Penn State Continues to Rally

Despite the Penn State football team’s disappointing loss to Ohio State yesterday, Penn State continues to rally in support of the university.  Many outsiders point to the Sandusky travesty and claim that the football program was above the law and bigger than the university.  They use the allegations that school administrators covered up the early allegations against Sandusky as evidence of their beliefs.  The football program, and the athletic programs in general, are a big portion of the public view of Penn State, but the Penn State spirit is so much more.

While Penn State is more than a football school, it is still amazing to see over 100,000 fans packed into Beaver Stadium at University Park on a Saturday afternoon.  A Penn State football game is simply a way to physically see the support that is associated with Penn State and its alums.  The “We Are” chants are deafening.

I would like to thank Coach Bill O’Brien for how adeptly he has handled the transition in the Penn State football program from the icon that was Joe Paterno, weathered the storm the through Sandusky mess, and has simply plowed forward after the NCAA issued crippling sanctions.  I have not heard him complain at all.  Instead, he simply moves forward and does the best job that he can.  The recent Penn State games have been very exciting games to watch.

My brother personally got to watch some of the workouts that the Penn State strength coaches used on the football players, and my brother was thoroughly impressed with the level of discipline being imposed.  It is my understanding that one player showed up late and was told that if it happened again that he need not return.  I appreciate the level of discipline being imposed and trust that it will reap dividends on the field in the future.

Penn State is More Than Football

I also wanted to quickly note that I have been impressed with the Penn State cheerleaders’ efforts to raise funds for Paige Raque as she remains in a coma. The level of support is uplifting.  I was also impressed that the story has drawn the attention of people across the nation as many people were offering to purchase the wristbands being sold to raise money.

And what conversation about Penn State giving back to the community would be complete without mentioning THON.  While it is a given that Penn State students will raise millions of dollars for charity, the students put a lot of time into raising that money.  Canning and fundraisers are already in full swing.

I am a local State College criminal defense lawyer that often represents Penn State students when they have made less than exemplary decisions and have become involved in the criminal system, but most of us have made some bad decisions in our past as well that could have landed us in similar situations.  The negative things that the minority of Penn State students sometimes due should not be given more weight than the many positives that the vast majoirty of our students give back through their association with Penn State.  Go Penn State.