Saturday, November 19, 2011

A New Game Plan for Penn State

Dear Penn State board of trustees, my sympathies to your students and graduates, many of whom will be branded for years as "less than" due to the Sandusky-PSU child sex-abuse scandal.

Suggest your school emphasize entrepreneurialism even more than currently, because your children (yes, that's what they still are to us parents who send them to school) will be branded by a tarnished Penn State brand. Starting businesses will be the best way for PSU grads to be employed, so get going putting together a new plan to boost your business school. 

As for the business world, one brand management executive says it will take 25 years for PSU to regain its good name. If so, then today's 17-year-old freshman will be 42 before cleansed from the scandal's dirty bathwater.

Imagine, 25 years, more than a generation. A generation without sympathy.

That's what you big shots at Penn State have wrought for your children. You all should seek redemption by cooperating with authorities and putting forth an honest effort to help, not hinder, investigations. Do any cost. 

Remember, you are now in a "No Sympathy Zone" -- and it stretches more than a country mile in Happy Valley.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Legacies Made and Gone

Two sporting Joes, both famous and toughly knit from Pennsylvania, died this week. They died in different ways, one whose body fell to illness, the other whose body of work fell to the illness of winning at all costs.
Joe Frazier succumbed to kidney cancer at age 67. Now after his last breath, the son of Philadelphia is being fondly remembered as a champion. His iron will matched an iron determination. He was consistent. He could  be counted on in victory and defeat.
The same can’t be said for Joe Paterno, whose godlike, 46-year reign at Pennsylvania State University will live way beyond Paterno’s last moment on this earth.He won’t be so fondly remembered, no matter what various courts of law and public opinion come to conclude.
For decades, Paterno forged a football legacy of truth, honor, courage, commitment -- yes, sacrifice -- for the team. They won national championships and were bowl perennials. Penn State emulated the best of collegiate sports.
Now, way beyond the collegiate sports world, the globe has judged Paterno lacking, his legacy corrupt, the Penn State brand facing continued ignominy. Even Moody’s investments is considering a downgrade, considering untold court cases soon to make the school liable for millions of dollars in payments to the sex-abuse victims and their families.
It is the Penn State family that will face the ultimate test. But they already have the answers. Just follow the truth/honor/courage/commitment/sacrifice mantra from here on out.

Those are the best embers to be taken from these sorry ashes.