LaVar Arrington Questions Penn State's Scandal Handling
Former Penn State standout LaVar Arrington spoke to USA TODAY Sports and described the depiction of the Penn State football program as a closed community as "overstated, terribly overstated. People have always been held accountable when it applied to us as student-athletes. We were definitely held to a standard. I don't think that comes from a closed environment. My experience as a Penn Stater, it was a culture of excellence. And I believe it still is, and this is just a very, very big mountain in the road and an unfortunate set of decisions that seemed to cast a great institution in a very horrible light."
The 267-page Freeh Report detailed how janitors were afraid to take on the football program despite witnessing horrific acts of sexual molestation. Regarding the fear to take on the football program, Arrington said:
"If a janitor at USA TODAY saw something take place, they would probably have the same exact reaction. They are probably afraid for their job. I think it's overstated to say that is something directly connected to PSU football culture instead of corporate America culture. I don't think it's limited to football."
Arrington said the revelations do not "erase everything positive on Joe Paterno's resume," but that they represent a "big mark, a bad mark on his resume. It certainly does tarnish his reputation."
"We have all had lapses of judgment," Arrington said. "His [Joe Paterno] happens to be on a monumental level and there happen to be children's welfare involved in this."
The report took direct aim at the culture within the Penn State football program. Arrington said, "Was Penn State football too powerful? Is Duke basketball too powerful? Is Mike Krzyzewski too powerful? ... It's a dumb-ass question."
Arrington said that as long as college athletics retains its hold on America's culture, that power and influence won't change when it comes to big-time college sports programs.
By Eric Prisbell, USA Today Sports