Penn State Student on Losing His Idol

For JoePa worshipers, these have been somber times—as Kevin Cirilli can attest to. The Penn State student pens a reflective column today in The Daily Beast about how the child-molestation scandal on campus has disillusioned a generation of fans. “All of us, it seems, are coming to terms with the fact that our university … might have been built on a false hero.” Now he’s struggling to separate the principles Paterno taught—and the institution he served—with the crimes he allegedly covered up. Oddly enough, this has been best accomplished through football. “Just as Catholics attended mass after the church’s child-abuse scandal, we in the Penn State faithful needed a football game to unite.”