By Pat Stacey
I am a fair weather fan of college football but I am a great fan of tradition. We seem to be losing or breaking traditions around every corner, especially in the sporting world and even more so in college football. And we are not replacing them with new traditions. The most recent tradition to bite the dust is the decision by the new Penn State University head football coach to add the player's names to the backs of their jerseys. This abandon's a tradition established by former head coach Joe Paterno to not elevate the individual players higher than the team. Unfortunately, Joe Paterno elevated himself above all in the way he handled or didn't handle the Sandusky scandal. Additionally, players are leaving the ranks of Penn State by the droves and the new coach wants fans to know who has stayed to play for their beloved university. But this is more of a cry for help as this football program is melting down. We are seeing what happens when the axiom about absolute power corrupting absolutely comes true. That is the Penn State story and it will take several generations to regain what it once was, if it ever happens again. And by then, the tradition of placing the team above individuals will be forgotten as well. It is a great tradition and one that needs to return and it is a message for all teams that no individual, not even the coach is exempt from doing what is right.
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