How could American culture grow so corrupt as to value a game over protecting children?

Okay, after reading the fan comments on that site I'm going to have to side with the "close the program down" view. PSU fans have always been obnoxious about this, but they're in so much denial at this point that the university may as well just hit the self-destruct button on the program.

On one of those facebook posts, a woman commenter's picture shows her holding a child. WTF?

I do not currently need to vomit, but, if I do begin to feel the need, I will start a national organization to collect vomit from all across this land. I will then charter a series of airplanes, and use them to dump said vomit all upon the campus of Penn State University from the air.

We're getting into some confirmation bias here. I'm staying out of this for the most part as I agree with you guys but think much of the vitriol is unnecessary. You can dismantle the football program far more effectively by using more tact and understanding for the people who will be hurt by this, even if it's the right decision. Claiming "PSU fans have always been obnoxious about this" isn't really helping.

“I Hope Tim Tebow Rapes A Kid”

This is a great example. The article is about a group of loyal, die hard PSU fans that changed the name of the tailgating camp group away from Paternoville to Nittanyville. These people are making GOOD decisions to help STOP elevating JoePa. But Deadspin is going to get a lot traffic by demonizing the bad reactions because that's what you want to hear.

There are also PSU fans calling for the removal of the Paterno statue just like many non-PSU folks are. That is going to take more time. Dogpiling on people who already feel sad and betrayed isn't going to help. Help us change by targeting the folks who won't listen instead of calling for someone to nuke the site from orbit.

Of course, Jolly. This isn't terribly different from going to the worst parts of gaming websites and declaring that all gamers are responsible for this. However, we've had many discussions where we've talked about this very issue. About gamers being stewards of their own community, self-policing, etc. I see this as similar. Deadspin is trolling for hits. But Penn St. fans need to work overtime to rebut these boneheads.

Jolly Bill wrote:
You can dismantle the football program far more effectively by using more tact and understanding for the people who will be hurt by this, even if it's the right decision. Claiming "PSU fans have always been obnoxious about this" isn't really helping.

This is one thread in a lightly-populated political forum on a gaming site with no participants (at least so far) who have been identified as part of the PSU management, alumni, or student body. The real-world effect of my choice of words on the actions of PSU is negligible.

PSU fans objecting to getting rid of Paternoville or removing Paterno's statute has nothing to do with protecting the PSU sports system for the future or maintaining the jobs of people working there now. It's about protecting the reputation of a guy who shielded a child molester because he was worried about the reputation of his football program. That is some sicko stuff, and it's reasonable to point that out.

I was not trying to imply in any way that the real world effect of your words was somehow overly important. We each can only affect those who listen to us. In this lightly-populated political forum on a gaming site I may have a non-negligible impact on your world view, and that's all I would expect to have. All any of us could expect, really, from conversations with our peers. Just as you will have an impact on my world view, and I hope to be open to it. I'm just one PSU Alum and fan, yet I hope to have a non-negligible effect on changing the attitude at Penn State and of Penn State fans, and over time I hope that will change the perception many now have of Penn State.

Mostly, it just surprised me to see an article about Penn State fans doing the right thing used to show how most PSU fans are obnoxious. DS is right, Deadspin is trolling for hits. (ETA: And the rest of us are working overtime to rebut them)

The article was about fan reaction to the move online, not about the move to change the name.

If you go to Deadspin's page dedicated to the scandal, there are articles about a range of topics on the story. They have a point of view, yes, but I don't see it as trolling for hits.

What separates out a regular story from one that involves trolling?

A news story about comments on a Facebook page is pretty rough territory to base opinions on. I really don't expect more from Deadspin but I didn't think we would use that here to substantiate some kind of judgement about PSU fans. Unless one is just looking for reasons to fuel one's own outrage about a situation. I know that's par for the course on the internet, but again, I'm always more surprised to find it here for some reason.

Maybe DSGamer had something else in mind when he mentioned it?

