You probably don’t know me. I graduated from Penn State in May of 2005 with a degree in Business Management. That degree still hangs proudly on the wall of my office. It’s the first thing I see when I arrive in the morning after I come up the stairs to my desk. I still have that same overwhelming sense of pride every day when I see it that I did when it was handed to me on that Sunday afternoon over seven years ago. To say that Penn State holds a special place in my heart and my life would be a gross understatement. Despite the events of the last eight and a half months, none of that has changed.
The bomb the NCAA dropped on Monday hurt. It hurt anyone who holds Penn State in the same regard that I do. But it also has done something I am sure many around this country never expected would happen. This Penn State family is coming together.
I don’t care what the talking heads say, the Penn State culture is not broken or flawed. I don’t know what prompted the men who brought this upon our great University to make the decisions they did, but I know in my heart it was not because of what Penn Staters feel and believe. This community is full of good people who remain as hurt about what has happened here as the rest of the country. We love this place not because of football victories or a football coach, but because of what it taught us, the experiences it gave us, and the people we met. That is what “We Are Penn State” means. It is not just a football cheer. It is us. WE are Penn State.
I will not begrudge any of you who decide to transfer out, or back out of a commitment. The time, energy, and effort that it takes to play major college football is something that none of us can likely understand. Chances to play in bowl games and for championships are limited. You need to do what is right for you, your families, and your future.
But to those of you that make the decision to stay, as many have, you are about to be a part of something that no Nittany Lion football player has ever been, or will ever be. You will go down in history as the group of young men that chose to be a part of something much bigger than a championship trophy or a trip to Florida in December. You have my word that we, as the Penn State family, will give you our undying support.
Michigan says those who stay will be champions. At Penn State, those who stay will become legends. Not because of their ability on the football field, but because of the commitment they have shown to this place that so many of us hold so dear.
For the Glory,
Matt de Bear
Penn State ‘05
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