A message from The Penn State Online Magazine

Consider this a reminder. A reminder that what “we are” is a community, and that no one segment of that community exists without the others.

We are not Penn State without the faculty and staff who turn on the lights, teach the classes, serve the food, do the research, and mow the Old Main lawn.

We are not Penn State without the alumni who build the traditions, hire the recent graduates, start families of future Penn Staters, and give generously to ensure their alma mater can continue to thrive.

We are not Penn State without the students whose hard work, idealism, and ambition are the reason the rest of us have a university to work for and support.

Consider this also a plea.

To alumni, and to those who never attended a class but are invested as life-long Penn State football fans: Remember why this place exists. Remember the thousands of faculty members whose teaching and research improves lives. These brilliant, motivated people came to Penn State—and remain here—because Penn State remains a place they can do great, important work.

Remember, too, the tens of thousands of students planning and preparing for the rest of their lives. Remember that they’re living the life-defining moments you’ve already experienced, and that their experience these past two years has been among the most challenging in Penn State’s history. Remember that many of these students are working their way through college, balancing jobs and full class loads, or working toward a degree that may take years to pay off. These students, their needs and their perspective, deserve your respect, even when they might differ from yours.

And to students, particularly those in campus leadership roles, and those with a public profile and media platform that allows their voices to be heard among the din: Try not to add to the noise. Try to appreciate the emotional roots of dissatisfaction among some members of this shared community. Try, especially, not to generalize—to avoid the tone of us-vs.-them that seems increasingly to define our interaction. From State Patty’s Day to empty seats in the student section, you’ve felt victimized in the past by broad and sometimes unfair accusations; turning that broad brush against a huge alumni body you’ll soon be a part of helps no one.

The past two years have provided a harsh lesson on how easy it is for others to hold the actions of a few against an entire community. We’ve all heard countless references to “Penn State’s guilt,” as if an institution can do anything, and as if such careless language doesn’t have repercussions for everyone affiliated with it. We know this; we’ve lived it.

Too often now, such generalizations are directed at fellow members of this community. Alumni think this; students don’t understand that. Our internal discourse has taken on the worst aspects of our national political discourse: so much shouting, so little listening. No matter what side you’re on, you can see where that’s gotten us. If it continues, we only hurt Penn State. Which is to say, we only hurt ourselves.

Ryan Jones, senior editor, Penn State Online Magazine

Bob Costas to Host Show Reexamining Freeh Report

Bob Costas is taking another look at the Freeh Report.

Nittany Nation blogger Frank Bodani is reporting that, to give the report and its assertions a better evaluation, Costas is going to host a TV program on NBC, “a further examination of this issue in a month or two.”

Said Costas, “I said, ‘As the Freeh Report makes clear, Paterno was, in some sense, complicit’” to Sandusky’s abuse of young boys.

“I didn’t say he was part of a cover-up. I wish I would have said, ‘As the Freeh Report asserts,’ rather than, ‘As the Freeh Report makes clear.’”

Costas first reversed direction on the Freeh report a few weeks ago in an interview with radio host Kevin Slaten of KQQZ in St. Louis, but now is the first evidence we’re seeing of a potential TV program to address the issue. When he first commented on the report last July, Costas had only read summaries of the document, and not the entire 267-page report itself. Previously, he had advocated for the so-called “death penalty” for Penn State football for at least a year. He now thinks that the NCAA sanctions in place are undeservedly steep.

In a way similar to the Paterno report’s questioning of Freeh’s investigation, Costas will take aim at Freeh’s conclusions that, according to him, still raise questions of their validity. Costas acknowledged that the report by Thornburgh, Clemente, and Berlin raised legitimate questions about holes in the Freeh Report.

Though Costas says that, nationally, the public may not care enough to reverse its opinion on the issue, having moved on and forgotten, he adds, “I feel I have some responsibility to follow the story.” No other details about the program have yet been released such as an air date, besides that it will air on NBC “in a month or two.”

