ESPN broadcaster Todd Blackledge is a proud Penn State alum. But there's a difference between showing pride for your alma mater, and... this.
The more allegations I hear about in CFB,the more convinced I am that there NEVER was a football culture problem at Penn State. #Truth#WeAre— Todd Blackledge (@Todd_Blackledge) September 12, 2013
Ugh. Yes Todd, college kids taking money from boosters, smoking weed, and having academics fudged are all very nasty things when compared to covering up multiple counts of child abuse.
It's not even worth it to break down the legal and moral differences of what happened at Penn State and what happened at Oklahoma State, North Carolina, Alabama, and other schools that have come under NCAA investigation in recent months. But much like we saw with Matt Millen, another Penn State alum working at ESPN has carried the university flag in spite of what we know about the ugliness of the football culture there.
Blackledge was actually there, right? Played in the 80s, I think? But yes, I can see how this writer would know more about the inner workings of Penn State football than Blackledge. God I hate lazy media types.
Wow. It is amazing how many diluted Penn State mouth breathers are out there! JoePa admitted under oath that he was told something of a sexual nature occured. The most powerful man at the University, a football coach, looked the other way. Shame on you Penn State fans for putting the football team ahead of these poor kids that were raped. Shame on you.
The name of this site is Awful Announcing. Well, we can file this under Awful Writing. I don't have anything to add to what the rest of the 90% of the eloquent people below have said. But I ask you this, Lucia -- how about having some stones to post your contact information on here like other writers on other sites do and not just hide behind your stupid little Twitter account. You are a piece of garbage as a 'journalist/writer' and if I knew it wouldn't get deleted from the comments section, I'd have a number of other choice alternatives that you could do to yourself.
Don't let the facts or the actual culture of Penn State enter into your thinking Mr. Lucia. You might get confused and be unable to write such trash. ACTUAL RESEARCH requires intellect and commitment to finding the truth. That appears to be more than you are interested in doing.
It is laughable to anyone who has ever spent time at Penn State ... this notion of a "football culture" at that school. I am a proud PSU alum but I also grew up in Texas so I know a little something about football culture ... I spent every Friday night as a child along with about 15,000 others watching our high school football team. Most of my friends went to UT, OU and various SEC schools. My sister went to OU while they were on probation post-Switzer and my best friend went to SMU while they were still on the death penalty. So seriously, spare me the "Penn State has a football culture" bs.
Penn State is a school that encourages academics and philanthropy above all else. Do your judgmental selves a favor and google THON, or Lift for Life. Look into our graduation rates. Google John Urschel for God's sake! Then talk to me about how your "football schools" stack up. We love our football team and our coaches and we want them to win as much as you want your teams to win. But there is not a single student, alumni, staff member or member of the community who would be ok with risking the safety of one single child over football. Enough with the feigned indignation as if you somehow care more about children than we do.
I also know as a Penn Stater that the vast majority of us want nothing but THE TRUTH, and the more we learn, the less the initial narrative spun by the media makes sense. We are angry at our BoT and administration for rolling over in an attempt to sweep it all under the rug. We are infuriated about how a man who has lived an honorable life was treated. We roll our eyes when people talk about Joe being all knowing and all powerful because we know it wasn't the case! We were there ... you weren't! He was the most revered on campus by far, but by alums and students ... We know about the power struggles with the administration and BoT.
We are outraged by the silence of The Second Mile, Gov Corbett (who dropped the 1998 case as AG and then accepted campaign $ from Second Mile) and Freeh, who built his case on supposition and conjecture and who refuses to comment on the report after promising complete transparency. And the NCAA ... Jesus, don't get me started.
Thank goodness for Todd Blackledge and other Penn Staters who want the truth and are standing up for a good man whose reputation was wrongly dragged through the mud. You are all suckers for believing "journalists" who report complete factual inaccuracies and just report what the guy next to them reports rather than doing their research and asking hard questions. Bob Costas finally admitted he didn't even read the Freeh report when he first passed judgment on Paterno ... When he finally did he realized it didn't make sense. Maybe someone at this Deadspin ripoff blog might one day brush up on their reading too.
I spent a career working with both victims and perpetrators of child abuse and child sexual abuse, this is problem that is much larger than Penn State and frankly has nothing to do with football. Saying that it does is incorrect. The bottom line is that the NCAA had no jurisdiction in this matter and Mr. Blackledge is on point when he states that Penn State does not, nor did it ever have a "football culture" problem. The NCAA has a problem when it hands down sanctions on a team who clearly had no part in the Sandusky scandal but does nothing to schools that are clearly in violation of actual NCAA rules (NC) and violates the law conducting an investigation (Miami). Mr. Lucia is delusional if he does not see the legal and moral problems of supplying players with "weed" (still illegal in most of the US and by Fed. law) and having coeds as willing sex partners (a form of "pimping") for recruits, by saying these infractions are not as serious as what happened at Penn State is a form of rationalization that is frequently used by sociopaths to minimize their own behaviors.
