Allow me to voice a minority opinion — though it evidently enjoys near unanimity outside the bounds of Nittany Lions country.
In its own ham-handed way, I believe, the NCAA was attempting to tell our community something like the following.
“Wake up, Happy Valley. For whatever reasons, you encouraged the paladins of the football program to become so preoccupied with victory at Beaver Stadium that these same guardians ended up turning a blind eye to child rape.”
Unless we assume that Louis Freeh forged the emails reproduced in his unpopular document — a theory that even the anti-sanctions league has not yet promoted — the gravamen of the charges (indifference to the children’s welfare by the paladins in question, disingenuous performances before the grand jury) remains intact.
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And yet the mania and the tribalism persist.
Witness those defiant “Restore the Roar” T-shirts. Witness the recent flurry of faculty-face banners downtown, all captioned with our mindless but famous gridiron chant. Witness the fact that the Penn State logo remains synonymous with the football team’s emblem. (I vote for reinstating the school’s former logo, keyed to the seal of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.)
Might I suggest that, with each new denunciation of the indignities inflicted on the football program, the anti-sanctions league is demonstrating, with unintended irony, that the NCAA knew exactly what it was doing?
Meanwhile, in the name of supporting local merchants, I urge everyone to fill Beaver Stadium to bursting this fall. But let’s keep it down to a dull roar.