Last week Nebraska feared for its safety heading into the hornet's nest that was Penn State. This week, Ohio State is making sure the Nittany Lions don't have the same fears as they go on their first road trip since the allegations of child sex abuse by a former assistant coach rocked the school.
To that end, Ohio State student leaders have sent a letter to Ohio State students asking them to be respectful to Penn State on Saturday. Several players relayed the same message in a spot that is on YouTube and will play in the stadium.
Here is the text of the letter sent to students:
Dear Fellow Buckeyes,
The past 10 days have marked a period of turmoil at Penn State University, stemming from the alleged actions of a former assistant football coach. While the media has focused on the response of PSU students, coaches, and administrators, the true victims are the children who were abused. As we have watched events unfold, it has sometimes been easy to forget that some things are bigger than a single university and certainly bigger than football.
This weekend, we will host Penn State here at the Horseshoe. In 26 meetings between our two storied football programs, perhaps none has been as publicly scrutinized as this. It is important to remember that neither the athletes nor students of Penn State played a role in these alleged crimes, and that their university has been just as shocked and horrified by the news as we have — they are a proud community and they love their school just as much as we love ours.
This Saturday, all eyes will be on the 'Shoe. And as we welcome one of our conference rivals, we will remember the victims first, but also keep in mind that our visitors are not the people to whom we should direct our anger. The best fans in the land live right here at The Ohio State University, and we kindly ask that those of you who plan to attend this weekend's game host our guests with the respect deserved by a fellow Big Ten school. It is important to treat visiting fans as we would hope that Ohio State fans would be treated on the road. We must remember that our actions as fans and students speak volumes about Ohio State as well.
Be loud. Be proud. Be respectful. And please enjoy the game!
Nick Messenger, President of the Undergraduate Student Government
Tim Collins, President of Block "O"
Neal Majumdar, President of Sportsmanship Council
Jared Kamrass, Athletic Council Student Representative
Ashley Ferkol, Athletic Council Student Representative
Penn State has come under intense national scrutiny after former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with the sexual assault of eight boys, including one in the Penn State locker room showers. The scandal has resulted in the firing of coach Joe Paterno, and wide receivers coach Mike McQueary being placed on administrative leave. The entire scandal has enraptured the nation and caused high emotions across the country.
Hopefully, the messages by Ohio State's student leaders and its football players will be heeded, and players, who had nothing to do with the scandal, can try to finish out their season in relative peace.