It was disheartening to learn that Penn State officials knowingly withheld information that could have been used to stop Jerry Sandusky. Penn State has a duty to live up to its motto of success with honor. The criminal justice system will punish the individuals involved and civil suits will target the endowment.
The question remains, however, of what the larger Penn State community can do that is tangibly positive. National voices are calling for the NCAA to enforce the death penalty against the football program. While this may be emotionally satisfying, it hurts many otherwise innocent people and is a purely negative sanction.
Killing SMU's football program did little to stop overzealous boosters at other universities. Penn State must, however, take some real action to acknowledge that it understands the magnitude of the failure and is working to change the culture around the football program.
The most appropriate and positive act it could take would be to contribute all revenues from the 2012 football season to service organizations that protect children.
A $50 million dollar donation could positively impact thousands of lives and help children who may otherwise suffer.
You want the actions of the university to reflect reality. The reality is that there was one terrible man and a few people who couldn’t face the awful truth.
The reality is that the Penn State community is hundreds of thousands of people and has a large asset in its football program — instead of punishing it, let’s turn it into something that could potentially help others.
And, such a gesture would help us all feel a little better about cheering for the Nittany Lions for years to come.
Class of 1987