PSU Scandal’s Effect on East
Millions of people silently waited in complete apprehension over what the sanctions would be for Pennsylvania State University’s football team. Ongoing debates predicted such severe penalties that they would rewrite the record book. After waiting for what felt like an eternity, the sanctions were released. People previously suggested that Penn St. would receive the “death penalty,” but many people later realized that these sanctions were far beyond that in impact.
The football team immediately was affected, losing many of their future scholarships and all possible postseason bowl appearances for the next four years, and the school itself was fined $60 million. Joe Paterno was also stripped of his wins from 1998-2011, no longer making him the all-time leader in wins. And now that he has passed away, there’s no way he can ever regain that status or repair his legacy.
However, over sixty East graduates will be attending Penn St. this fall, and do not necessarily think this will affect East’s enrollment next fall. Luke Harley, a senior, said, “I believe it will affect the number of students attending Penn State very little, if at all. Penn State is still renowned for stellar academics, and I also believe that alumni will continue to urge their children to attend the school. I’m sure some will be deterred from attending now, but I still think we’ll see a good percentage of this year’s graduating class attend Penn State.”
Patrick Vincent, another senior, seemed to have the same mindset. He said, “I really don’t think the amount of people that go to Penn St. from East will really be affected because most people go to college for reasons other than football.” This logic makes sense because most people do not go there for football. But, some others question if it was their first choice in the first place.
Praveen Prabhu, also a senior, had positive views on the school despite the crimes committed, and he still considers it as a good choice. He said, “I believe that whatever happened in the Penn State scandal was horrible and a crime like that should never be committed in any college ever again. But, Penn State has pretty good academics and is also affordable, which are probably the only two things me and my parents care about.”
Luke said, “Even prior to the scandal, I had not heavily considered attending Penn State. However, after these disturbing events, I am not considering attending the school at all, and for that reason I will not apply there. My explanation for this is the fact that by going to Penn State, my family and I are paying money to an institution that directly and indirectly supported Jerry Sandusky and his actions for 15 years. I would not feel morally sound paying good money to a school that has made such drastic mistakes in its past.”
Other people feel the same way and are tending to gravitate less towards it as their first choice, but others see it as an obstacle to overcome and therefore are gravitated more.
Sean McGowan, a current freshman at Penn State, showed total support for the school. He said, “Penn State is renowned for its incredible sense of community. I’m confident that the tragedies that have left such a blemish on PSU’s reputation can and will be surmounted by the unified students, faculty and alumni rallying behind the team. Support will be as strong as ever.” Praveen added, “Even though Joe Paterno’s legacy has been tarnished in the record books, I am sure that his legacy will continue on in the hearts and minds of football fans around the nation.”
Sean also commented that he has no regrets about choosing Penn State and looks to see the school bounce back. He said, “Like the rest of the world, I was shocked when news of the scandal broke out, especially when it was revealed how much of the crime was ignored and concealed. But right now, I think I’m entering at a time where everyone is ready to bounce back, and show the world Penn State is still an incredible institution. There’s going to be an unbelievable amount of support and energy throughout the campus, and that makes me excited to be starting there.”
So in the end, the students have spoken. Even if some people decide to stay away from Penn State because of the atrocities committed, many are able look past that. It is clear that seniors still are considering it as an option and are willing to give the school a second chance. In an area where Penn State is so popular, it is hard to suddenly change that so drastically over something committed by a football coach.