One of the best things afforded by a good education is having an open mind. I'm glad that Todd has changed his tune on Penn State.
I remain open to the notion of a cover-up by JoePa, but have yet to see evidence of it.
Culture problem? Hardly. Compare academic-athletic grad rates with any in the nation. Look at the accomplishments of John Urschel. Sorry ... nice try to pile on, but I'm not buying emotional BS.
Every school in the SEC has much more of a football culture than Penn State. Look at their spending and graduation rates. Many other schools have had recruiting violations, but not Penn State. The NCAA is to enforce agreed upon policies regarding fairness in competition. It is not a court of law. Sandusky story is indeed tragic and there may indeed be others found guilty of a cover up, but that is still unclear. What ever happened to "innocent until PROVEN guilty"? This rush to judgment on the part of media hacks like Joe Lucia is disturbing and wrong.
This "article" is pure mindless drivel on the part of the author. He compares child abuse on one hand and then the litany of violations at Oklahoma State, North Carolina and Miami, which are multiple, repeat offenders on several illegal counts, but says that's all OK because child abuse is worse. It's ALL wrong, you bonehead. This "we're more moral than Penn State" crap leveled by media hacks like Lucia is a load of crap. Penn State graduated MORE of it'student athletes this year with higher grade point averages THAN ALL the other schools mentioned? "Football culture" problem? what BS!
Hey Todd just maybe you should put down the pom pom and opening your freaking eyes. A former PSU Assistant is sitting in Jail because he sexually abused children in the football locker room three officials of PSU are awaiting trial on obstruction of justice. PSU Football Culture was the problem
"My name is Joe Lucia and I can predict the future of multiple court cases that have yet to go to trial. How? Because I read the first line of the simple summary of an un-cited report by a documented fraud (See Freeh and the FIFA report) who was hired by the BoT to report what the BoT wanted to hear."
PSU ranks #8 among all public schools and #37 nation-wide for ACADEMICS.
This is just another hatchet job by a lazy hack who values sensationalism rather than facts and truth. You don't know what you are talking about Joe Lucia.
What happened at Penn State was reprehensible. However, that was 4 individuals of power (regardless of what you believe about Paterno being involved in a cover-up, he did admit he could of done more. In addition, it is unclear what certain Trustees knew about the scandal before it broke), who put the reputation of the school (or the program if you want) ahead of doing what was right. This is not a program gone rogue with a history of violations (hello Miami, USC, OSU). All you need to look at is the high graduation rate and how the players stayed together after the crisis. There is no excuse what happened at the school and if you ask any honest Penn Stater, he or she would agree. Yes, there have been player issues with the football program in the past, no doubt. But ugliness of the football culture, really. Forging grades for players, paying players, hiring young girls to have sex with players, all under the watchful eyes of the administration, professors, boosters, and players themselves. That is ugliness. Todd may be biased in some respect but less than those who don't take the time to understand his point of view.
Except...one set of transgressions has nothing to do with the NCAA or football. While the other has EVERYTHING to do with the NCAA and football, in fact the basic tenet for the NCAA's existence.
Can't even read the article due to your pop ups and annoying auto videos. Correct this stuff. Until then. Bye-bye. PS. It wasn't a football culture, it was the adults who were the problem. #FormerCFBfan
To the best of my knowledge no current or former Penn State players have been accused of taking money or gifts, engaging in academic fraud, or being enticed to sign with the university because boosters arranged to whore out coeds during recruiting visits, all of which are clear violations of NCAA rules. Yet somehow it's current and former Penn State players who are being punished -- through the vacating of wins earned on the field, and loss possible bowl appearances related to the same -- for the thoroughly disgraceful actions of a handful of university personnel.
Defending the many accomplishments, both athletic and academic, of the Penn State football program does not equate to making excuses for the inexcusable. Furthermore, it is absolutely worth making both moral and legal distinctions when true student athletes, the exact people the NCAA claims to champion, are thrown under the bus while other schools are encouraged to run mercenary football factories with no regard for integrity (academic or otherwise) in order to feed the sanctioning body's money-making machine.
