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Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 11/09/2011

Joe Paterno and Penn State: How I feel now

Many of you have been posing questions to me about the events at Penn State. After having time to absorb everything that’s going on with my school, my former coaches and the school officials there, here’s where I am with the questions.

How do you feel about the the allegations surrounding Jerry Sandusky, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, Mike McQueary and Joe Paterno?

There’s no way around it. More should have been done to stop what was happening, and it should’ve been handled when the first reports were recorded.


All of the things that happened in the 2000s could have been prevented, which means every single incident reported after 1998 that happened on school property is on everyone who knew of the first initial report — and they should be held accountable. Jerry Sandusky should’ve never been allowed back on any Penn State property and the law should have never let him around children again.

What does this mean for Penn State?

The governing bodies of the school need to make a very strong statement showing that this is not what Penn State is about. There will need to be action taken to make sure it’s clear that something like this will never happen again. It will take time, but the university needs to restore its reputation because right now it’s in a low place.

Would I let my child go to Penn State?

Yes, in the capacity of just a student. It’s a great institution of higher learning and it has a proud tradition of higher achievement.

Would I go there to play football if I were choosing now? If one of my sons were choosing today what school to play football for, would Penn State be one of them?

No, I would not go. And no, I would not want my child to go. There’s too much confusion and uncertainty surrounding the future of the football program. These issues existed even before all of this mess.

The black eye of this alleged cover up certainly would play a major part in my decision or that of my child. Why should a young man be saddled with the weight of being associated with a program that has this type of stain on it? Education and playing good football should be all he needs to focus on as a student-athlete.

Do I still feel the same way about Penn State?

Absolutely. Penn State is an amazing institution of higher learning. It’s a beautiful place and has countless amounts of resources to offer people of all ages. I hope that I can be a part of helping rebuild the reputation of and goodwill for the school I love.

It’s a terrible shame that something like this had to take place and it’s never easy to pick up the pieces when disaster strikes but I’m sure I speak for all proud Penn Staters when I say I’m willing to do my part to restore the reputation of our great university. I will continue chant, “We are Penn State!” even when times are hard because I am and will forever be a Penn Stater!

So yes I still feel very strongly about my Alma Mater.

What are your thoughts on the kids impacted by this crime?

I saved this question for last because it’s the most important of them all. When I think about how much pain and anguish these kids went through it’s hard not to be moved to tears. To think that these terrible things were happening and that they were trapped with seemingly no way out. My heart goes out to them and their families.

To know that this is finally over and that at least there won’t be any more innocent kids falling victim in this particular instance gives me a small measure of relief. However, that isn’t good enough. This still continues to happen way too often — children trapped in prisons they feel they will never get out of. I don’t know about you, but for me I’ve always been active with helping our youth. But today I have an even higher level of resolve to do more to help develop and protect our children.

Leave your comments here and chat with me on Twitter @lavararrington

More coverage of the Penn State scandal from The Washington Post:

Sally Jenkins: Blame for the scandal does not lie with Joe Paterno

John Feinstein: Scandal threatens one of sports’ greatest legacies

Tracee Hamilton: Joe Paterno ignored his moral responsibility

Early Lead: Penn State students rally to support Joe Paterno

Hard Hits: Jerry Sandusky scandal shocks former player LaVar Arrington

Mike Wise: Penn State is close to beyond redemption

Early Lead: Scandal may affect incoming football recruits

By  |  12:10 PM ET, 11/09/2011

 
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