Penn State Football

Penn State vs. Nebraska: PSU Students Must Use Venue to Redeem Public Image

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 12:  A fan pays respect to a statue of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno before the Penn State against Nebraska football game at Beaver Stadium on November 12, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Head football coach Joe Paterno was fired amid allegations that former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. Penn State is playing their final home football game against Nebraska.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Avi Wolfman-ArentCorrespondent IINovember 12, 2011

Penn State student body, it's time to get your act together.

As the media circles its wagons around Happy Valley this Saturday for an ESPN showdown with Nebraska, the Nittany Lions faithful get one more chance to show America they're not destructive morons.

The limelight will shine bright on on Beaver Stadium, brighter than any rivalry game or Top 10 showdown, and it won't ever shine this bright again. How you act today will define what you become as a University.

The cameras will want to know how you, the collective you, respond to their watchful eye.

Will you demand Joe Paterno's return?

Or will you stand united with the alleged rape victims, the ones allegedly entrapped by the man Paterno enabled?

Penn State, I beg of you, choose the latter.

Show us that the 2,000 or so who ran amok Thursday night are in the minority. Show us that you realize the life of a child is more important than the legacy of a football coach. Show us that a University is indeed still a place of learning and growth, not one of brute loyalty.

Because let's face it, over the last 72 hours, Happy Valley has looked like the most insulated, warped place in America. Happy Valley, the tucked away rural hamlet where football distorts reality and corrupts morality.

The media, as you well know, will seize any chance to perpetuate that stereotype. They'll scan the crowd for signs, listen for chants and solicit deviant behavior at every turn.

Don't give them the satisfaction. Show them you are ready to rise above.

Forgive the preachy tone of this article; the urgency of the situation demands it. Your actions today will set the future course of a great University.

The road to recovery can begin today if you so choose.

From noon to three this Saturday afternoon, football will be the under card. You, you in the stands and on the sidelines, are the main attraction.

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