Thursday, July 12, 2012

lack of institutional control

So the big report came out today.  I speak of the Louis Freeh, the former FBI director's, report with its findings in a 7 month investigation concerning Penn State University, namely the Jerry Sandusky scandel... its your basic search...

Who knew what, and when did they know it? 

Who knew that Jerry Sandusky was abusing young boys, as far back as 1998, and when did these people know it?

And the report is brutal, essentially telling everyone that most people in the higher up positions in Penn State's athletic football program knew a lot, and knew it early.  You can go to any site right now, Sports Illustrated or ESPN or even Deadspin, and you'll find a bunch of Penn State materials.

Bottom line is, Paterno's legacy is over.  His son, Jay, has said that, and I'm paraphrasing, "my dad's legacy stretches over 61 years at Penn State.  To say that this incident ruins that is not fair.  He made some mistakes, but it shouldn't define his legacy or career."

Oh yeah, Jay?  Nixon had decades of a successful political career, but guess what defines his legacy?  A few months of Watergate.  OJ Simpson had 30 years of a successful college and pro career, plus an incredible acting turn (have you seen "The Naked Gun"?), but guess what defines his legacy?  Those are all the things you think of when you think of Nixon and OJ. 

Jerry Sandusky, like it or not, is Joe Paterno's legacy.  Those boys in the shower is Joe Paterno's legacy.  The fact that JoePa knew a heck of a lot more than he let on, and that he did nothing about it?  This is JoePa's legacy.

Its already started.  Nike has already removed Paterno's name from their Child Care Center.  There are rumors that his name will come off of Penn State's buildings on campus, and his statue is in danger as well. 

And what about the NCAA?  Here's what Jeremy Schaap, from, had to say:

If Ohio State can't play in a bowl game this season because former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel lied to NCAA investigators about his players receiving free tattoos, how can Penn State play in the postseason after former coach Joe Paterno helped cover up the horrific actions of a serial child rapist?

If North Carolina can't play in the postseason this season because some of its players received improper benefits from agents and committed academic fraud, how can Penn State be eligible for the postseason after its former president and vice president, athletic director and legendary coach fostered a culture in which a pedophile used the school's facilities, sideline passes to games and bowl trips like candy to lure the young boys he molested?

And if USC was banned from the postseason for two years and lost more than 20 scholarships because the school failed to oversee the compliance of its most high-profile players, how can Penn State go unpunished by the NCAA when the university's most-high ranking officials failed to even do what was morally right when they learned young boys were violated and the victims and others were probably still at risk?

Officials are looking to rotate this statue, so it
will spend years and years looking the other way
I was undecided as to whether I thought the NCAA should be involved... but after hearing the facts of the report--and full disclosure, I haven't read it, I'm only going on the numerous news stories that say the same thing--I think the NCAA should come down on Penn State like a sack of hammers.   At first, I thought that the NCAA shouldn't mess with a criminal investigation, one that may or may not have involved the football program, save for some of its coaches.  Players weren't paid or received benefits, or illegal players used, or illegal recruiting methods weren't enacted... however, what we know today is that JoePa and his subordinates covered up all they could in order to protect their beloved football program.

And this directly involves the NCAA's jurisdiction. 

SMU got the dreaded "Death Penalty" in the late 80s for outlandish and flagrant player activities, including gambling, shutting the football program down for over a year, and it took 20 years for that program--many times a title contender in the early 80s--to rebound... and its still nowhere near the national title picture, mired in the depths of Conference USA.

But nowhere in the SMU Death Penalty charge are the words "sexual abuse" or "boys" or "cover up of sexual abuse of boys".  To me, under the table payments to players is pretty bad... but the lasting effects?  Some people with mismanaged money, some former players who live with the stink of being a part of such a stupid plan.  This?  This is a million times worse--the lasting effects on these kids involved include memory of sexual abuse and all that goes with it.

Penn State football should be, in the least, reprimanded beyond belief, and everyone on the football staff, unless its possible to prove they didn't know anything, in the last 12 - 14 years should be let go.  At worst, "the death penalty".  Yes, its unfair to those on the team who had nothing to do with any of this, its unfair to the students and fans that never knew anything about this until it all exploded over the fall of 2011, and its unfair to the entire Penn State family and community...

...but... Jerry Sandusky brought down the program.  And those in charge with him, including the winningest coach in Division I football, Joe Paterno.

And if that isn't "lack of institutional control", I don't know what is.

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