Penn State's Banning of 'Sweet Caroline' Is Ridiculous

Barry LeonardAnalyst IIIAugust 28, 2012

BOSTON - APRIL 04:  Neil Diamond sings his song 'Sweet Caroline' in the eighth inning as the Boston Red Sox play the New York Yankees on April 4, 2010 during Opening Night at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

In a ridiculous move, Penn State officials have decided to remove the Neil Diamond classic, "Sweet Caroline", from the music rotation at Beaver Stadium.

The Altoona Mirror  reported that officials felt the line "touching you touching me" would be inappropriate for people to sing in the aftermath of the Sandusky scandal.


So fans enjoying a traditional sing-along to a classic song is now wrong because of one sick criminal?

While I get their point, this is beyond ridiculous.

What's next? A commenter of Dan Gartland's Deadspin article joked: "defensive backs are no longer allowed to bump and run." 

Yes, I have poked fun at the stadium sing-along tradition in the past, but come on. It's harmless fun that helps to unite the fans in attendance.

If you've attended a Penn State game in the last few years you know how much fun this song can be. Yes, it's older than half of the people in the stadium, but that doesn't stop anyone from screaming the chorus at the top of their lungs.

Apparently, Penn State officials don't want to hear 108,000 fans singing loudly about hands reaching out and touching.

There is no question that what Sandusky did to those children was horrible and those victims need to always be remembered.

However, being ultra-sensitive in an absurd manner is not the way to do it. Nothing  about the lyrics in "Sweet Caroline" suggest anything about child abuse. To say otherwise is a total stretch.

It's clear that the leaders in charge at Penn State are trying everything they can to restore the reputation of the university.

There is nothing wrong with that. What people think about Penn State has definitely changed. This move is extreme though.

No one in their right mind could possibly think that singing a Neil Diamond song makes someone a child molester. If they do, then they may be sick and twisted themselves.

Seriously, if this decision had not been made, would anyone have really taken that lyric the way these officials obviously took it?


The Penn State story just keeps growing. This time, the folks in charge of helping the school move on are continuing to bring negative press to themselves.

Seriously? Banning "Sweet Caroline" is what they are worrying about?