Practice Humility

We should be No. 1 in humility

Thousands upon thousands of Penn State graduates and fans were glad to hear that the NCAA has ended its bowl ban on the football team and reinstated scholarships. I am among those happy campers.

But I am also concerned that maybe—just maybe—we haven’t learned a lesson in all of this, and that is to be humble. Let’s be honest: Before the Sandusky scandal became public knowledge, there was plenty of hubris to go around.

Probably no one exemplified that more than Joe Paterno, who refused to retire and even bragged about kicking the president out of his house after the president and the athletic director had visited him to discuss retirement. (The funny thing is that the real story is much less dramatic and so it’s even more problematic that Paterno embellished it when he told it.)

Another big ego on campus was the president himself. I admired Graham Spanier, but you knew when you were around him that he did not suffer fools easily and found most people to be lesser mortals.

Both Paterno and Spanier became the face of Penn State and many Penn Staters behaved in kind.

Penn State has been wounded. Let us hope that in the future we do not put arrogance ahead of humility, that we do not leave ourselves naked to our enemies. We are Penn State, and we are humble.

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