Let's hope Penn State University officials are getting the message. During a recent forum on campus, several students said they felt personally shamed by the sex scandal that has rocked their school's football program. Obviously, the students have no reason to feel ashamed. Penn State's athletic department and former president, not they, are responsible for the scandal.
But the forum at times seemed to be a cheerleading session. New university President Rod Erickson said Penn State will donate $1.5 million of proceeds from participation in a football bowl game to organizations that work to bring sex crimes to light and to help victims. He added the donations are "an excellent opportunity for Penn State to raise the national visibility of this issue. Our students and fans are focused on a cause to play for, to cheer for."
We doubt Penn State's $1.5 million will do more than the scandal itself to raise awareness.
Erikson added ethics at Penn State will be raised "to a new level ... so that we learn to do the right thing first time, every time."
Frankly, it is distressing Penn State officials think an education campaign is needed to make that point. It should have been obvious to the several people on staff who failed to alert police to alleged sexual abuse of children by former football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Before Penn State can move forward, it needs to look backward - and learn what went terribly wrong.