Shame on Paul Suhey and Stephanie Deviney

Penn State trustee Paul Suhey admits relieving Joe Paterno of his head coaching duties in November 2011 over a late-night phone call was not the right tact. Stephanie Deviney, another trustee, is certain the whole board feels that way.“We apologize, we screwed it up as far as how we delivered the message,” Suhey said Friday in an interview. “Our decision, we’re not going to go back on. But we messed that up big time.“People are still so hurt by that, and you know, damn it, we screwed it up.”The Paterno decision will go down in the annals as the trigger of when Penn State alumni and diehard fans turned against the board, and the anger has not relented. They email the trustees, write letters — even call them out in advertisements in this newspaper. But, four trustees, in an interview with the Centre Daily Timeseditorial board, said they are committed to turning the corner, opening up and building on the progress the university has already seen in responding in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal. The trustees — Suhey, Deviney, board Chairman Keith Masser and Paul Silvis — said they hope the university community will meet them in the middle as part of moving forward.

Editor note:  It took them a year and a half to say this?? Shame, shame, shame on them.

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2013/03/10/3532643/penn-state-trustees-were-trying.html#storylink=cpy

for more information on John Surma‘s role in destroying Joe Paterno, go to:


Pennsylvania Senator Comments on NCAA Response

HARRISBURG – Sen. Jake Corman (R-34) has issued the following statement regarding the NCAA’s challenge of Pennsylvania law.

“The recent NCAA litigation challenging Act 1 will delay the Penn State fine money from positively impacting programs and services that assist child abuse victims in Pennsylvania. In arguing that Pennsylvania has no role in the policy decisions of a state-related institution, the NCAA has gone well beyond its bylaws and believes it can operate as an unchecked governing body,” said Corman.

“Act 1 was carefully crafted to not impair the consent decree between Penn State University and the NCAA, and the law is constitutional.

“The NCAA has clearly misrepresented Penn State University as a private institution, as well as the parameters set forth in the consent decree.

NCAA President Mark Emmert’s statement that Act 1 is nothing more than an attempt to benefit the ‘home team’ is not only inaccurate, but also exemplifies the organization’s delusional understanding of the law. Penn State University receives no gain from Act 1 — the only people who will benefit are Pennsylvania’s sexual abuse victims.  As the money is being derived from a Commonwealth-supported institution of higher education and being generated by state residents, the fine money should be distributed in Pennsylvania.

“In light of the court challenge and Mark Emmert’s statements, state-related and public universities, which are members of the NCAA, should call for a change in the NCAA leadership and operational standards. The NCAA federal lawsuit is an unfortunate power grab by the NCAA, who appears to be more concerned with its national reputation than actually using the $60 million for those who need it the most.”

Penn State Grad – Miss Pennsylvania 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — One. Two. Three. Jordyn Colao has witnessed three of her grandparents die from heart disease. Her losses are what compelled the May 2012 Penn State graduate in biobehavioral health to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant who focuses on cardiology.

But before heading off to graduate school, Colao, who is from Erie, Pa., will spend the remainder of 2012 promoting the platform — the prevention of heart disease — on which she won the Miss Pennsylvania 2012 competition.

“Knowing that I lost my grandparents to heart disease and that it is the No. 1 cause of death for men and women really inspired me to join forces with the American Heart Association,” she said. “As Miss Pennsylvania 2012, I am Northwest Pennsylvania’s Spokesperson, which allows me to spread awareness about the importance of heart disease prevention, raise money for research and perform presentations at middle schools to urge children to get excited about the positive long-term effects of exercising and eating healthy.”

Colao says she wouldn’t be in a position to make such a positive difference in people’s lives if it weren’t for her degree in biobehavioral health from Penn State.

Biobehavioral health covered a wide spectrum of health topics, from stress to bioethics to pharmacology; there was always something exciting to learn,” she said. “I know my BBH degree will catapult me successfully into the health-care field because it has introduced me to every dimension of health.”

While at Penn State she balanced her studies with membership in the Tapestry Dance Company. Consequently, she had the opportunity to travel to New York City to train with the renowned Steps Dance Studio on Broadway. She also helped to raise more than $20,000 for THON.

After completing her Miss Pennsylvania duties, Colao plans to compete in the Miss America pageant.

“Miss America’s national platform is the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN), which ties perfectly into my platform of heart disease prevention,” she said. “So far, as an upcoming contestant, I have been spending time in Pennsylvania’s five CMN hospitals located in Erie, Pittsburgh, Hershey, Philadelphia and Danville. It has been rewarding to see firsthand how the money Miss America raises supports the hospitals, the patients and their families.”

“Together We Are One”

By Matt Morgan mmorgan@centredaily.comState CollegeCentre Daily Times

                                    The Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County’s “Together We Are One” campaign is not just about local business owners or county residents — it’s about bringing the entire Penn State community back together.