Jolly Bill wrote:
A news story about comments on a Facebook page is pretty rough territory to base opinions on. I really don't expect more from Deadspin but I didn't think we would use that here to substantiate some kind of judgement about PSU fans. Unless one is just looking for reasons to fuel one's own outrage about a situation. I know that's par for the course on the internet, but again, I'm always more surprised to find it here for some reason.

Maybe DSGamer had something else in mind when he mentioned it?

I think anytime you say "this crazy corner of the Internet thinks X" you're definitely trolling for hits. Even if there's truth in there it's just not an accurate sampling. If you go on message boards on Operation Sports you'll see a large majority of people being very hard on Penn State. Including fans of Penn State. ESPN readers online tend to be split it seems, but much more reasonable. Deadspin found the worst of the worst.

DSGamer wrote:
Jolly Bill wrote:
A news story about comments on a Facebook page is pretty rough territory to base opinions on. I really don't expect more from Deadspin but I didn't think we would use that here to substantiate some kind of judgement about PSU fans. Unless one is just looking for reasons to fuel one's own outrage about a situation. I know that's par for the course on the internet, but again, I'm always more surprised to find it here for some reason.

Maybe DSGamer had something else in mind when he mentioned it?

I think anytime you say "this crazy corner of the Internet thinks X" you're definitely trolling for hits. Even if there's truth in there it's just not an accurate sampling. If you go on message boards on Operation Sports you'll see a large majority of people being very hard on Penn State. Including fans of Penn State. ESPN readers online tend to be split it seems, but much more reasonable. Deadspin found the worst of the worst.

Having lived with and worked around Penn State students, alum, and still currently see their opinions online my anecdotal experience is that you have more Paterno supporters than not. And my experience with Penn State is that the core, die-hard fans of PSU control the campus, control the local politics, and even control the local economy. This investigation has pulled the curtain back and exposed some of this, but the mechanisms are still in place. And they are more than willing to cover up crimes of all sorts (not only child rape) to keep the cult of football and the legacy of Paterno in place. Jolly, not sure how long ago you were at PSU, but the PSU of today rivals my experience with religious extremists in terms of their devotion and group-think.

I hate seeing comments that imply that the NCAA or administrators are ruining the lives of innocent people in the football program if they shut it down. No, Paterno and Co. ruined those lives, they were willing to jeopardize the academic and professional careers of everyone in their their program in exchange of maintaining their own legacies.

Some more commentary, outside of Deadspin

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...

The reaction to the name change was not uniformly negative, but pretty close. We'd put it at 60 percent negativity, 20 percent support for the change, 15 percent insults (either to Penn State, Paterno or fellow commenters), and five percent marveling at the spectacle the thread had become.

DSGamer wrote:
I think anytime you say "this crazy corner of the Internet thinks X" you're definitely trolling for hits.

If the die-hard Paterno loyalists are a small percentage of PSU fans, okay. But the fact that PSU hasn't bothered to take the statue down indicates that there is a significant portion of fans out there who believe Paterno is getting a raw deal.

Jolly Bill wrote:
A news story about comments on a Facebook page is pretty rough territory to base opinions on.

True. It would be useful to have a poll or other more analytically rigorous method of measuring the sentiment of PSU fans. Do you know of a poll or analysis? I'm happy to look at other evidence if it's available and adjust my views accordingly.

I have a friend who's a PSU grad and an extremely avid alumni; her Facebook posts are full of comments on how she doesn't believe the reports of Paterno's complicity and how they'll always love Joe. I've said for years that the three schools whose alumni have the most rabid followings are PSU, Notre Dame, and Texas. The difference is the latter two don't have a patron saint to specifically deify, while Penn State has had one. It's pretty hard to let that go.

Funkenpants wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
I think anytime you say "this crazy corner of the Internet thinks X" you're definitely trolling for hits.

If the die-hard Paterno loyalists are a small percentage of PSU fans, okay. But the fact that PSU hasn't bothered to take the statue down indicates that there is a significant portion of fans out there who believe Paterno is getting a raw deal.

