There hasn't been a bigger sports story over the past nine months than the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State scandal. Numerous people have kept up with the trial, the aftermath at Penn State, the Freeh Report, and the question of the future of the Penn State athletic program. According to the Freeh Report, there were indications among the administration that Sandusky was performing lewd acts and nobody did anything about it. Considering how this stuff had been occurring over a 10+ year period (possibly longer), this is seen to be a massive faux pas by every big name that worked at the University in that time period.
You know what this means...
|Joe Paterno has left the campus.|
Joe Paterno is now known as the biggest load of taboo in the college sports world. People are demanding that the statue erected in his honor out in State College be removed due to the unveiling of all of the underground work to cover up Sandusky's low-brow tendencies. It was like they were trying to get away with murder or something and then someone just happened to say something about it 20 years later. What I think is not only were they believing in the "out of sight, out of mind" deal, but they were also thinking that it was some sort of phase and if they'd ignore it, it would cease. Obviously, that didn't work.
Today, critics are suggesting that due to the infractions committed by Penn State's administration and athletic programs, they should be given the "feared" Death Penalty by the NCAA. Others are considering loss of broadcast games or loss of scholarship opportunities. The Penn State community will be finding out their fate during a NCAA conference in the morning. I wrote about the Death Penalty before, and just by reading how other people got this killer of a penalty, you can clearly see why I am writing about this: Punishment from the NCAA makes NO SENSE in a scandal like this.
Don't worry. There's a method to my madness in saying this.
Here are the reasons:
Almost everyone from PSU's administration has stepped down amid the controversy. Ever since Graham Spainer and Joe Paterno were fired from their positions at Penn State, almost everyone involved or associated with it followed suit and resigned. Trust me, it was pretty obvious they all knew something, but do you think they would be stupid enough to tell the players of their involvement in the scandal? Out of fear, they chickened out and jumped ship. Especially in a new era where there are more than enough officials innocent of this, I don't think they deserve something that a couple of idiots hid from 10-15 years ago. However, if there is anyone still there, I'm pretty sure something should at least apply to them.
Secondly, there should be no reason to punish the football players that had no say or action in this just because of association. If I were a sophomore defensive tackle or whatever, I would be rather upset because I wasn't involved in the sex abuse scandal. I don't actually doubt that the players didn't know anything during their football years at PSU, but for the incoming guys certainly had no clue especially after Sandusky's retirement in 1999.
Thirdly, this is clearly an internal matter within the University, the coaching staff, and the administration. There's no need to shut down a football program because a rotten apple went and spoiled the bunch. Sure, we're dealing with a guy who has committed numerous sex crimes among young boys and even more people covered it up for over a decade. However, I don't think the NCAA should intervene in ways of punishment for judgments of people who are no longer in power at the University.
This is a rather sticky situation that I think even the NCAA will have trouble administering. If anything, I would suggest restrictions in administration and the coaching staff would work just fine. Shutting down the football program won't solve anybody's problems. The coaching staff as a whole might have screwed up big time, but don't punish the players and other students who didn't have a choice in this.