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July 14, 2012

What About Pitt-Penn State?

Filed under: Football,Non-con,Schedule — Chas @ 9:47 am

Pitt and Penn State are scheduled to play a home-and-home pair of football games in 2016 and 2017. A possible thaw in the long-standing stalemate in what was once a great annual rivalry game. Add in the fact that the Big 10-Pac-12 annual cross-over plan that was scheduled to begin in 2017 has now fallen through. Well, you could make a pretty good case that Pitt and Penn State might actually be able to resume the annual in-state rivalry game.

This home-and-home came about before the Penn State cover-up of the Sandusky molestations came to light. A cover-up to protect the image of the football program at Penn State. Now, Penn State is promising reforms. Changes, in no small part from the recommendations of the Freeh Report. But as Dan Wolken notes, how can there be real change when Penn State begins their new season in seven weeks?

That creates a question for Pitt and Pitt fans. Should we still want Pitt and Penn State to meet in football? Do we want to play a program where the leaders so willingly betrayed its self-righteous ideals to protect the image of itself. That it not only hid a pedophile right within in its midst, it gave license the beast to continue to use his relationship with Penn State football to bring in more boys to victimize.


I saw it posed in the comments. I’ve been in discussion thread with friends. I don’t have a good answer.

I grew up on the Pitt-Penn State game, as did many of you. It’s something we’ve long wanted back. But now? After this?

The game is still four years away. Maybe real changes are affected at Penn State. Maybe they confront the actual horrors and take ownership of their culpability and culture that created this and do something about it.

But what if they don’t? What if they compartmentalize it. Rationalize it as being others who did it. That it could happen anywhere, and that they are being unfairly maligned by haters.  Avoid the responsibility and the real changes. What then?

By playing  them are we just one more part of the culture that puts football ahead of all else.

Rather than just discuss in the comments here’s a blunt instrument to take the temperature.

Should Pitt play Penn State in Football in 2016-17? free polls 

Danno, bad example indeed.

When did 5 or 6 get found out? 1 month? 2 months? 10 F’N YEARS?

If the latter, shut ’em down and shut ’em down NOW! AND, BY THE WAY, YOU SAID IT’S A CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL!

Sorry, Dan, you’ve hit a nerve. I’m privy to docs who’ve done horrible things to save their asses.

Let’s go, Rangers

Comment by steve1 07.15.12 @ 9:37 pm

I’ll take shit on Pitt over ped state any day of the week.

You guys want to hear my freakin’ day. My in-laws live just outside state college. We went down to the arts fest today and as we get half way thru my wife sees a little lemonade stand…my wife has soft spot in her heart for these things. She gives my two little boys some money to get a cookie and a drink from the young girls running the stand.. As we walk away I notice a guy sitting in the shade under a tree in the backyard of the house where we bought the lemonade…it was mf’ing Jay Paterno. Then it hits me that my two little boys just gave cash to the Paterno’s. I’ve never been so distraught over $4 in my entire life.

My boys and I were at least wearing Pitt gear – a must anytime we go into town. After getting that off my chest I have to mention my two favorite ped state stories to make me feel better…

1. My oldest’s first intro to Paterno was a stuffed doll my sister had at her place…upon seeing it he screamed in utter fear at the hideous figure.

2. A couple of years later his grandfather and uncle wanted a pic on top of the nittney lion. Upon seeing the lion my son declared that it wasn’t a lion and that it was a Panther. He then declared that he would sit on the Panther.

I was hoping that would make me feel better…but it didn’t.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 07.15.12 @ 9:50 pm

Are you sure it was lemonade??

Comment by TX Panther 07.15.12 @ 10:43 pm

Dan…..the football culture is what allowed the criminal elements to fester and grow. The football program had taken on such importance that it had to be protected at all costs. Penn State fandom is what created that culture. Not JoePa or any of the others. They only recognized it, reveled in it and exploited it. Without the football culture a child predator is likely stopped 14 years ago. You are not wrong that this culture exists on other college campuses as well. However this is the only one that led to the situation at hand. The culture must be changed. The fandom have to feel the consequences for that to happen.

Comment by JCE 07.15.12 @ 11:09 pm

$4 for lemonade and cookies…a buck per? I guess they’re gouging ’cause the Paterno fortune is in jeopardy.

Comment by steve1 07.16.12 @ 6:38 am

If the culture allowed this level of cover-up, doesn’t it follow that other cover-ups to protect the “program” would be common place. There are plenty of known examples. The NCAA should be conducting a far more comprehensive evaluation.

