Penn State Scandal: Nittany Lions Must First Prove Worth off Football Field
But while Penn State will be hurting on the football field for a while, it can still heal off it.
The NCAA's punishment of Penn State on Monday was specifically designed to place the focus off of football and on "educating, nurturing and protecting young people," NCAA president Mark Emmert said, per the Globe.
And that is where Penn State must grow.
While Joe Paterno and the football program have been a huge part of Penn State for decades, it must be noted that the university also was held in high regard throughout the country because of its teachers, pupils and education. With an entire nation watching, this must be looked at by students as an opportunity to show that Penn State is about more than football.
When the Jerry Sandusky case blew up, it hurt the university's overall reputation. While there may have been only a few administrators and football members at fault, it reverberated throughout the community at Penn State. The once-prestigious Penn State was no longer being generally viewed as a model for the rest of the nation.
Penn State's employees and student body must now make strides off the football field, regardless of what happens in the next four football seasons. That extends to its football players. There will obviously be anguish over the crippling sanctions placed upon the Nittany Lions, but those associated with the university must understand that this has gone far beyond punishing the football program; it is about making an example of Penn State.
Is this fair to all those at the university? Maybe not. But this is the cost when even a few allow a pedophile to roam the campus for years.
The reality is, making a difference off the football field is the best way Penn State can restore its once-sterling reputation.
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