I caught up with Katie Futcher last week in Orlando at the LPGA’s season-ending CME Group Titleholders for a Golf.com Q&A. Katie, the LPGA’s only Penn Stater, is a huge football fan (she was actually at Joe Paterno’s last home game with a group of friends) who holds a ton of school pride (her website says her favorite colors are PSU’s navy blue and white).
Naturally, she was crushed when news broke of the scandal surrounding the university and football team, and understandably, she was initially reluctant to chat about the whole awful thing — since it’d been quite emotional and she’d rehashed it a gazillion times already — but once she she did, she was very candid, insightful and interesting.
Here’s an excerpt:
What was your experience at Penn State like?
Are you really going to ask me about this?
Yeah, I really am.
Okay. Penn State, it’s hard to describe. Penn State to me is my home, if not like a physical address, it’s my second home. I would never change where I went to school. It became such a part of me, as it does probably for everybody who goes to university, but it is such a big part of who I am, and I would not change going there for the world. I had the best time, I had the best coach, I learned so much, I matured. It was the best time of my life.
What was your reaction when you heard about the scandal with Joe Paterno, Jerry Sandusky and other members of the athletic department?
Yeah, I was devastated. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, it was ‑‑ last week was possibly the worst week of ‑‑ in my life maybe, because I’ve not really experienced too many people in my family dying, but it was ‑‑ to watch my university go through that, it was really, really hard, and it’s really hard to ‑‑ if you don’t understand it or if you didn’t go there ‑‑ every other Penn Stater, we have tears in our eyes when we talk to each other. It’s a huge deal.