Penn State Cuts 'Sweet Caroline' From Stadium Singalongs

Despite initial report, 'Touching me/Touching you' lyrics weren't a factor, official says

Neil Diamond
Rob Verhorst/Redferns
Neil Diamond
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Penn State fans won't be singing along to Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" at Beaver Stadium this year after the university pulled the song from its football playlist, according to The Altoona Mirror. The newspaper initially reported that some university officials had expressed concern that the lyrics "Touching me/Touching you" were inappropriate in the wake of the scandal that saw former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky convicted recently on 45 counts of child sex abuse.

This morning, though, the Penn State athletic department said the lyrics of the song had nothing to do with it. "Sweet Caroline" had been considered for removal in the past because plenty of other stadiums play the song, which "has no real origin at Penn State," said Greg Myford, the associate athletic director for business relations and communications. The change was part of a broader review of game-day entertainment at the stadium, Myford said.

"'Sweet Caroline' was one of the songs we decided to switch out," he said, adding, "That happens each year for both recorded music and the Blue Band," the university's marching band.

Diamond was inspired to write "Sweet Caroline" after spotting an image of a young Caroline Kennedy on the cover of Life magazine.