The wagons are being circled as we speak. Ron Cook still doesn’t get it.

Comment by gc 07.16.12 @ 6:52 am

@ punkypanther how about this slogan for a T shirt? On the front, Sandusky University Alumni, on the back,
Matriculated as a tight end but graduated as a wide receiver.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.16.12 @ 7:32 am

NCAA vs. Ped State…………….$$$$$$ decides the punishment.

As much as I hope I am wrong I suspect that the final outcome will be far removed from the “death penalty”.

Three Years of Punishment:
Loss of 10 scholies first year followed by loss of 5 scholies per year in second and third years.

No bowls for 2 years

No TV for l year.

End result, the WE ARE PENN STATE cry will continue to echo from Perv Valley and nothing….
NOTHING will change!!

Comment by isnore 07.16.12 @ 7:34 am

The fans dirdn’t create the culture, the university did. If you’re going to blame the fans, blame society for being so sports crazed. Here’s the thing, then it’s a worldwide problem…soccer has the most crazed fans out of any sport.

This was one sick individual being protected by selfish administrators, who put their own interest above the well being of children. I believe the NCAA should get involved but only to set a precedent for future corruption. The culture at PSU will change now that all the parties involved have been removed from power. It has to, not only because of the NCAA involvement but because of flags raised at the federal level now. There are bigger concerns now than the football program for the first time in about 60 years.

What has to change now is the culture at other schools where football has become bigger than the education provided…. I’m looking directly at the SEC and the rest of the Big Tenwelve.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 07.16.12 @ 7:55 am

The fans created the culture. The fans ARE the culture. The University just propogated it.

Comment by JCE 07.16.12 @ 8:38 am

Dr.Tom – Thank you for your much needed humor. Especially your comment about the new meaning of “Penn State Sucks”!

I am simply stunned by the continued arrogance and pooh-poohing of the scandle by PSU Alums.
Without the death penalty, it will go back to business as usual at Ped State.

Comment by Dan 72 07.16.12 @ 8:48 am

That’s not a psu fan problem, that’s a general sports fan issue. It’s the reason why steelers fans look the other way at big ben, golf fans look the other way for tiger woods, ravens fans still root root for ray lewis, raiders fans still cheer their teams on and so on and so on. There’s a reason “insert team name” nation has become a common term for a team’s fans. I do beliefs a precedent has to be set but this was an institutional problem not a fan base problem. Implying that fans drive this just comes across as jealousy to me. Psu’s fan base is bigger and thus more influential than Pitt’s but to say they contributed to this scandal is naive. The collective fan base would have taken action had they known about this in 98′ or 2001. In fact, had psu gone public then none of this would have ever happened.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 07.16.12 @ 9:33 am

Thabeets — Sure, you can extrapolate it to all sports fans. But are you trying to tell me that without the fervent, near blind devotion to the the school and football team that the PSU fans have this cover-up would still have happened?? No way. Without these fans, JoePa and those administrators do not have the incentive, and certainly in JoePa’s case, the POWER to enact this cover-up. The exact opposite of what you say is true. It is naive to think that the football fanbase DID NOT contribute to the existence of the scandal. That is not to say that the fanbase would not have been outraged to find out about Sandusky. The fact that they had a role in enabling him was unwitting. But it was real nonetheless. It is an institutional problem AND a fanbase problem.

Comment by JCE 07.16.12 @ 9:57 am

The Paterno Family has now hired their own experts to investigate as best as they can, the findings in the Freeh Report. The Penn State Public Relations Firms are playing the media and the public, like charlie daniels played a fiddle.

If anyone believes that all of the responses are not well planned, they are mistaken or else have never been in a Board Room. There is zero email traffic on this issue between the BOT and the PR firms unless it goes through their defense counsel in order to protect privilege.

All communication is facilitated through land lines, not cell phones. The entire premise of the Freeh Report is flawed as the scope was too narrow and it was another effort to protect the football brand. All this other hoopla by the Paterno’s is being done to throw the attention away from the program and the university. Despicable!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 07.16.12 @ 10:13 am

JCE, None of this would have happened if the school would have avoided any conflict of interest by including Paterno in the discussion. That is where the breakdown occurred. A fervent fan base was not involved in the least bit. The university may have been concerned with the fall out of the revelations but that was a PR decision that many schools could have faced. They made the wrong moral and legal decision only after consulting with the person who would be most adversely affected…Paterno. The university gave Paterno his power and the fans may have contributed to his legend but that’s what happens when you make someone the face of a program for 50 years. The NCAA should make PSU an example but I don’t see how any blame can be put on the shoulders of alumni and the fans.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 07.16.12 @ 10:41 am

1.) Pedophiles happen everywhere, how to stop them, wish we knew.

