For the past year, Penn State students have been going through something that no other school has. It has been almost a year since the news came out that Jerry Sandusky had been, allegedly sexually abusing young boys. Over the summer we found out that Jerry Sandusky was found guilty for these horrifying acts and that Penn State Football would be banned from any post season play for the next four years. Close to fifteen Penn State football players left this summer, however, I am not going to talk about the players that left. Instead, I am going to talk about the ethical choices of the wonderful men who stayed and supported their school.
Many will write about their passion and inspiration for our dance marathon. Of course, I am inspired by our funds to help find a cure for childhood cancer, but today I can't help but concentrate on the ones who may have given up a lot to stay true to their school. I personally know many of the football players at Penn State, but these players aren't just made of large muscle, they have big hearts as well. They may not have made certain "ethical choices" as us journalists will have to make in the future, but to me, I think these men deserve some recognition for their ethical choices.
I believe that the Penn State Football players that stayed should be well respected and deserve much appreciation. As we know, our players were given an opportunity to go to another school. Silas Redd, one of our best players, transferred to USC to try and make himself better. Justin Brown, another one of our great players, transferred to Oklahoma to better himself as well. Almost 15 students left the Penn State Football program to try and go somewhere else that they thought would help them in the long run. Just because these players went to schools that are ranked in the top 15 and are able to go to a bowl, does not mean they necessarily made the correct choice.
First, lets start with our fearless leader, Bill O'Brien. I'm sure it is hard to transfer into a school after following the late Joe Paterno. O'Brien not only stepped up to this position but took the challenge and made something pretty amazing. He could have left, or went to another NFL team, yet he stayed here, right in Happy Valley. People said he couldn't do it, people said he couldn't make Penn State football a great program, but I think he's beating all of the odds. He is not doing this to better himself, he is doing it to help a falling school pick themselves back up. He is doing it to make these Penn State Football players the best they can be. He is doing it because he cares and wants to help others. I believe he has shown in numerous ways how great and ethical of a person he is.
Now, we move on to our beloved Nittany Lion football team. Michael Mauti, and Michael Zordich, two seniors at Penn State stuck around and showed true leadership in a time of need. They got many players to stay true to their school instead of leaving and going somewhere else. We know almost every football players dream is to win a national championship in college, and head straight to the NFL once they are out of college. As I previously mentioned students believed they needed that national championship title to make their dreams come true, however they may have no chance, since everyone is looking right at us.
Our players who stayed at Penn State not only showed their loyalty to Penn State, but they showed numerous acts of ethical greatness. They believed they needed to stick by their team instead of trying to better themselves. They believed they could help bring our school back up to the great, high standards we once had. It has been a challenging year for every Penn Stater, but I can't help but be inspired by these men. These men not only stayed, but now, they are conquering. They will not have a chance to play in the Big Ten Championship game in December, and they will not be able to go to a bowl game in sunny Florida or California over new years. But I think they were given a much better opportunity than all of those options. They have shown us what teamwork is. They have shown us how loyal you should be. They have shown us what it means to overcome the challenges, and last but not least, they have showed us what it means to love your sport, and your school and those around you. If they were in it for the sport, they would have left, but as we all know...they stayed.
I know this isn't the ethical blog that was expected, but I think this is a very important point to all of us. You can be ethical in any thing you do, by making the correct choices, by showing right and wrong, and of course by moral decisions. Every Saturday I think the Penn State Football team and their wonderful coach, Bill O'Brien, show us what it means to be ethical. I am truly inspired by their acts to stay at Penn State. I can only imagine the challenges they have all faced over the past year, and will continue to face in the next few years. All in all, I believe this team shows us what it means to make good decisions and to be ethical in what you choose.