You knew we had to make a lacrosse connection to the Penn State scandal right? First off, the following words are my own opinions and thoughts. Secondly, let’s get right to it.
The mess at Penn State right now is disappointing and disgraceful. I have no respect for the institution. The whole athletic program is corrupt and anyone who thinks they aren’t needs to reevaluate their frame of thinking and purchase a moral compass. The current scandal has run on for more than a decade and it is only being brought to light now!
For your information, the institution isn’t new to scandal. The former Women’s Basketball coach at PSU had an affinity for gay-bashing. Rene Portland, who led PSU’s Women’s Basketball program from 1980 to 2007, tried to ban lesbian players. The school even initiated an anti-discrimination code during her tenure, but allowed her practice of homophobia to continue. While, one PSU coach despised homosexual behavior, another PSU coach was protected for his dark behavior.
The entire athletic department knew about both instances and neglected to take action. By the way, the Athletic Director who hired Portland was Joe Paterno.
So, why is Paterno so quick to hire a criminal defense attorney? Answer: He knows he’s going down and so is the house he built.
By now, you’re wondering where’s the lacrosse connection? Paterno hired J. Sedgwick Sollers, whose claim to fame was representing George H.W. Bush in the Iran-Contra affair. Sollers’ father, of the same name, has a lacrosse background of mighty prestige.
Boys’ Latin’s website lists him as a Distinguished Alumni. The following is an excerpt from their website:
Joe Sollers ’47 entered BL in 1943. He was a solid student at BL finishing at the top of his class in each year in English and history. It is in lacrosse where Joe really excelled. He is considered one of the greatest lacrosse goalies in the history of the game. As a freshman at BL he made second team all Maryland goalie in 1943 and later earned first team all-Maryland lacrosse honors in 1944, 1945 and 1947. He was the first recipient of the first Ensign C. Markland Kelly Award (pictured above right with the Kelly trophy) as the best lacrosse player in the state of Maryland in 1945.
In-between Junior and Senior year of high school, Joe served 18 months in the Pacific Theater duing World War II.
After his BL days Joe stayed in Baltimore and attended Johns Hopkins. In 1951 Joe was selected All American and won the C. Markland Kelly Award given to the nation’s most outstanding college goalie. He was also named the winner of the William C. Schmeisser Memorial Trophy given to the nation’s outstanding defensive player. Joe came back to coach at BL for a few years after college. He was elected to the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1987 and was inducted into the BL Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
Oh yeah, one more thing, Sollers co-founded STX.
Joe’s greatest contribution to lacrosse was his help in developing the modern day lacrosse stick. He also was one of the founders of the STX lacrosse company. And his polyurethane stick, which came out in the early 1970s, has revolutionized the game.
What a connection right?! I could continue with my disdain for PSU’s actions, ahem, lack of action, but I’ll stop right here. The moral of the horrific story – that I wish never happend – is that, “If you see something, say something.” There aren’t a couple of children who were harmed. There are countless. The truth will unfold. The entire state of Pennsylvania failed those children. Educators and enforcers of the law failed those children. They were trusted to protect those children, not derelict.