2.) After finding out about pedohile, a phone call to 911 would have ended it.

In summation, a pedophile, and 4 men without character.

Comment by Dan 07.16.12 @ 10:56 am

JoePa had the power because he created a multimillion dollar business. This business could only be created because college football is a popular national sport. So all fans are to blame if you are going to blame PSU fans. PSU allowed JoePa to misused this power, which is why they should be punished. But you aren’t going to lessen the power of college football coaches any time soon. Just look at the new college football that will bring millions to schools. This is just going to add to the power of coaches. If you are really worried about the moral corruptness of college football then you should want vast changes and perhaps even want it banned.

Here is a good debate on if college football should even exist: link to

Comment by Wardapalooza 07.16.12 @ 11:01 am

Exactly Dan. It’s easy to point fingers but this really is the result of inaction by men who should have known better.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 07.16.12 @ 11:02 am

Exacty Tossing. People seem to be giving these guys a break, “there was so much pressure on them they had to cover it up”.

B.S.!!! These were children being raped, not someone jaywalking.

Comment by Dan 07.16.12 @ 11:11 am

You can’t make this a black and white, cut and dry situation where one thing or group is responsible over all others! It’s the administrators. It’s the fans. It’s the university. It’s ALL of that!! So all parties should carry some of the punishment!! Including the fanbase. Of which football related sanctions would be a part. This did not happen in a vacuum or some isolated microcosm.

And Dan, I certainly hope you are not insinuating that I am one of the people giving the administrators a break. If so, you haven’t been reading my posts closely.

I’ve said about all I can say about this.

Comment by JCE 07.16.12 @ 11:35 am

@JCE, absolutely not, nor anyone else on here. You’ve been very clear, as everyone else.

My comment was general to the news media and callers on radio shows.

I think this has been a very good dialogue on the situation up there.

I really hate cliches’, but, in this case, I think many of us have reached the point of

“we agree to disagree”.

Time for some football!!

Comment by Dan 07.16.12 @ 11:49 am

By playing them are we just one more part of the culture that puts football ahead of all else.

Paterno dead, Sandusky in prison for the rest of his life. The three high profile enablers on their way to prison, retirement, or out of the country. After PSU comes off the death penalty and comes to PITT on bended knee begging, you say maybe and on one condition; the name of the former head coach who enabled these felonies against children, these crimes against humanity for an era, comes off any stadium the men representing the University of Pittsburgh sets foot in. And melt the goddamn statue while you’re at it. Then we’ll think about it. I hope like hell the Big Ten throws them out of the conference.

Comment by Chicago P 07.16.12 @ 1:45 pm

The cult is upset because a little child molestation is getting in the way of football season. Many fans who pack that stadium each Saturday think that way. And yes all fans are to blame by some degree, but the Nitter is an entirely different sub species. I would think Pitt fans would withhold donations and stop showing up at games if this sort of thing happened at Pitt. The first thing on my mind would not be how is our recruiting holding up or can’t wait for football season. I think Pitt fans would be demanding a voluntary hiatus from football. I have heard nothing but crickets from the cult. I agree with JCE. The cult gave JoePa the power. He and others abused that power in the worst way. Now the cult is trying their best to move on quickly because it’s still all about football.

Comment by TX Panther 07.16.12 @ 2:00 pm

PSU administrators covered up the pedo for football, therefore football should be punished. Why would the president of a university heed the wishes of the head football coach in a criminal case, unless that head football coach had too much power at that university! As to the original question of this blog, I guess I want to wait and see what happens in the future before I cancel already scheduled games.

Comment by Caw Miller 07.16.12 @ 2:06 pm

I want nothing to do with that school, nothing. It’s embarassing enough they are located in Pennsylvania.

Comment by Get the Glory 07.16.12 @ 4:03 pm

need to have a contest on which t-shirt slogan becomes “the game” shirt like out at ND
that would be way cool! & donate All proceeds to a victim fund.

Comment by Punxy Panther 07.17.12 @ 2:59 am

[…] yes. Joe Starkey noticed the poll I ran just after the Freeh Report and  a week before the Paterno statue was removed. Just part of his […]

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