As a Penn State graduate, I never thought I would see the day when one of our own wounds us. I’m referring to the recently released news reports that sexual abuse charges have been brought against former PSU defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. He is charged with sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years.
I’ve been heartsick since I heard the news on Friday evening. Jerry Sandusky, a name known to all who love the Blue and White, appears to have found a way to feed a harmful selfish desire that brought suffering to the alledged victims and dishonor to himself and the school that provided him and his family a good living for many years. I AM Penn State, and I feel deeply betrayed.
Through the years as I watched other universities suffer from scandals, I was proud of my alma mater which always managed to keep its nose clean. Weren’t we taught honor at State? Didn’t Coach Joe Paterno, Sandusky’s boss, ooze the very essence of honor? Hasn’t the public always respected Penn State for its code of honor?
The answer to all those questions has always been a resounding yes. Until this past week when news of Sandusky’s alleged predatory behaviors became public knowledge and brought scandal to the steps of Old Main and shock to its students, faculty and alumni.
As a Christian, I know that if Sandusky is a believer and sincerely repents and asks the Lord to forgive him for the alleged behavior, God will forgive.
But Mr. Sandusky, as a human, as a PSU alumnus, as the wife and mother of PSU graduates, I have to say that we members of the Penn State family may not be quite so generous. If the news reports out of Happy Valley are true, you did what no one else has ever done in the long and illustrious history of The Pennsylvania State University: you brought us down.
“Raise a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.
Cynthia Howerter © 2011