I was recently made aware of the change regarding Wayne Sebastianelli’s status with Penn State football program. While it is not my intention to influence or inject myself into decisions made at Penn State regarding its personnel or politics, I do feel compelled to weigh in on this matter. Specifically, my family, as well as many past and present Penn State athletes and families, have benefited from Sebastianelli’s professional and expert care to our loved ones participating in Penn State athletic programs, especially football.
To make it more personal, if Sebastianelli had not been on staff and involved with Penn State football in September 2000, my son could have died or been a lifelong quadriplegic due to the injury he sustained in a game with Ohio State University. This would have not only impacted Adam, but our entire family would be currently experiencing a significantly lessened quality of life. While I am not naïve to think that decisions regarding Penn State personnel are made solely for reasons of competence and that person’s ability to effectively and compassionately service their constituents, I can assure you that these qualities are most important to players and families that will be impacted by the recent decisions made regarding Sebastianelli. I can personally attest that he is a person whom many feel possess the ideal combination of skill, demeanor and personality that they want and desire for someone responsible for the well being of their loved ones.
Put bluntly, he is second to none in his capability and capacity to service and advise past and current players. And let this be known, his advice and counsel was not only accepted but also sought out by countless players and their families, both past and present.
In closing, removing or altering the involvement of Sebastianelli with the football program should and will be viewed by many as malpractice, political and a disservice to all players and parents. I am not saying that there are not others who could perform his duties, but why make changes regarding a person who has proven numerous times his value to the program, its players and parents?
Again, I am not naïve to think that those making decisions will take into consideration the feelings and concerns of past and present players and their families who will be adversely impacted by Sebastianelli’s diminished role — but make no mistake, this will not be in the best interest of the players and their families.
Cedar Brook, N.J.