LaVar Arrington’s Feelings Toward Joe Paterno Haven’t Changed
The NCAA handed down some harsh sanctions to Penn State this week in relation to the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. On top of hurting the football team moving forward, the history of the program was affected as were former players as the NCAA decided to strip the Nittany Lions of all wins from. One of those players was LaVar Arrington.Arrington was at Penn State from where he was not only one of the best linebackers in America but he was one of the best linebackers to ever come through the program.After the punishment he has no wins as a starter but don’t get fooled because Arrington couldn’t care less. His concern lies with the victims and the image of Penn State.Arrington has made his feelings on the punishment known on his own sports talk show on 106.7 the Fan in Washington D.C. as well as on the Washington Post.LaVar Arrington joined 93.7 the Fan in Pittsburgh to talk about what he thinks about the penalties handed down to Penn State, whether he thinks the NCAA should’ve waited for this, whether his feelings on Joe Paterno have changed and what he thinks Penn State will look like in five or ten years.
What he thinks about the penalties handed down to Penn State:
“I think the fact that the NCAA took action, it just seemed like they were going to have to and be very, very harsh with what their penalties were going to be based off the magnitude of the entire situation. I was surprised that they didn’t suspend football to be honest. I guess my take on it was the guys are still able to play football which they had nothing to do with it. The fact that the university has to give the money to charitable foundations that protect kids I think that makes sense in the sense that this was an institutional failure so the fact that the football team is being punished to the degree that it is they serve as a sacrificial lamb to a bigger picture, a bigger issue that took place. It is what it is.”
Whether he thinks the NCAA should’ve waited to hand down their punishment:
“I know there has been a lot of discussion like one way or the other in terms of just waiting and doing due process and I totally agree with going through that whole process legally before you make decisions but I think because these things are approaching the football season itself I really believe they were in a position where they couldn’t allow a football season to take place in order to have due process. Because of the time frame of the season getting ready to get started and the magnitude of the outrage and the public scrutiny of the entire situation I think their hand was forced to do something.”
Whether his feelings towards Joe Paterno have changed:
“My feeling toward Joe Paterno, only in the sense that the man is connected to needing to do more is how I’m looking at it. I have not turned my back on Joe Paterno or his family and I have not taken my support off my school or anything like that. It’s just an unfortunate situation that took place, people could’ve done more and Joe Paterno is one of those guys that probably could’ve done more. What Joe meant to me in my development hasn’t changed. I just think after the Freeh report came out it made it a lot of things I guess for a lot of people outside of the situation and it gave them more information to be more outraged about a situation that had took place and a lot of people base my opinion off my blog post for the Washington Post and my whole thought process is Joe Paterno represented a general for Penn State, the institution itself and it’s football team. Well, he has since fallen and so if you’re in a battle, which Penn State is in, a battle for its health and as a Penn Stater I’m not going to stop and look at the general that has fallen, I’m going to continue to try to shed light and perspective on a horrible situation that doesn’t need to continue to be horrible.
I feel people are guilty of trying to continue to perpetuate and make this a horrible thing. The information is out, Jerry Sandusky is behind bars where he belongs and single-handedly has destroyed the reputation of our institution so for me, and I’m sure if Joe were here he would say the same thing. When I say things like Joe Paterno’s family needs to continue to fight for his vindication and need to continue to try to shed light on what went down with him in particular. I mean that’s his family and they should continue to do that. As far as Penn State, that’s my school and I’m going to continue to fight and shed light on the positives that can come out of this. For me, if a statue comes down, seasons are erased and whatever it may be, it should still be geared towards finding the good in all of this and rebuilding the reputation of the school. Joe wasn’t bigger than the school and I wasn’t bigger than the school. We were all taught that we were not bigger than the whole. You’re merely a part. For me that’s how I’m approaching it and I think people are misconstruing what my interpretation of the entire situation is.”
What he thinks Penn State will look like in five to ten years:
“It’s not a large priority right now. I think the priority is the university and this has been made such a football situation, it’s an institutional situation so where do I see Penn State in five to ten years hopefully in a much better place than where they are right now. Then along the way we can start addressing things like football, we can address the legacy of the records or what Joe Paterno meant to the team but until we get the institution or university itself back where it needs to be everything else is just a detail.”