In less than one week, the Penn State we knew unraveled.
We watched in shock as the beloved head football coach announced that he was retiring.
Much later Wednesday night, the Penn State Board of Trustees announced that both the iconic head football coach Joe Paterno and the university’s president, Graham Spanier, would be removed from their positions effective immediately.
This follows days of Penn Staters hanging their heads after hearing sex abuse and perjury allegations against leaders at the university.
Now, more than ever, students need to remember that we are Penn State. When the leadership of our Alma Mater is shaky, students need to remember that we make this school what it is.
Students need to be the leaders.
We need to be setting the bar, holding ourselves to the high moral and ethical standards that the university and its officials should have been for the past decade.
We are appalled.
This was not the way the most legendary coach in college sports was supposed to go.
Wednesday night was an embarrassment for Penn State.
This is about more than Paterno and Spanier. The way students reacted set our university two steps back.
Penn State does not need to be put in a worse light than its leaders already have. The spotlight was on Penn State last night and we only drew more negative national attention to the Penn State name. The national media did not come for the students, but they stayed because we put on a show.
The emotions brought on by the night varied from somber and respectful to angry and unlawful.
This is not what Joe would have wanted.
In a statement released after he was fired, Paterno said, “I appreciate the outpouring of support, but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value.”
If this is about supporting Joe, honor his wishes.
If this is about anger and disappointment in the university, find a constructive outlet.
With a new coach, the football team enters a rebuilding phase. More importantly, Penn State as a university is rebuilding.
We have a new frontier to conquer.
Let today start the process.
The student body is going to be a huge part of the rebuilding process. We need to step up to the challenge ahead of us all.
Be Penn State.