Now-former Penn State president Graham Spanier has issued a statement on the eve of his dismissal from his post following a child sex abuse scandal that has engulfed the Penn State football program.
Spanier sounds a note of regret for the children Jerry Sandusky allegedly abused:
I am heartbroken to think that any child may have been hurt and have deep convictions about the need to protect children and youth. My heartfelt sympathies go out to all those who may have been victimized. I would never hesitate to report a crime if I had any suspicion that one had been committed.
He also says that the actions and inaction of (what is hopefully only) a handful of Penn State employees should not define the university as a whole.
The acts of no one person should define this university. Penn State is defined by the traditions, loyalty and integrity of hundreds of thousands of students, alumni and employees.
That’s a good point, and it’s tough not to feel for Penn State’s students and alumni right now. This story will likely define the university for a long time, and it is a big story, but it’s not the whole of what Penn State is.