It would be a fine change of pace to see
someone in the media at large, someone without ties to Penn State, to have the balls to step up, look closely, and take note
of where the true "ugliness of football culture" thrives: at every level of the NCAA and its multitude of corporate sponsors, which are enabled by a media that is either too reactionary or too lazy to step back and engage in critical thinking.
Broken record says what? Thanks for just repeating verbatim the nonsense we've been hearing from every single hater who reads lots of headlines and listens to lots of blowhard sports commentators who desperately need ratings.
Joe Paterno was without question the most beloved person on campus. He was the face of Penn State. But to make the stretch that he controlled the uis
@mikefrommke Did you mean "deluded"? Either way JoePa made that statement 10 years after a 15 minute conversation with M McQueary where McQueary has changed his story several times.
In addition, JoePa did not look the other way, he reported it and then, as PA law requires, stayed out of it. He assumed it was being addressed. With benefit of hindsight, i.e. he knew then what he knew now, he would have ignored the law and intervened.
By the way, on what basis do you think any of this has anything to do with football?
@mikefrommke It's interesting, Mike, that the prosecutor in the case said this week that there is no evidence to suggest Paterno orchestrated or participated in a cover up. But what does he know? He's just the prosecutor in the case. I'd much rather take your word for it.
@mikefrommke Reporting per policy and THE LAW in your state is not "looking the other way".
@CD24 go ahead and find me on Facebook, unless you don't want me to know your real name...which is apparently the point of posting anonymously in a comment section
@Kjw1021 Spot on and eloquent!
@Kjw1021 Thank you for illuminating Penn State's actual, long standing culture. I challenge all the Big Ten Schools and any other university to match our(Penn State's) record in raising funds for pediatric cancer research and treatment. And I challenge critics of Todd Blackledge to read more than the Freeh Report and media sound bites. Dick Thornburgh's analysis of the Freeh Report is worth reading, unless thoughtful analysis is contrary to the goal of perpetuating inaccurate information.
@Lionheartedgrad And is motivated by a rush to ratings!
@cafnsf .....Really ?? Because of an EX coach there is a football problem ?? You don't know a quarter of what I know about this case and you're taking like you were there !! It's better to be quiet then to sound stupid !!!
@cafnsf A former Head of the Second Mile is jail because he sexually abused children EVERYWHERE HE COULD. The fact that he used his connection to the football program doesn't mean the football program had a problem it means SANDUSKY had a problem.
@cafnsf clueless, brainless and completely bereft of facts. No, Sandusky WAS the problem all along. There's NO evidence that Penn State football had anything to do with what Sandusky did. It's difficult to argue with monumental ignorance and no knowledge of the facts. Just another uninformed knee jerk, media Kool-Aid drinker.
Yes what Jerry Sandusky did was horrific and he deserves what he gets. Yes 3 PSU administrators are to be tried for obstruction, but they are not convicted and I highly doubt that they will because of the great lack of evidence of any wrongdoing. If you have any facts to the contrary, I would be interested to hear them!
You assume the problem was PSU Football Culture, however the alleged "cover up" because of football has not been proven. On the other hand how many Universities have a more ethical and balanced student/athlete culture, including football, than PSU.
@cafnsf You must not realize that the PSU locker room incident was the only charge he WAS NOT convicted on right? Sandusky was convicted on charges that he groomed and abused children from his Second Mile foundation. It's only a PSU story because he was a former assistant coach there..
With that said I'm not saying PSU is innocent, there was certainly some failures on the university for not acting more aggressively on the information they knew, but that can also be said for the PA state AG department, the 2nd mile, child protective services and the departments who allowed Sandusky to adapt children. He had everyone on fooled even people that we trained to spot people like himself.
PSU football has never had a culture problem, look at the NCAA infractions they've had, wait there are none, well then lets looks at the graduation rate or even the players GPAs. ohh wait they are in the top 5 in the country. There is nothing out there that says that PSU football and alums have a culture problem.
@cafnsf awaiting trial is not a completed trial with a decision rendered, but who needs the justice system when we have savants like you.
@awful "There is no excuse what happened at the school and if you ask any honest Penn Stater, he or she would agree." What BS! Speak for yourself. I didn't molest ANY kids, neither did anybody else I know at Penn State. Sandusky is responsible for Sandusky, and clueless people like you fail to remember that BOTH Sandusky prosecutors have said they found NO evidence of ANY wrongdoing by Paterno involving Sandusky. What part of NO EVIDENCE don't you get?
