Michael Weinreb knows how it feels to be a Penn State alum. Being a native of Happy Valley, and as an acclaimed author and contributor to Grantland.com, his two articles provide a great look at how those close to PSU and the community are dealing with this tragedy. Weinreb joined “The Mike Wise Show with Holden Kushner” on Thursday, and admits feeling embarrassed by the actions of those at his alma mater.

“I’m ashamed. I think we’re all proud to go to school (at Penn State), and today we are ashamed at a lot of things that have happened. I’m sorry people had to see that and get that impression of Penn State. There is a party culture at Penn State. That doesn’t make it right, but it is something that needs to be addressed.”

Weinreb also tries to explain what the current students at Penn State must be going through.

“I can understand why those kids feel that way in a sense. A lot of them grew up in Pennsylvania and came to Penn State because of Joe Paterno, and they’re in denial of what has happened. They still want to know what the whole story was, what Joe’s full involvement was, and don’t want to believe Joe had this moral failing.”

Weinreb went on to discuss growing up in State College and his time as a Nittany Lion.

“It’s a small community, so everybody knows everybody else. I played little league baseball with Mike McQueary, I used to goof off in Latin class with Scott Paterno, and it’s surreal to see this story become international news.”

“I covered the football program when I was in college, there were no whispers in the early 1990s, and I don’t remember hearing anything at all until the last few months.”

“As a community it’s shocking. Was there too much of an emphasis and priority on football, and as a university in general (they) must reexamine what the priorities are.”

Weinreb also reflects on what made Joe Paterno the God-like figure he is in Happy Valley.

“When you’re a kid, there’s this guy (Joe Paterno) who walks from his house to the games. I just saw him walking once and I followed behind him and saw all these tailgaters wave to him and say hi and he was part of the community too. He was obviously larger than life, but it was almost by trying to make himself a normal guy that he became larger than life, which led to him becoming the legend of Joe Paterno.”

Full interview with Michael Weinreb

  1. ginnyann says:

    PSU is a fiefdom and the university has a real habit of covering up, paying off and silencing anyone. Consequently, people in the area are so afraid of losing their jobs that they comply. I have never experienced the area as ‘happy valley’ but rather more like ‘valley of the dolls’ with a mafia-like Omerta running admin.The problem now of course, is the carefully cultivated image of Joseph Paterno just came crashing down. The students who rioted are worse than brainwashed; they are also spoiled and they’ve been lied to. Why didn’t they protest the continued sexual assault of young children? Where are their brains? I don’t know but I sure as hell had a very difficult time teaching them anything in class because of the football franchise obsession and binge drinking. Spanier is an absolute joke of an administrator but the Board of Trustees were happy enough with him as long as the $ kept rolling in. I do not trust them to conduct an in-house investigation; they are now all playing the classic CYA game that I am so familiar with at Penn State. This is not the only cover up. This is not the only scandal where admin paid people off & didn’t report assaults to legal authorities. My heart goes out to the victims and their families. The gang at Old Main can rot in hell.

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