Monday marks the opening of training camp for the Penn State Nittany Lions under new head coach Bill O'Brien. Penn State has been in the media since November for off-field issues.The crimes committed against children were horrible, and anyone that was involved in any way needs to be severely punished.
However, it's now time to attempt to move forward and actually play some football.
While the child victims of Jerry Sandusky need to always be remembered, it will be nice to take a four-hour break from all the negativity on Saturdays and just play.
Penn State has planned a "Blue Out" for its September 22nd game against Temple to raise awareness for child sex abuse.
In the wake of the scandal and apparent university cover-up, the NCAA hammered Penn State with unprecedented sanctions. The Lions will be ineligible for postseason play for the next four years. There are also significant scholarship reductions over the next four years, as well as a $60 million fine.
Perhaps one of the biggest blows to the current team is the fact that players can transfer without penalty. Several starters chose to distance themselves from the situation and start over elsewhere.
Starting running back Silas Redd, kicker Anthony Fera and receiver Justin Brown will all be wearing new digs come September.
So what awaits those who remained loyal to their university? Undoubtedly, there will be scrutiny and ridicule all season. They will also face the prospect of possibly becoming one of the weakest teams in the Big Ten.
I think that the start of camp is just what O'Brien and his boys need. They can get out on the practice field and fulfill the dream that they all had as little boys to wear those famed blue-and-white uniforms.
Let's not forget that those named in the Freeh Report for the cover-up are no longer affiliated with the school. There is new leadership at the univeristy and a totally new regime in the football program. The current players need everyone's support now more than ever.
The core of players that stuck it out can now bond togther and fight to bring back the once proud tradition of Penn State Football. The 2012 Nittany Lions will face a mountain of adversity, but they seem poised to face it head on.
Yes, football may have had a part in the whole scandal; that's why the old guard was cleaned out. It's time to let the new games begin and get back to cheering loudly on Saturdays.
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