@awful What happened at PSU was reprehensible, but I am not talking directly about the Sandusky Scandal. It was the actions taken by the University including firing Joe without investigation, and thereby inciting the media headline whores to pounce on PSU and Joe to the exclusion of all the other involved parties. Just the week before the firing Joe was being praised for his actions.
As for what happened at PSU, the 1998 incident was investigated by several social welfare and law enforcement agencies and dropped, in the 2001 incident Sandusky was acquitted of the sex charge and the 2002 incident was supposedly witnessed by a janitor who didn't even work there at the time! I am not saying nothing happened at PSU, but at least the large majority did not.
My point is there is a lot of blame here to go around here, but the vast majority is directed at PSU, the other participants are unscathed and it has nothing to do with football.
@awful Joe Paterno, did not to admit anything, he said In HINDSIGHT he wished he had done more. Meaning with the facts that I know now, I wish that I had done more to prevent this. This was not an admission of guilt. You also have take note that last week the DA that prosecuted Sandusky said on record that Joe Paterno didn't do anything wrong.
That he controlled the university is ridiculous. You have no evidence to prove that but there is plenty of evidence to the contrary ... That he frequently butted heads with the decision makers who ran/run the school. Especially when it came to Sandusky. Joe Paterno had no input or control over his retirement package and it was very well know that JoePa didn't even like Sandusky.
The fact that all you know about Penn State is football and Joe Paterno is your problem, not ours. It does not make your assumptions about our school true. Do you assume every big name sports coach "runs" their university. It's silly. We had a BoT who wanted him out.
And to repeat others comments, how is going to his supervisors (one of whom was the head of university police) covering it up? He was not an eye witness to the crime so what he reported was hearsay. And Sandusky wasn't even an employee of the university at that point. A cover up is NOT TELLING ANYONE! You expect him, a hearsay witness, to go into the police department and start demanding to know what's happening with an ongoing investigation just because he's Joe Paterno? Now THAT'S unethical.
@joelucia @CD24 I just tried but there are a number of Joe Lucias on FB and I'm sure they wouldn't like receiving a random message about something they know nothing about...which would actually be fitting if it did happen to land in your inbox. But I'll welcome a civil discussion about the whole case.
This really was a poorly researched and irresponsible column. Regurgitating an unsubstantiated summary that gave no supporting facts without reading and drawing obvious conclusions independently is the opposite of good journalism.
Penn State had and still has a football culture problem. Fortunately it's mainly the alums like Blackledge who are embarrassing themselves with their refusal to accept the truth. The current student body have, for the most part, accepted the NCAA punishment like adults despite the fact that they weren't at PSU when Spanier,Curley, Schultz & Paterno were looking the other way as Sandusky continued to use the facilities for a decade after the Lasch Bldg shower incident.
@uofdhiker @awful No that's not what Fina and McGettigan said. They said there was no evidence that Paterno was involved in a cover-up (they also said Spanier, Curley & Schultz were involved in a cover-up.) Fina said that Paterno "at least did something" which is to say he called Tim Curley about McQueary's allegation, but Fina also added that of course Paterno should have done more. That's a far cry from saying "Paterno didn't do anything wrong."
@BIlly Lipps I never once claimed to be a journalist.
ya I didn't bring up anything concerning the shower incident...and I believe the point that was being made is the only charge Sandusky was acquitted on occurred in the shower. So yes he was not convicted of 1 charge, so whoever originally stated that is still correct.
@BIlly Lipps @SchmutzieChi @uofdhiker @cafnsf I was merely pointing out your misstatement of FACTS when you said Sandusky was NOT CONVICTED of the Lasch Building shower incident. He was convicted on 4 or 5 counts related to that specific incident. See how that works? It is you who is ignoring facts, not me.
@SchmutzieChi @uofdhiker @cafnsf except, as others have said, Sandusky prosecutors stated that Paterno was not involved in 'looking the other way'.
How can you be so naive to believe the Freeh report when it has conclusions based in complete fantasy? Is your attention span so short that you can only handle a 1 page summary? Do you simply believe everything people say without attempting to comprehend the situation nor apply any critical thinking skills? Maybe it's b/c you believe you are better than the criminal justice system.
Either way you are clearly in the camp of 'facts don't change my opinion b/c I am great and omniscient', so what is the point in arguing.
@SchmutzieChi @uofdhiker @awful The PA AG at the time said Paterno was not to be charged; that he did what was expected. What was missing from Fina's recent quote was the preface "With benefit of hindsight", that means "If I knew then what I know now" Joe would have done more. So "with benefit of hindsight" Fina is correct now; but does not mean Fina is correct at the time in 2001 when this occurred. That does mean "Paterno didn't do anything wrong."!