Spanning the Twitterverse: Penn State – 11/9/11

Spanning the Twitterverse to bring you the constant variety of tweets
The thrill of the retweet and the agony of the unfollow
The human drama of the twitter timeline
This is CadChica’s Wide World of Tworts

Tonight, I have no idea what to blog about. That’s not true because I do know the subject. It’s really a matter of forming the topic into one centralized issue. And that, in and of itself, is no easy task.

This morning, legendary Penn State University coach Joe Paterno, announced his retirement in light of the “alleged” child sexual abuse scandal involving former assistant, Jerry Sandusky. The prevailing sentiment on Twitter?

Not everyone agreed with that but the majority of those I follow and on lists were of the opinion that Coach Paterno should be gone today.

Okay. Now that we have established that, we fast forward to tonight.

Whew. In this day and age of social media, when a scandal hits, you have to be quick to react. The allegations came out several days ago and Penn State just now “reacted”. Some would say they ‘did their due diligence’ (code for reviewing the contract) and today fired Coach Paterno as well as their university president Graham Spanier. That’s an eternity in the social media/internet world we currently live in.

And then it turned into a protest.

“SOME” Penn St students decided it was their right, which it is, to assemble and protest. I say “SOME” because it was a small percentage of students protesting. However, when you are gathering on your campus angrily shouting “F*** the TRUSTEES”, there is no way to mistake that feeling for “Give Peace a Chance”.

So I watched. I watched CNN’s live coverage of the Penn St “riot”. It wasn’t a “riot” like most would think of as a “riot”. It was more a gathering of angry, cell-phone carrying, young adults wanting to be part of the “crowd”. Well, at least at first it was like that. As time wore on, a satellite news truck was overturned, rocks were thrown, ‘idiots’ were interviewed, it turned into something more than just a gathering. Click on the link in the tweet below:

Eventually, order was restored. Penn State’s Drake concert will go on as planned Thursday. They no longer have their coach or their university president. And, oh yes, there is a game on Saturday. But should this have surprised us?

http://twitter.com/#!/rosssiler/status/134505541723623424

Strong words? Maybe. But there is truth to them. What do we expect? In reality, what should our expectations be? If the allegations prove to be true in this case, should Coach Paterno have done more? Could the president and athletic director have done more? Unfortunately, that is open for debate because the legal system still has yet to fully play out. It has been and will continue to be debated on tv, in newspapers, message boards, in text messages and in social media such as Twitter. I know that my answer is YES to both questions.

And yet, I find myself struggling to decide if that’s a good thing or not. It is a good thing because it puts the issue of child sexual abuse out there front and center to be discussed on a daily basis. The more it’s out there, then maybe more kids can be rescued or saved from this. It could also bring more attention to the “unspoken” topic of the child sex-slave trade. ((You can find out more about that at the Love146 and Not For Sale websites. Those are just two of the many organizations that are combatting this problem worldwide, including the USA.))

The other part that I struggle with is that the victims are having to hear about what is going on. They may even be reliving the horrifying events that occurred. Watching last night’s scenes by “SOME” students at Penn St, I couldn’t help but think of the victims. If they were watching what would they have been thinking. In all sincerity, some of them may even be students at Penn St. Or at the very least, their siblings are; click on the link in this tweet:

There is no satisfaction in the actions taken to fire Coach Paterno & President Spanier. It isn’t a resolution unless you’re one who DEMANDED action on Twitter the last few days. Think about it. Think about it from a victim’s point of view, or even their family’s point of view. This process will take years in the legal system, between the criminal trial to the almost certain civil trials to come. The legal process will end at some point. Fans and media will move on. Those students from last night will graduate. But the victims will still have the memories of the abuse, but also the memories of protests, tweets and opinion pieces that oftentimes relegated them to the “delete” button. Football may go on. But their lives are forever altered.

So maybe this blog post which I actually started last night, didn’t really form into one centralized theme like I had intended. Or maybe it did.

Remember who the real victims are. It’s not Coach Paterno. It’s not President Spanier. It’s not football. It’s not Penn State.

It’s the kids.
CadChica Sports

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