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