Jolly Bill wrote:
A news story about comments on a Facebook page is pretty rough territory to base opinions on.

True. It would be useful to have a poll or other more analytically rigorous method of measuring the sentiment of PSU fans. Do you know of a poll or analysis? I'm happy to look at other evidence if it's available and adjust my views accordingly.

(Re: the poll) Rexneron's post is pretty good (Thanks Rexneron, that's a much better article). And I'm not trying to excuse the assholes that are an unfortunately loud voice in this. Just doing what I can to mitigate them.

The board is making the decision on the statue in about a week's time. Given that it was the board's handling of the scandal that directly led to the riot last year (the Freeah report mentions their ineptitude), I am just fine with them actually taking a couple days before announcing a decision that people at least know is coming.

I'm curious how people not associated with the school want Joe's legacy to be handled. Like it or not, he has contributed a great deal to what the school is today. Aside from the obvious institutional changes and ending the ongoing idolization (like Paternoville), what should be done about Joe's legacy within the school? Is it better to have a tarnished legacy remembered or to excise his name from the school completely as if he never existed / contributed at all? I see a greater risk in trying to remove Paterno's name from everything as it smacks of covering up history in order to forget it. I would rather see his name remembered as much to warn future students and leadership about this as to remember what Joe gave to the school. Perhaps move the statue to a more secluded area and include the outcome of the Freeah report and Sandusky scandal to the plaques.

[Milkman, I'd add a couple Florida schools and USC to that list, but I understand and agree with your point]

If the statue stays up someone will take it down. Heck, I'm tempted to fly to Penn State, take it down with a blowtorch and drag it behind a rented vehicle and that's just to spite arrogant Penn State fans.

DSGamer wrote:
If the statue stays up someone will take it down. Heck, I'm tempted to fly to Penn State, take it down with a blowtorch and drag it behind a rented vehicle and that's just to spite arrogant Penn State fans.

Okay, now I don't know whether I want them to take it down, or for YOU to take it down.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
I've said for years that the three schools whose alumni have the most rabid followings are PSU, Notre Dame, and Texas. The difference is the latter two don't have a patron saint to specifically deify, while Penn State has had one. It's pretty hard to let that go.

You obviously never lived in Alabama.

lostlobster wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
If the statue stays up someone will take it down. Heck, I'm tempted to fly to Penn State, take it down with a blowtorch and drag it behind a rented vehicle and that's just to spite arrogant Penn State fans.

Okay, now I don't know whether I want them to take it down, or for YOU to take it down.

I want to see DSGamer take it down. He could really put GWJ on the map!

Greg wrote:
lostlobster wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
If the statue stays up someone will take it down. Heck, I'm tempted to fly to Penn State, take it down with a blowtorch and drag it behind a rented vehicle and that's just to spite arrogant Penn State fans.

Okay, now I don't know whether I want them to take it down, or for YOU to take it down.

I want to see DSGamer take it down. He could really put GWJ on the map!

At the very least, you need to Finger -> Butt the statue....

...too soon?

Aside from the obvious institutional changes and ending the ongoing idolization (like Paternoville), what should be done about Joe's legacy within the school? Is it better to have a tarnished legacy remembered or to excise his name from the school completely as if he never existed / contributed at all? I see a greater risk in trying to remove Paterno's name from everything as it smacks of covering up history in order to forget it.

First and foremost, I'd like to say that JollyBill has been nothing but a class act in this debate and now that some time has passed I've come to realize that he represents the average PSU fan, not the Tim Tebow rape fantasizers.

As far as JoePa's legacy, that's a hard one for me. They really need to take down the statue IMHO and remove his name from any building. I think it's fair in the school's official history or on the website to remember the good things he did.

What's tough for me is that as much as I railed against Sandusky and Paterno, my own alma mater of University of Washington had a nasty rape scandal. Granted, Coach Rick Neuheisel didn't actively try to halt the investigation as JoePa had. That being said, he did everything he could to make sure the star football player accused of rape got off on a lower assault charge and was not suspended for his actions.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...

