Today: Feb 29, 2024

‘Sweet Caroline’ no more

Robin GlynnGeneral Assignment Reporter

As students at Southern settle into college life with academics, campus activities, and athletics, the Penn State community is still feeling the repercussions from the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

Recently I had heard that Penn State announced that Neil Diamond’s classic hit-song “Sweet Caroline” would no longer be played at athletic events.

“Sweet Caroline has been brought up in recent years as to whether or not it should remain a part of the playlist,” said Greg J. Myford, Associate Athletic Director for Marketing and Communications at Penn State, in a statement to the Associated Press. “We hear from fans each year on whether or not we should continue it, given that it happens to be played in so many other professional and collegiate venues and has no real origination here at Penn State.”

Myford went on to say that the decision to remove the song had nothing to do with lyrics, which include “Touching me, touching you.”

“I think it’s a good and catchy song,” said Stephanie Creager, a Southern Education major. “I’ve been listening to it since I was little.”

Others, like Jennifer Covino, can hear the song differently. Covino, a Southern English and Elementary Education major, believes the lyrics have made the Penn State Community remember the crimes that were committed.

“I have been following the Penn State scandal from the beginning,” said Covino, “and I do think that some of the lyrics from that song would make the Penn State community think about the tragic events that unfolded last year. I don’t think it is appropriate to be played at any of the sporting events anymore.”

But Creager believes the lyrics mean something different and today’s society could twist the lyrics to mean something else.

“I must point out that the line ‘touching me, touching you’ was most likely written in the context of touching peoples hearts and creating positive emotions,” said Creager. “It was not originally intended to mean anything sexual, but the cultural perspective of today is that it is sexual.”

Creager believes that the school is trying to distance themselves from the Sandusky scandal.

“What Sandusky did was horrific,” said Creager, “and the school is trying to prevent themselves from being labeled as the school with a sexual perpetrator on their staff. I also believe that they want to make the people within the school community feel safe and comfortable again.”

Some people do not see it as a coincidence that Penn State officials have taken “Sweet Caroline” off of the playlist.

“I think they need to take every precaution so that their university is not tarnished anymore that it already is,” said Covino. “Many athletes and students have transferred to get away from the press and pressures that being at that university brings now. I think it is a good thing that the school is thinking about this because they should be very careful about what happens at their university in the future.”

Besides football players transferring to other schools, the fallout continued into the summer with the removal of a statue of former football coach Joe Paterno. Some think that Penn State’s decision should be respected.

“If the school feels that it is in the best interest for everyone that they remove it, then their decision should be accepted,” said Creager.

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