- Politics and Social Issues
Say it Ain't So, Joe -- Repercussions of the Penn State Scandal
Shoeless Joe Jackson and others on the White Sox conspired to fix the 1919 World Series in what became known as the Black Sox Scandal. “Say it Ain’t So, Joe,” a boy reacted, and those words became famous. That was a baseball scandal. Shoeless Joe Jackson has the third highest batting average, .356, in major league history. Nobody in authority has ever suggested that points be taken off his batting average that I know of. There has been some talk lately that he should be considered for the Hall of Fame.
Joe Paterno almost became the head coach of the Pittburgh Steelers way back in 1969, just before the black and gold glory days began. When he declined the job, it was offered to Chuck Noll. Joe Pa went on to become the winningest coach in major college football history. No more. Today, he went from number one to number eight on the list, as a result of the sanctions announced by the NCAA today. This was not a football scandal.
Joe Paterno is dead. God will be his ultimate judge. Jerry Sandusky will die in jail. Athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz face perjury charges for lying to the grand jury. The president of the university, Graham Spanier, issued a statement during the grand jury business saying he unconditionally supported Curley and Schultz and that they “operate at the highest levels of honesty.” Lol. Reminds me of a president who once said, “I never had sex with that woman.”
Sandusky is one sick puppy. The others mentioned above were enablers, and some committed crimes in doing so. There are consequences for your actions, in the cases of those mentioned above, the consequences are likely to fit the crime. The university itself faces millions of dollars in civil liability due to lawsuits.
The NCAA should have left most to this to the courts to resolve, the jurisdictions where it belongs. The mission of the NCAA is, or was, to enforce sports-related infractions. To infer that it’s actions today are to subvert the “football is God” mentality is absurd.
The current number one college football team, Alabama, has been off NCAA probation for a whole six weeks in 16 sports, after serving its third probation since 1995. USC, the projected number one college football team, is currently on probation and subject to reduction of scholarships and other sanctions. Penn State is one of the few schools that has never been placed on probation.
Hey, $60 million for child abuse victims is a great thing. Penn State likely would have done something similar on its own. But the NCAA took unilateral action that circumvented its own rules. Help and compensation for past victims and future victims of child abuse could have been accomplished in better ways than what the NCAA did.
Again, the issue here is a very sick person who systematically abused children over a long period of time, and a select group of others who enabled that behavior. Shame on them.
But this is not about football. Past and present and future students at Penn State have nothing to do with this tragedy. Penn State has enough issues to deal with without the NCAA piling on. Talk about overkill.
Personally, I believe that Penn State, the university, the students, the administration, the faculty, the alumni, and everyone associated with the program, will do far more to help the victims of child abuse than NCAA sanctions ever could.
Repercussions September 1, 2012
The “new era” of Penn State football began at State College in front of over 97,000 spectators and untold numbers watching on television with a more than disappointing 21-14 loss to Ohio U. Who?
You can blame this one on the NCAA and its arbitrary and capricious sanctions, mostly based on a document known as the Freeh Report that is full of errors, misrepresentations, and downright lies.
The best player on the Nittany Lions last season unfortunately was no where to be found at Beaver Stadium this Saturday. No indeed, Silas Redd was 2,800 miles away at USC hardly working up a sweat as he scored a touchdown and carried the ball 9 times for 56 yards.
We don’t even need to mention the other players Penn State lost because of the sanctions. Silas Redd would have made the difference. Penn State was up 14-3 at the half. Ohio U. scored 21 unanswered points in the second half. You don’t think if Penn State had Silas Redd they wouldn’t have pounded the rock in the second half and won the game?
More repercussions to follow soon.
There is a whole lot more to be decided before this case is closed.
More repercussions September 8, 2012
Nittany Iions lose 17-16 to the Virginia Cavaliers.
Blame it on the NCAA and the sanctions. Penn State veteran field goal kicker Anthony Fera transferred to Texas just before the season started. Fera made 14 of 17 field goals last season. Newbie field goal kicker missed 4 today, including one that would have won it at the end.
The rest of the story:
Penn State pulled it together and finished 8-4, losing to Ohio State and Nebraska. Bill O'Brien established that he was the right choice for the coach.
And now we wait on the outcome of criminal trials and civil suits.
In my opinion, the NCAA will ultimately have no choice to eat some crow and reduce the sanctions.
Update February 11, 2013:
Yesterday the Paterno family issued its own report, which is basically a review of the Freeh Report, calling it a "total failure" that is "full of fallacies."
Exactly. And the NCAA used the Freeh Report as the basis to administer sanctions? Pathetic.
Update February 22, 2013:
In the last few day it should have become perfectly clear to most everyone hat the NCAA is a farce. NCAA President Mark Emmert and his staff totally botched the investigation of the University of Miami. Specific information is all over the internet and sports talk shows pertaining to the subject, so I won’t repeat it. I will say that credibility is destroyed when you do something you have punished others for doing. The NCAA imposes sanctions for “lack of organizational control” when its own house is a mess. Pathetic.
So Penn State gets the brunt of the blame for the Sandusky scandal while others who also contributed to the fiasco get a hall pass, as least so far. Kathleen Kane, the new attorney general of Pennsylvania has launched an investigation into why Tom Corbett, now the governor and former attorney general, took almost three years to arrest Sandusky. Good question. Here’s the thing. The government to include law enforcement, Children Services, and the Department of Public Welfare all should take blame for not handling the Sandusky matter properly. If they had, we would not have a Penn State scandal.
And then we still have the criminal trials of Penn State officials pending.
My prediction is that these sanctions against Penn State are going to be substantially revised. I have no problem with the money this is costing Penn State. I do have a problem with innocent parties like students being punished via the sanctions.
Update July 14, 2013
Last week the former president of Penn State, Graham Spanier, initiiated a libel and defamation law suit against Louis Freeh.
Penn State is negotiating financial settlements with more than 30 individuals who have come forward with sexual abuse claims. Penn State will not release details until the deals have been completed.