Since the Freeh Report was dropped last week, there has been wide speculation about the future of the Penn State football program. On one side you have those who say this isn’t a football issue and the program should be allowed to move forward. While others feel that Jerry Sandusky used The Second Mile program as well as his status as a member of the Penn State coaching staff as a lure for young men.
There is more than enough evidence proving that Sandusky’s actions were covered up to protect the football program above all else. And for that, Penn State football deserves the NCAA imposed ”death penalty”.
Penn State’s child sexual abuse scandal is bigger than student athletes receiving kickbacks from boosters or ballplayers chillin’ in the pool of a known “fixer”.
SMU football and UNLV basketball programs have been the red-headed step-children of the NCAA for violations in their respective programs. Penn State football has set a new, unfortunate precedent that none of us want to see or hear of again.
It’s about lives being hopelessly changed at that hands of men that held more power than they deserved. A predators actions and identity were concealed behind the Blue and White while his victims were left exposed. Joe Paterno kept quiet for an entire weekend when told of Sandusky’s shower rape because he didn’t want to upset any one on the weekend of a home game. Graham Spanier deemed it “inhumane” to out Sandusky in public because of the stain that it would leave on the football program.
I’m afraid we’re only on the surface of this.
NCAA president Mark Emmert spoke last night on PBS’ “Tavis Smiley” about the situation for the first time.
“I’ve never seen anything as egregious as this in terms of just overall conduct and behavior inside a university and hope never to see it again,” Emmert said during the interview. “What the appropriate penalties are, if there are determinations of violations, we’ll have to decide.
“We’ll hold in abeyance all of those decisions until we’ve actually decided what we want to do with the actual charges should there be any. And I don’t want to take anything off the table.”
The NCAA has yet to hear anything from Penn State officials regarding the Freeh Report. Emmert continued that Sandusky’s actions are severe enough to have the football program shut down.
“This is completely different than an impermissible benefits scandal like happened at SMU, or anything else we’ve dealt with,” Emmert said. “This is as systemic a cultural problem as it is a football problem. There have been people that said this wasn’t a football scandal.
“Well it was more than a football scandal, much more than a football scandal. It was that but much more. And we’ll have to figure out exactly what the right penalties are. I don’t know that past precedent makes particularly good sense in this case, because it’s really an unprecedented problem.”
It isn’t fair to have the current players and coaching staff punished for this. But the sins of Jerry Sandusky and others including Joe Paterno have opened the door for the NCAA to finish what was started over 14 years ago.
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