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Penn State Scandal: Will Removing the Statue Make a Difference?

STATE COLLEGE, PA - JULY 21:  The statue of former Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno stands outside Beaver Stadium July 21, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. Penn State's president Rodney Erickson is expected to make a decision on whether or not to remove the statue in the wake of the child sex scandal of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. It's believed that Paterno had detailed knowledge of Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing children before and after Sandusky retired from coaching at Penn State.  (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images
Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IIOctober 26, 2016

We've got six weeks to go until the college football season starts.

 

Everywhere else, people are talking about how excited the season's going to be—and how we could see a great battle between the powers of the West Coast and the powers of the Southeast. Oregon vs. LSU? USC vs Alabama?

 

And how about the Big XII with Oklahoma, Texas, and now, West Virginia? Or even in Big Ten country, with a reborn Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Nebraska. They're also interesting stories.

 

But at State College, nothing has moved on. There have been no interesting stories coming out of the Penn State program since the Freeh Report, because the vultures want Penn State dead so they can truly feast.

 

But as we said the last time, here are the cold facts: The child abuser named Jerry Sandusky is in prison, probably wishing that he was dead, and Joe Paterno—the godfather of all things State College IS dead—and probably in purgatory, wondering if he's going up and going down (and that, quite frankly, is up to Him, not us).

 

And again, here's a fact for the media: The only person who knows why he turned his back on things was Joe Paterno.

 

Penn State fans are worrying about whether JoePa's statue will be removed from outside Beaver Stadium. But my question is this: Do you think removing a statue will truly matter in the scheme of things. Do you think that removing the statue will remove the horrors of the last decade or so of abuse and help the school 'start again'?

 

And do you think a death penalty for a program that has given pride to so many (not to mention the financial inflow to the State of Pennsylvania) will actually help anyone get on with their lives?

 

And here's another fact: Paterno still won those games and those national championships. You honestly think that vacating Paterno's victories and his national championships is going to make a difference? You know why? The past will show that Miami was beaten in 1987, Ohio State was beaten in 2005 and Northwestern was beaten in 2010 for win No. 400.

 

The past will show that Joe Paterno broke Eddie Robinson's record (although it's arguable that he should have survived past 2004 with his win record) and so will memories of millions of Penn State fans and tens of millions of college football fans.

 

Remember, people: Regardless of how much you want Reggie Bush stricken from college football's records, he was still one of the best running backs whoever played college football. And Joe Paterno was one of the best coaches—as were Bobby Bowden and Pete Carroll.

 

Penn State has shown it wants to move on. The school has been cleaned out, and wants to start again. Everyone wants to start again. Everyone has to start again. College Football has to start again.

 

But here's the bad news. I am certain that there are pedophiles, rapists (of all kinds) and other sexual deviants at other college football programs. By the law of averages, there has to be. So why aren't the media talking about what to do NEXT instead of continue to pick at the past?

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