“I’m doing good.”
It’s a generic response — something anyone can say in any situation to avoid answering the question, “How are you doing?” in detail.
But when asked it on Monday, Gerald Cadogan corrected himself.
“Actually, I’m not good,” he said.
Cadogan had no reason to be “good,” and he felt no reason to lie about it. A few hours earlier, the NCAA had crippled Penn State’s football program, citing former FBI Director Louis Freeh's findings of inaction of its leaders in stopping former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky from assaulting young boys. Cadogan's alma mater is now $60 million in the red, ineligible for the next four postseasons and 20 scholarships shorter than most other schools its size.
And as of 9 a.m. Monday morning, Cadogan has never won a college football game in his career, just like every other Penn State football player who started their career in 1998 or after. But that’s not even what bothers him the most.
“The [NCAA] can’t negate what we did,” he said. “They may have the authority to erase it from a piece of paper, but they do not have the authority to say those games do not exist. We put in the work. We put in the time.”
For former Penn State lettermen, this is about the current Penn State lettermen.
“I’m missing the link between the NCAA and where they had to step in,” Cadogan said. “I feel that maybe the NCAA is feeling pressure on outside sources that they feel like they have to make Penn State pay for this or that.
“My heart goes out to the current players. They are the ones bearing all the punishment for actions in which they were not even involved or aware of. They weren’t even here while that was going on. I’m so puzzled by all of this.”
Former tight end Mickey Shuler, Sr. had thoughts for the players, as well.
“I think [the players] are basically the only people that were punished, but it is what it is,” he said, adding that it’s important to keep those affected by Sandusky’s abuse in mind as well.
But what’s done is done, and now the current players need to make an unprecedented decision.
The NCAA has granted special dispensation to all current Penn State football players so they can transfer without penalty. A team meeting was held Monday morning in the Lasch Football Building.
Former quarterback Michael Robinson told ESPN’s Outside the Lines Monday, “If I was in that position, I would stay.”
Cadogan echoed those sentiments. He said that bowl games are nice, but they shouldn’t be a deciding factor in whether or not to transfer.
“Here’s where you separate the men from the boys,” he said. “Now is when the men step up and say, ‘Now we are going to bear the brunt of this punishment and stay here and stick through... It’s bitter, but you still have 10 or 11 games to go out there every Saturday and put that jersey on your back that doesn’t have a name on it.
“Represent Penn State. That has not been taken away from them.”
Taking to Twitter
Several former players have taken to Twitter to express their opinions on the sanctions.
“NCAA says games didn't exist… I got the metal plate in my neck to prove it did..I almost died playing 4 PSU..punishment or healing?!? #WeAre,” former running back Adam Taliaferro (@Tali43) tweeted.
“How does punishing current & future players do anything for the victims?” former wide receiver Derek Moye (@DMoye6) tweeted.
“Ah crap... so i lost every college football game i ever played in?” former running back Evan Royster (@Evan_Royster) tweeted.
“If I know my team at psu no ones transferrin anywhere #family,” former safety Nick Sukay (@NSukay1) tweeted.