Committee member Dave Nevins will be speaking on behalf of the committee during Friday’s Football Eve pep rally, asking people to support the campaign and its mission.

Nevins said that at least 750,000 Penn Staters have felt the impact of the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the Louis Freeh report and the NCAA sanctions, including students at both University Park and commonwealth campuses, alumni, local residents and university employees.

He said it’s time for everyone to be reunited and focus on moving forward.

“The media portrayed the incident as being something that defines the entire community,” Nevins said. “We feel we are defined by so much more.”

Before launching its official fundraising campaign, the group earned more than $60,000. So far, it has printed 20,000 posters, 20,000 buttons and four banners — which were hung over the downtown entryways — all preaching the message of togetherness.

Nevins said plans for funds include scheduling tangible events to bring the community closer, and he thinks some money will go to local social service groups specializing in child sex abuse awareness. He added that eventually the campaign wants to transcend the community and help to repair Penn State’s image on the national stage.

“We want to focus everybody’s attention on what a great community this is,” he said.

An Alabama Fan Speaks Out to Help Penn State!

Tide fan Alston Noah has set up a page on fundraising website Indiegogo asking fellow Alabama fans to contribute to a fund that will be donated to the Penn State student government later this year. In a statement on the page, Noah states that he hopes his “Elephants For Lions” campaign will help the Penn State fans and alumni, who he believes were unjustly punished for the crimes of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
Noah’s full statement on the page reads:

My name is Alston and I am a graduate of the University of Alabama. I am seeking 100,000 donations from avid college football fans.
It is important to college football Penn State return to an atheletic powerhouse as soon as possible. The NCAA has spoken but so many innocent fans and players were punished for the criminal acts of one. The Nittany Lions are strong and growing stronger everyday. I want to do my part to help.

Its time to step in and help. All funds raised will be given to Penn State University in October 2012. The President of the Student Government Association will have the responsibilty to direct the funds in his/her best efforts to promote the Mission of Penn State University.
This is a simple way to send a clear message to the Penn State family, we care and want to help.
Roll Tide

We (Noah & others) would like to hear from Alabama fans: would you donate money to help Penn State recover from its NCAA sanctions?

This is Penn State Football Culture! Take That Mark Emmert!

I am so proud to be a Penn State graduate and a believer in Penn State Football.  This story from Oregon is another example of the kind of values that Penn State, Joe Paterno, and the rest of Happy Valley holds and has always held so dear.  This is an example of why on Saturday afternoon in State College there are over 100,000 blue and white supporters swarming to State College.

At a time when Penn State University is taking a beating in the media and in the public eye, it’s easy to forget how much good is being done at the university. This story is about the special connection that a family from Happy Valley Oregon has with the PSU football players in Happy Valley Pennsylvania (State college, PA), but not for reasons you would think… The town names are strictly coincidence! The Willie family didn’t even have a thing to do with the school until 6 years ago, but now they make the trip back east 4 to 5 times a year just to support the charity that the PSU football team has chosen to support. The Willies continue to say thank you by sending hundreds of cards to the players every year.  Click on the picture to view the video!

Conklin bill to reform Penn State University’s Board of Trustees

Removes voting power from school president, governor

 HARRISBURG, July 27 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, today announced plans to introduce legislation which would significantly alter the structure and governance of Penn State University’s Board of Trustees.

Conklin said his legislative reform was prompted by recommendations issued by state Auditor General Jack Wagner in the wake of the child sexual abuse charges brought against former football coach Jerry Sandusky.

“Specifically, Wagner recommended overhauling the manner in which the board of trustees operates to create greater transparency and accountability,” Conklin said. “This is a necessary step to restoring public trust in one of Pennsylvania’s great universities.”

Conklin’s reforms would include, but not be limited to:

·         Amending Penn State’s enabling statute to remove the president of the university as an ex-officio voting member of the board;

·         Prohibiting the president from serving on any standing committee, special committees and subcommittees of the board;

·         Amending Penn State’s enabling statute to make the governor an ex-officio “non-voting” member of the board; and

·         Making the Right-To-Know Law applicable to all four state-related universities.

“It is my belief that the reforms proposed by Auditor General Wagner will be instrumental and effective in eliminating the concentration of power among administrative officials,” Conklin said.  “This will ensure the board of trustees operates in a more cohesive and transparent manner while providing adequate and much-needed oversight.

