So, how are you doing? Did you watch the Penn State game last night? We were just wondering what you thought about your efforts to destroy a school and a football program based on inaccurate information and the assent of a few individuals who could not find the definition of the word Trustee if they had all the T words in the dictionary handed ...
There’s going to be a big game next Saturday in State College, PA. We were thinking that you might want to attend. When you get there, go to the side of the stadium where there are some newly planted trees. You won’t have any trouble finding it. There will be a lot of people there honoring a man who had more integrity in the tip of his little finger than you can ever hope display in your lifetimes. If you like, we’ll put some lawn chairs there for you so you can witness the thousands of people who will come by.
Then we suggest that you go to the entrance where the team will arrive. The first person off the bus will be Bill O’Brien. In case you have not been paying attention, Mr. O’Brien understands that you can honor the past and build a future. He’s lifted up the team and the university by his behavior. He’s known from the beginning that pretending events didn’t happen or that other people did not exist was not a winning strategy.
After the coach, the team will exit the bus. Don’t you dare look any of them in the eye. You don’t deserve that privilege. You tried to destroy this team, you tried to destroy the dreams of these young men who had nothing to do with the events that occurred in Centre County. Remember that expression “There is no I in Team?” You are looking at the definition. Your actions did not break the team – led by their coach and enveloped in the arms of their Penn State community, these young men are a credit to themselves, their families, their coach and their university. To you, they should be a symbol of your ineptitude. You see, it was never about WINNING. Football, like many other activities, teaches life lessons. Among its lessons:
• The whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.
• Hard work and discipline will yield rewards
• Winning is fun but dishonesty is a hollow victory
Once you enter the stadium, which I can assure you will not be half-empty as you had hoped, you will notice the banners that honor the past and celebrate the present. See how that works? Now, you might be a little depressed because the crowd will be spirited and noisy. Oh, and they know how to count – so if you see the number 409, it is not an advertisement for a cleaning product.
In short, we just thought that you might like to Come to Penn State (in the words of Joe Paterno) and see the fruits of your misguided labor. You tried to kill us but you only made us stronger. Perhaps now you can understand the meaning of the words “We Are Penn State.”
A letter to the NCAA from Penn State Alumni Deborah Beidel