1035 Sandusky and the Fourth Monkey
(University Park PA) -- So the serial predator Sandusky has been convicted of... serial predation. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. In wait beneath the now- roiled waters is the College Built on Lies... many of which will no longer require sonar to spot.
Here are some of them, starting with the official seal and the founding date: 1855. What was founded in 1855 was the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania. Seven years later, it became The Agricultural College of Pennsylvania. It morphed into Pennsylvania State College only in 1875. And it became the Pennsylvania State University only in 1953. Pick any date you like between 1875 and 1953 as “minute one.”
Then there’s the location. University Park? It doesn’t really exist as a geographic entity. It’s not a place, it’s just what they call the main campus.
So, you start with a lie, especially one that’s widely accepted, you continue down that path.
Here’s another. The school has this peculiar ownership, part private, part state. Answering to two masters is answering to none. Which face is the real one, if either? Pretty easy to play one part against the other. Equally easy to hide behind either one, depending on the whim or perceived need of the moment.
Now, with the Sandusky boy rape issue out of the way, more or less, now let’s get to the real story, which is lies of omission.
People knew about this stuff more than a decade ago. Or at least they suspected. So the fourth monkey won... Hear No Evil, See No Evil and Speak No Evil remained deaf, dumb and blind while the rogue or misnamed Do No Evil, founded in 1855, continued his/its rampage.
This school had been a two man show for a long time. One star was the football coach, Joe Paterno, who may or may not have known about this stuff, but still is Saint Joseph to a lot of people and maybe he should be. After all, what is Penn State without football? The other was marathon president Graham Spanier, by all accounts a micromanager without whose advice and consent no one so much as sneezed.
Most colleges are rats nests of territoriality, ego and self delusion. At Penn State, it’s not just a way of life, it’s on stone tablets and they confuse Mt. Sinai with Mt. Nittany.
No one knew about Sandusky? Rubbish. What else don’t they know about? How deep did this deaf dumb and blindness reach.
Right now, the school is busy covering up what looks an awful lot like a coverup. It has commissioned former FBI director Louis Freeh to conduct an internal investigation. And the Freeh “Commission” as it’s being called around here, is bound to come up with some fall guys.
But the real culprit is the corporate culture. Penn State is General Motors. Big, unwieldy, arrogant, slow to respond to its customers; a builder of mediocrity with lots of chrome and a horrible reliability record.
So, let’s hear it for the Fourth Monkey. A pretty good run. That’s going to end for awhile. But no worries, it’ll be back before you know it.
The smart money is shorting this stock and buying banana futures.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
© WJR 2012
(A version of this appeared earlier at High Heels Hot Flashes)