“The heart-wrenching saga that has unfolded over the Sandusky investigation leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that the system as presently structured has failed,” Conklin said. “It is our obligation to fix it.”

Conklin plans to introduce his legislation when the House returns from summer recess.


Thank you, Ohio State Alumnus–A Level Head At Last!

“As a graduate of The Ohio State University, I never thought that I would be writing about anything that related to Penn State. But, I can no longer take the ignorance and lynch mob mentality of many of the media outlets, as well as the general populace. It has always amazed me that we (readers and listeners of mass media) have become so lazy that we swallow every morsel of so called news as gospel. Lest we forget that the media must sell their wares in order to remain in business. With the advent of ever evolving technology that task has become increasing more difficult. As a result, the media too have evolved. What used to be a respected profession, where journalistic integrity and the reporting of the facts were not only the norm, but were sacred and guarded, has now become a mission to remain relevant and profitable. Their integrity and reporting of the facts have often taken a back seat to the sensationalizing of some facet of the news. It’s no longer good enough to simply report the facts and allow the readers or listeners to form their own judgment or opinion. Many articles today are merely watered down editorials with morsels of the truth thrown in so one could call it a news article. I believe that the media are the most powerful people in the world. We have been led to believe, in fact brain washed in a sense, to accept the words of the media as an unbiased and fair representation of the facts. The Sandusky Sex Scandal, or as it’s better know the Penn State Sex Scandal… because the word “Sandusky” won’t sell as many papers or TV ads as “Penn State”, is a prime example of the media gone wrong. I continue to be amazed by the irrational comments from generally intelligent people. Their naive acceptance of the media’s portrayal of the students/athletes, as well as Joe Paterno and other officials at Penn State is very bothersome to me and it should be to you. For those of us who have actually read Louis Freeh’s report (which is the most comprehensive study about the Sandusky Sex Scandal) with an open mind, it must make you wonder about a number of things. One of the most basic tenets of the entire document has been largely ignored by media. The report clearly states that in 1998 an investigation took place regarding Sandusky and alleged misconduct with young boys. The District Attorney along with the police department and several state organizations conducted numerous interviews. School officials, parents and alleged victims were all questioned. The investigation was closed and no charges were filed. Sandusky should have been stopped in 1998. He wasn’t. The report went on to say that law enforcement and child welfare officials were ill equipped and not sufficiently trained to adequately recognize and handle adolescent sexual abuse. What? Why isn’t that the headline? Apparently, that won’t sell as many ads or newspapers. That one sentence shines a whole new light on this entire tragedy. If the professionals who are hired to serve and protect didn’t have the proper knowledge, training and education as it pertained to adolescent abuse, what makes everyone think that a football coach or academic officials should? However, not one media outlet picked up on that and reported the finding. Apparently, it wasn’t sensational enough. In 2001, having been through a Sandusky investigation just three years prior, Joe Paterno reported yet another incident to school officials. Knowing the result of the 1998 investigation, one might understand (not condone, but understand) why, after the initial report was filed, there was limited follow up on the part of Joe Paterno. There’s no doubt that Paterno and school officials made some horrendous decisions. But, so did the law enforcement personnel and state agencies who were supposed to be knowledgeable about pedophiles and their characteristics. I question why the media and many of you are holding a football coach and an administration to a higher standard than law enforcement and agencies whose job it is to protect all of us? Would you hold Child Protective Services, State Police or the District Attorney responsible if the Nittany Lions lost a football game? Of course not. It’s irrational and idiotic. I’m not downplaying the acts of Sandusky. They were horrific! Further, I’m not defending anyone, but simply pointing out the fact that the mob is trying to condemn Penn State’s current students, athletes and officials for grievous acts committed 12 or 14 years ago. For the most part, today’s student body at Penn State were just getting out of diapers when these acts occurred. How is it rational or just for them to be punished? One final thought. During the same time frame of 12 to 14 years, the students at Penn State have raised and donated nearly $100 million dollars for research and a cure for pediatric cancer. Thousands of young lives have been saved or made better because of the students at Penn State. Let’s stop casting aspersions and not forget all of the good they have done. So, before you jump on the band wagon, perhaps you should know the facts and not just what the media want you to believe. I’m proud to be a Buckeye, but feel very sad for the victims, students and everyone who calls Happy Valley home.”