Monday, July 23, 2012

Not As Much As Football

I know it's time for my Monday Must Haves, but shit has gone down today that takes precedents. Here's a widget of stuff I like and think you should like too:

Now on to more pressing matters. We've all heard about the Penn State/Sandusky story, right? Jerry Sandusky molested and raped little boys through his Second Mile program and the university sat by and let these children be harmed. Very disgusting, very sad, they should all rot in jail. Sandusky has been convicted, other's have been fired, JoPa is dead...people are getting what they deserve. Today however, the NCAA handed down unprecedented punishments to the school.

Over the course of the next five years, Penn State will be on probation, are not allowed to go to any bowl games over the next four years, will lose 10 scholarships initially plus 10 more, and must pay $60 million in fines, the amount of revenue brought in by one football season. The money is to support "external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims and may not be used to fund such programs at the university" (NCAA). On top of all of that, all wins from 1998 to 2011 were vacated, taking JoPa from 409 wins (#1 on the list) to 298 wins (#12). Current and incoming players are allowed to move to any program of their choosing without penalty, and one incoming recruit has already chosen to do so. I suspect that more will make the move before the week is done.

The Paterno family released this statement regarding the sanctions:

The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator without any input from our family or those who knew him best. That the president, the athletic director and the board of trustees accepted this unprecedented action by the NCAA without requiring a full due process hearing before the Committee on Infractions is an abdication of their responsibilities.

Bitter much? You're father/husband knew children were being harmed and didn't do a damn thing to stop it, so I'm pretty sure he defamed himself. I'm not a Penn State fan (HOOK 'EM) and I could care less about the legacy of JoPa. Remove his statue from the campus, take his name off of any wall or building or record, pretend it never happened all you want, but he cemented his own legacy when he made the choice to not go to the authorities regarding Sandusky. He, along with university officials, put football above everything else and this is the end result.

Here's where I get wishy-washy. What about the athletes and students who will now suffer because of this? Those players didn't do anything wrong. They didn't lie for a pedophile. They earned those scholarships and wins. I think Adam Taliaferro, former Penn State player who suffered a spinal cord injury in a 200 game, said it best when he tweeted:

NCAA says games didn't exist. I got the metal plate in my neck to prove it did..I almost died playing 4 PSU..punishment or healing?!? #WeAre

Vacating wins doesn't change the real outcome. It doesn't change that children were hurt either. What healing does that bring to the victims? 

USC had similar sanctions placed on them (minus the 60 million dollars) for players taking money and such from boosters. What exactly is the NCAA saying by doing the same to Penn State? Taking money from boosters is equal to covering up molesting kids? I'm still not quite sure why the NCAA has a say in any of this in the first place. CRIMINAL CHARGES should be filed on those involved before anyone thinks about sanctions. The NCAA will be appointing an athletic monitor to make sure the university stays in compliance with all sanctions. The DA should appoint a special investigator to make sure all of those responsible get locked the fuck up. 

I guess I just don't understand why a collegiate athletic governing body thinks they have the right to dictate what happens to people who had nothing to do with this. Aren't they supposed to be there to ensure players are treated fairly and look out for their well-being? 20 athletes who have earned a full-ride scholarship can't get a college education now. Revenue brought in by football will be lost and students could face higher tuition costs. The school is already preparing to shell out tens of millions of dollars in the soon to happen civil lawsuits as it is. While what happened is morally and ethically repugnant, it's also criminal and should be treated as such. It's easy to say that the students and players could go somewhere else for school, or that they're just collateral damage. I read one comment that said "That's what you get for going to a school that likes to rape kids"...seriously. But the whole school is not responsible for what happened and the whole school should not be punished. 

The actions of the NCAA are self-serving and pompous. "Look at how tough our new president can be everyone! We really showed them!" All they've really done is place punishment over fixing the problem. This athletic culture (which funds the NCAA!) hasn't gone anywhere, they'll just simply not get caught next time. Especially when child molestation and actual athletic violations get lumped into the same category.

I'll be discussing the Colorado theater shooting on Wednesday, Friday just seemed too soon, thus the reason for no blog.


Shannon {ava_caitlyn} said...

I am on the similar path with religion. So many people talk a great game but don't practice when the doors are closed. Great blog, I love your stance on this!

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