The silence out of Penn State was deafening on Monday in the wake of the indictments and allegations brought against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, and the role athletic director Tim Curley played in trying to cover up the awful allegations of Sandusky raping a young boy in the Penn State locker room. That’s just one of multiple offenses Sandusky faces for sex crimes committed against a minor. Nobody in the university’s administration all the way up to President Graham Spanier, has said much of anything on the matter. The administration and the school’s athletic department went so far as to attempt to limit the number and type of questions coach Joe Paterno would face at his Tuesday morning press conference — anything about Penn State’s upcoming game against Nebraska is just fine; anything concerning the sordid mess Sandusky finds himself in, not so much.
Former Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington, who played for Sandusky at PSU, didn’t feel that same need to snuff out dialogue about the mess the former Nittany Lions coach finds himself in. On his radio show in Washington D.C. on Monday, Arrington opened with a nearly 12-minute monologue chronicling the entire situation and his take on it. Take a listen or read for yourself to hear the former Nittany Lions linebacker’s take on the sad situation. LaVar Arrington spent much of his Monday radio show on 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C. with Chad Dukes on the sex crimes against a minor indictments brought against Jerry Sandusky, why he chose to really open up and share his thoughts on the matter on his radio show Monday, why he gravitated and looked up to Sandusky during his time at Penn State, how the scandal might have lasting effects on the university beyond just the negative PR blitz right now were they to be proven true in court, and how his perception of the coaching staff he played for and once respected has been turned upside down in the wake of the scandal.
LaVar Arrington’s take on the situation at Penn State:
“It’s an ugly situation. The reason why I wanted to talk about it is, obviously, being somebody who loves Penn State the way that I do — and I’ll always love Penn State. There’s a love affair that I have with that institution that goes far beyond any one person, so let me state that and put that out there. I think what’s most important here, and the reason I wanted to talk about it as a former player of Penn State and someone who I feel has represented our institution in the highest manner that I possibly can, it’s about the kids. And it needs to be discussed, it needs to be talked about that, in a situation where something is as horrific as this — and make no mistake about it, I don’t know if there will be an innocence plea or a judgment of innocence or judgment of guilt — what I do know, is before we even get to that point, no one wins in this. That’s what I do know. And the people that lose the most in this are those kids that were impacted and affected by this.”
On why he wanted to talk about it:
“I wanted to talk about it because there may be somebody who’s listening to this that may be going through the same thing and may be not feeling as though they have a way out of it. … I hope that me talking about it, and saying, ‘Look, if something like this is taking place with you, please, I beg, if you’re listening, please find the courage to say something.’”
Why he gravitated toward Jerry Sandusky at Penn State:
“Outside of the obvious of him being the professor of Linebacker U, and that was why you wanted to go there, that was why you wanted to be a part of that school. … The one thing that really stood out and stuck with me and why I gravitated to him … was that I always saw him giving back. I always saw him as being a part of the community. I always some him working with kids and caring about them. When I heard this information, when these allegations hit … it totally, and when I say totally took me off guard, I mean I was moved to tears. I looked at my children because immediately I started looking back to all the moments I had at Penn State and all the moments I had with him. Just thinking to myself how hard I worked to please him and how hard I worked to please Joe and how hard we all worked to try to please these guys, and then to have this happen, someone that I related to my mother. … To me, I look at what has taken place, and not knowing everything … I am upset, I’m shocked and I’m disappointed. And disappointed that, no matter what the outcome is, there were so many lives that were affected and impacted the wrong way.”
On the magnitude of this:
“It shouldn’t be lost that the irresponsible acts and the nature of what these allegations are right now, I’d just hate for it to be what a lasting impression or lasting legacy of an institution. That institution has done so much, so many countless things in the community, with kids, with adults, with education. Penn State has been at the forefront of doing things the right way. The irresponsible nature of how this was handled, and the magnitude of what this represents, it’s very disturbing, it’s disheartening and, for me, I’m ashamed of it.”
His feelings about the Penn State coaching staff now:
“I would say, with all that being said, for as much love as I had in my heart for that coaching staff, for as much respect, for as much admiration that I had, because I followed Jerry. Jerry was our leader; Jerry was our undisputed, uncontested leader. Now I sit here and I feel so empty. I feel a certain type of way that a person shouldn’t have to feel. Someone that was that close to me, to know that there are allegations that are shedding light on things that are so disturbing, my hopes are and my prayers are that those kids, that are now adults by now, are OK. I hope that their families are OK after everything that they have endured. I hope that if it does come out that this is true, because I don’t know what’s true or what’s not true … I only hope that whatever is true and whatever comes out to be true, that it is handled in the best way possible. … If it turns out that Jerry indeed did these things to these children, then I hope the law does what they need to do to make sure that they set an example where these things do not happen again.”