When institutions are caught doing bad things, the people in charge often try to sweep the dirt under the rug.
Penn State University, on the other hand, is going one step further and is trying to sweep the dirt, replace the rug and rip out the floor all at the same time.
A university spokesman told the Associated Press that it intended to remodel the men’s football team locker room and shower area as a result of Jerry Sandusky’s filthy child rape and molestation convictions.
While it might seem to make sense on its face that the university would want to wipe the slate clean of Sandusky’s crimes, it’s also a bit of a creepy coverup.
Will a brand new set of bath tiles really take away the pain and anguish of Sandusky’s victims? No, not at all. So isn’t this all a bit futile?
In addition to the locker room renovations, the university is also planning to take down the statue honoring the late Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who many say was aware of Sandusky’s crimes and covered for him. That, is a bit more understandable.
Here are more details from the AP’s report:
The disclosure of Penn State’s remodeling plans came as the school weighs how to deal with the ubiquitous imagery associated with the scandal. Besides the Lasch building, there’s the bronzed statue of Paterno and the library that’s named after him, as well as a downtown mural depicting the Hall of Fame coach and ousted Penn State President Graham Spanier.
Reminders of the Sandusky scandal, and the senior school officials accused of covering it up, are all over Penn State’s campus and State College.
“Does the university want to completely wipe the slate clean? If they do, then they probably want to get rid of something like this – they can still honor Joe in a different way,” said Erik Sandell, of Minneapolis, while visiting the Paterno statue with a friend on Friday. “Get rid of this, get rid of that facility.”
What do you think of Penn State’s renovation plans? Isn’t it a bit like trying to cover up slavery in a plantation house by turning the slave quarters into a high-end horse barn?
Some stains just can’t, and shouldn’t, be washed away.