Knowing full well that more than just men like football, we are bringing you two sides in the debate over Penn State.
Was the NCAA punishment too hard or not hard enough?
Be sure to weigh in and let us know on which side of She Said/She Said you fall.
Terminal Sentence – by Kristie, CGG Staff Writer
The NCAA has announced the punishment…er…”sanctions” to be levied against the Penn State Nittany Lions football program for its role in the child rape scandal involving Sandusky and various administrators, and it appears that the NCAA is *not* messing around. A $60 million fine, 4 year bowl ban, reducing available scholarships to 40 over a four year period, and relinquishing all wins from 1998 until now.
Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State football coach and generally terrible human being, was convicted on June 22, 2012 of 45 separate charges involving child rape. The Penn State football administration have been accused of knowing about Sandusky’s predilection for young boys entrusted to his care, and despite an assistant visually confirming the anal rape of a child in a Penn State locker room, Sandusky was allowed to continue his reign of pedo terror for years.
The story disgusts me on a visceral level. I have a little boy, and you can bet that if anyone laid an inappropriately sexual hand on his tiny little self, I would rage out so hard that I’d likely spend the rest of my life in a mental facility. I have been quick to condemn everyone involved, including the sainted Joe Paterno (head coach during the assaults), for covering up the assaults and failing to protect innocent children. Even the assistant who tattled, Mike McQueary, is on my short list of people to mow down if the universe ever sees fit to equip me with untraceable eyeball lasers. Walking in on a 10 year old being raped, and then reporting it THE NEXT DAY?? Lasered. I’m not saying that he should have run into the shower and beaten the snot out of Sandusky, then rushed the little boy to safety (that’s exactly what I’m saying), but he should have called the police immediately. All of these men deserve everything that’s coming to them.
—End of background—
I’m curious, though, as to whether or not these punishments are in any way actually punishing the wrongdoers, or if they are instead just going to kill a promising football program for young athletes, destroy school pride for hundreds of thousands who have and will attend the school, and reduce an overall very good college over the sins of a few disgusting “men.”
Some of my fondest memories of college involve getting dressed up in my CSU colors on a crisp, fall day, and heading to the stadium with thousands of other (similarly juiced up) students to cheer for my CSU Rams football team. College football can be an immense source of school pride, excitement, and scholarship opportunities for excelling athletes who might not otherwise be able to afford college. To take that away seems like it’s punishing all of the wrong people for the sake of being able to say “Hey, we totally did something about this.”
Are there other options where money can be raised for childrens’ advocacy charities, but the students, athletes, community, fans aren’t being beaten down for rape that they didn’t commit or endorse? With Sandusky in prison for the rest of his stupid, miserable life, and with Paterno dead, and other administrative officials removed from office, the only people left at that school are innocent of any wrongdoing. My question for the NCAA, I guess, is “who are you punishing?”
My instinct says that NCAA should jump in on matters of bribery, game ethics, shady scholarship programs (see Reggie Bush), academic dishonesty, pay-for-play, etc. Child rape and accompanying cover-up, though? That’s something for POLICE to deal with, and punishment should deal immediately with the rapist and those who didn’t stop it from happening.
I’m not a cop, not a college student, not a Penn State alum, and not a part of the Nittany Lions community. I’m not a member of the NCAA, either. My role, at this point, is to say “RIP, Penn State football.” Chances are good that their football program was just dealt a terminal sentence.
Not Hard Enough – by Daisy, CGG Staff Writer
I’m an avid football fan, and before we get too much further I’ll admit that my college and professional allegiances lie with teams that are no stranger to loathing, sanctions and trouble: the USC Trojans (my Dad’s alma mater), the University of Michigan (my husband’s alma mater) and the New Orleans Saints (where I lived in college and fell in love football). I know. I couldn’t have picked more poorly if I tried. Unless of course I was a Penn State fan.
Since the scandal broke, and more importantly after the Freeh report was released my feeling that Penn State needed to be served the Death Penalty wasn’t a secret. The Death Penalty, the catch phrase for the NCAA’s ability to ban a school from fielding a team, has only been used five times in NCAA history and only once for a football team. Southern Methodist University (SMU) was given the death penalty for the 1987 and 1988 seasons and arguably has never reached a high level of competition since then. It is my firm belief that Penn State should have been given the death penalty for Coach Paterno’s failure to do more when the truth about Jerry Sandusky emerged beginning in 1988.
It is true that the Death Penalty would punish the entire school and community of University Park, but in my opinion one aspect of punishment is using it as a deterrant. It needs to be clear to every university in the country that the long allowed tradition of “team first, people second” is over. A new era has begun, one where administrations and programs play by the rules, where no “honor” or “tradition” of a program comes before justice and doing the right thing. Covering up a child rapist to protect the honor and fiscal viability of a football program should disgust everyone to their very core, and no punishment should be too great. I believe the pride in Penn State was crushed when the allegations were revealed, and further demolished by the guilty verdicts, the Freeh report, and every day of gut wrenching testimony by Penn State officials and coaches who did little if anything to stop what was going on.
Much has been said about the “fairness” of the current penalties on the current players. To that I say: too bad. Every high school senior knows how the NCAA works, and there is always a possibility at any school that if the program is punished for past transgressions, it is the current players and coaches that will pay. More recent examples include punishments against USC and Ohio State. In this case the NCAA has gone out of their way to give the current Penn State players the ability to play elsewhere, they are all allowed to transfer without losing eligibility and the NCAA has said it will consider waiving scholarship caps for schools that take a Penn State player. (Schools are limited to 85 scholarship football players over a four year period.)
In the words Mark Emmert, the NCAA President: “Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people.”
I am glad that Penn State has to pay 60 million dollars (over time) to a fund to help abuse victims, I am glad that Joe Paterno is no longer the winningest coach in NCAA-I history and I am glad that their team has been reduced to nothingness for the next four years. In my opinion it is a small, small price to pay for the horrors that were covered up in the name of football.
You were Penn State. And now you are a lesson to every athlete and program in the country. People first. Sports second.