Heaven forbid that we use the term "banned."
"Although the lyrics were brought up and discussed, to say the song was 'banned' because of the lyrics would not be accurate," said Gregory J. Myford, associate administrator of business relations and communications at Penn State.
There is little question, however, that the touchy lyrics contributed to the decision to remove it from the pregame music, with which fans are encouraged to sing along.
Myford played down any connection with the Sandusky scandal, in which the former assistant football coach was convicted of molesting young boys.
"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," he said in a statement.
The song, written by Diamond in the late '60s, was inspired by a photo he saw of Caroline Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy's daughter, on horseback. She was 11 at the time. The image stayed with him, and he wrote the song about five years later.
It turned out to be a natural for sporting events. Boston's Fenway Park has played it for a dozen years, and it has been played at University of Pittsburgh sporting events, among others.
One of the choruses:
Touching you . . .
Contact John F. Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-854-5573.
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