Sunday December 21, 2014
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I have deliberately stayed away from the Sandusky case because it was getting all the attention it deserved and didn't need more from me.
Penn State, as you no doubt know, has been sanctioned by the NCAA for what happened there. The sanctions included an unprecedented $60 million fine, a four-year ban from postseason play, a cut in the number of football scholarships it can award, the the loss of 14 seasons of football victories which were stripped from late head coach, Joe Paterno.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett plans to file an anti-trust suit against the NCAA because of its sanctions. He says that the sanctions did not punish Sandusky or those who allegedly helped cover up his repeated sexual abuse of disadvantaged children. He said they the people being punished are past and current students who were not part of the scandal.
"I cannot and will not let it happen without a fight," said Corbett, adding that the Sandusky case was a criminal matter and not a violation of NCAA rules.
Louis Freeh, former FBI Director--and one of my favorite people--led a team that thoroughly investigated what occurred. His 267 page report blames former university president Graham Spanier, ex-Vice President Gary Schultz, suspended Athletic Director Tim Curley, and deceased Joe Paterno for allegedly taking part in a cover-up to avoid bad publicity.
All of them, except for Paterno, who is dead, have been indicted by the federal government on multiple serious charges, including perjury.
I've thought about this, and I'd like to ask you to think about it too.
Do the NCAA sanctions punish the people who were guilty of the crime and the coverup? And if they don't, and those who are guilty are already being punished, how does it make any sense to punish everyone else at the university, including the students? If they were not involved, why are they be being punished?
I see this in the same light as fining a corporation for something that the CEO has done, while leaving the CEO untouched, free to collect his multi-million dollar salary and laugh up his sleeve as he takes the fine out of the pockets of the investors who own the corporation.
How can something like this be right?
Punish the guilty, but leave the innocent alone.
Before you comment I thought it would be fair to post the argument from the other side. See the next post.
This comes from Roxanne Jones, a graduate of Penn State, who is a founding editor of "ESPN The Magazine" and a former vice president at ESPN. She is a national lecturer on sports, entertainment and women's topics, and a recipient of the 2010 Woman of the Year award from Women in Sports and Events. She is the author of "Say It Loud: An Illustrated History of the Black Athlete" and is CEO of Push Media Strategies and is working on her second book.
When someone said essentially the same things I just said, her reply was:
"I'm sorry. I just can't join the throngs of furious Nittany Lions. My outrage is too focused on a university that failed us and, more importantly, all of the boys who were raped and abused by former coach Jerry Sandusky. He was convicted last month for sexually assaulting 10 boys over more than 10 years, while everyone, according to the Freeh report on the scandal -- coaches, administrators and Penn State's Board of Trustees, sat back and let it happen. Too afraid to ask any questions, too afraid to lose their careers, too selfish to care about anything but football and the big money it represented."
"What do I think, my friend? I think the NCAA sanctions are not only fair but also could have been harsher."
I have to point out a non-fact in her reply. It is NOT true that the Freeh report said that "everyone" was involved. The Freeh report specifically blamed four people, all of whom have been charged with a crime.
And here I thought everyone would jump on this one.
Just goes to show what I know. :-)
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