Monday, July 23, 2012

A quick thought on the NCAA sanctions against Penn State

Well done.

While the penalties the NCAA imposed on Penn State this morning may seem harsh to some - $60 million in fines to be put toward external programs to prevent child abuse and/or help child abuse victims, 4-year postseason ban, a reduction in scholarships, 5 years probation, and 13 years of won games erased from Joe Paterno's record and the schools record - I'm relieved to see that someone, that some organization, realizes it should never be "football first." And not just talking about football - that no college sports program should take priority over the college itself, or in the case of Penn State, over the welfare of a child. Kids go to college to get an education. Colleges are institutions of higher learning. For some people, sports are their ticket in. For some schools, sports programs, but especially football programs, are their way of helping pay for improvements or additions to the school to assist their students in furthering their education. But when the school becomes ancillary to the sports program, when the coach becomes so popular and powerful that he answers to no one, when the heads of the education part of the institution defer to others in decisions and don't stand up for their students or for the integrity of the institution, then there is something really twisted and really wrong. And when innocent children become the victims because of that twisted culture, when they have nobody to stand up for them, then there's something really, REALLY wrong. Jerry Sandusky was a monster. Joe Paterno was not a monster but he placed football above all else that he allowed a monster to survive - the same can be said for all in Penn State's administration who allowed him to survive. Sometimes athletic programs that are money makers for a school think they are above the school. Sometimes the athletes themselves think that, sometimes it's the coaches, sometimes it's the school itself. So good on the NCAA for stepping in with sanctions harsh enough that other schools will have a "think about it first" attitude before letting something like this happen again. And as a side note, also good on the NCAA for doing what it can to help out all of the Penn State athletes in the football program who will be affected by these sanctions - they were part of the program but not part of the problem, and it's the program and school that's being punished, so good for the NCAA for trying to minimize the amount of the punishment that will affect those players.

And that's all I have to say about that.


  1. Hey Mary Ellen,

    This is exactly how I feel. I followed this story very closely from the get go and it's been hard to tell what the end results would be. Is it cool if I reblog/tweet this?

    1. Jen, absolutely feel free to reblog or tweet this - and thanks for reading!