Not that long ago, so was Alabama. No one would say, however, that those programs are not elite programs, even during their lean years.

Coach Franklin was hired by an elite program to rebuild elite teams. He has done a great job working toward that aim, and has come very close over the past several years against great odds. As he searches for ways to make his teams elite, I hope he keeps the things that have made Penn State Football elite to begin with. - Michael DiRaimo Ferguson Township

‘He should not be rewarded’

I am dismayed to learn that Glenn Thompson will not be participating in the Congressional representatives debate, sponsored by the Centre Daily Times, on October 22 at 8:30 p.m. in the State College Borough Council Chambers. Mr. Thompson’s web page shows no commitments for that date or close to that time which might preclude him from participating.

Further, the CDT reported that several attempts to contact his office have not been returned or acknowledged. This refusal to participate in such events is a habit and pattern of Mr. Thompson. He seems comfortable only joining groups who are ‘friendly,’ who submit questions in advance, and who will not challenge him or ask difficult questions.

If he demonstrates such contempt for individuals in his district that he does not have the courtesy to appear to ask for your vote, nor the courage to address in person issues that are important to his constituents in his district, then I believe he should not be rewarded with another term in Washington as your Representative. Think long and hard before supporting a candidate who takes your vote so much for granted. Please consider this when you cast your vote on November 6. - Carol Wright, Port Matilda

‘Dr. Ford was already at a disadvantage’

“The weak never get to dictate terms to the strong. Our models of appropriateness come from those with power; the educated, the privileged, and those emulating them.” (Miguel Clark Mallet in “In Defense of Backtalk” (

As I reflect upon the latest Judiciary hearings, this observation rings true. In speaking her truth to power, Dr. Ford was already at a disadvantage.

In testifying before a body of mostly white, privileged, powerful males, Dr. Ford’s testimony did not carry the same weight as Judge Kavanaugh’s; he is also a white, privileged, powerful male. Dr. Ford started out from behind.

No one had to tell Dr. Ford not to show anger. “You can find no clearer marker of authority than who gets to yell at whom.” (Mallet)

Anyone who watched the hearings knows who yelled, most notably Judge Kavanaugh and Senator Lindsey Graham. Senator Flake, when asked to comment on Kavanaugh’s demeanor, said he would have spoken with equal force to defend himself.

A powerful male is justified in expressing anger when accused. A less powerful woman accuser must be civil, dignified, controlled … in the same circumstances. Victims of sexual assault who have been silenced are justifiably enraged. To be credible, Dr. Ford had to remain “civil.”

Moral outrage and claims of conspiracy theories by Judge Kavanaugh have been applauded. “Backtalk” to Senators who questioned Judge Kavanaugh was not stopped by Senator GrassIey,. Had Dr. Blasey Ford behaved in the same manner, she would have been condemned and seen as not believable. - Barbara Nilsen, State College, PA