Last year Neuheisel's career finally ran off a cliff - for losing too many games at UCLA:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/spor...

I guess the old saw about "they need to catch you with a dead girl or a live boy to make it stick" holds true to both sports and politics.

Paterno is an alumni from my alma mater actually. I got an email from the school saying they're considering removing him from our school's Hall of Fame.

For the most part, the reaction seems pretty sane, but there are one or two alumni who want to consider leaving him in "for his accomplishments."

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Ivy League...

looks like tomorrow morning at 9am the NCAA will do something. I am shocked they moved this fast

-$60 million dollar fine (Equivalent to 1 year's gross revenue of the football team.)
-Banned from post season games for 4 years
-Scholarships reduced
-Athletes can transfer from Penn State and participate in sports immediately (without normal waiting period)
-Penn State vacates all wins from 1998 to current (Total of 112 victories)

Link

What a load of crap I am listening to

$60 million fine
4 year bowl ban
Loss of 10 scholarships a year for 4 years
Vacating all wins from 1998-2011
5 years probation

No Death Penaliry

Edit - this is what I get from typing this out at traffic lights onmy way in to work - I hope the people around me didn't think I was a bad case of road rage.

Edit 2 - the more I think about it, the more I get frustrated. They didn't use the death penalty because they wanted to protect the people who are still there. Make Penn State pay the workers for the duration of the death penalty if those people can't find similar jobs at similar pay. If I remember correctly, didn't they just have a record breaking quarter in fund raising.

I don't know, they might have avoided the death penalty but it seems like they got life without parole. They are effectively a 1-AA program now. Plus, the death penalty would have punished other schools that had PSU on the schedule, since football schedules are set years in advance.

Ultimately, I think this has doomed PSU to twenty years of football irrelevancy, just as the death penalty did to SMU.

That actually sounds a lot like what I proposed earlier. i.e. They can still play football but don't get to participate in post-season, could lose all current players due to transfer rules being forgiven and have to hand over football revenues to help victims. I still think the death penalty should have been used, but that's pretty close to it, honestly. They should have given up football revenue for 5 years or more if they weren't going to impose the death penalty.

Oh Mark, I hated you when you were my president, but you've rather redeemed yourself with this one.

Of course, stuff like this is why I thought they deserved the death penalty.

Some random Penn State fan on a message board wrote:
while i understand the punishments, they are punishing not only the student athletes, but they are punishing marching bands, cheerleaders, students, the entire university, and the entire state of Pennsylvania all because of the acts of 4 people. I think that punishment should only be given to those who were responsible.

Another clueless football or Penn State fan wrote:
The men responsible for allowing the 'situation' at Penn State have either been fired or are dead. The living will be prosecuted and sued and the dead is dead. The football program itself did NOTHING wrong. The student athletes and coaches there now are innocent. This is public relations for the NCAA who are trying to look stern in the face of public outcry. They are wrong.

Fact of the matter is that there is no right to football. It's not in the Constitution the last time I checked. Comments like these highlight the lack of perspective on the game. They should feel lucky that football wasn't entirely taken away while they were told to go focus on getting their house in order. Now they've been asked to get their house in order while they'll inevitably "rally" around the football team, marching bands, cheerleaders, etc. So I guess I'm still bummed they didn't get the death penalty. Seems like they're not getting it yet.

Badferret wrote:
I don't know, they might have avoided the death penalty but it seems like they got life without parole. They are effectively a 1-AA program now. Plus, the death penalty would have punished other schools that had PSU on the schedule, since football schedules are set years in advance.

Ultimately, I think this has doomed PSU to twenty years of football irrelevancy, just as the death penalty did to SMU.

Yeah, PSU has just been completely and utterly crushed, a four-year slow bleeding. Add to that the removal of 13 years' worth of wins and Penn State's football legacy (as well as Paterno's) has effectively been erased.

By nullifying the victories in those years they also make it so Joe P isn't the "winningest" coach in history. That pretty much is a death sentence for his legacy if not the program.