Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nittany Lyin'

As a Pennsylvania native who grew up a Penn State football fan, whose family taught at Penn State, and who had friends and family in State College, PA, this sudden outpouring of disgraceful news at Penn State in light of the Sandusky trial has truly put an end to any positive memories I had of that time and place in my childhood.  The fact that seemingly everybody at Penn State knew, and chose to do nothing, about Jerry Sandusky while he essentially set up a rape factory at Penn State has caused me to do a complete 180 on Penn State sports.  However, this is not only a Penn State issue.  The Sandusky fiasco is truly another example of how college sports are systemically corrupt and wield way too much influence over higher learning.

Let me start by saying that it is shocking that Penn State is taking so long to decide on what to do in response to the Sandusky trial and the Freeh report.  In my opinion, they should not wait for an NCAA investigation, they should blow up the entire football program immediately.  The administration needs to do whatever it takes to disassociate themselves from this football program that completely overshadowed every other authority at Penn State.  Destroy it all (starting with any building Sandusky ever came into contact with a child) and focus on academics for the foreseeable future.  When the time is right, rebuild the program and set guidelines in place that never allow any sports program to overpower the university.

Furthermore, Penn State is only a microcosm of the NCAA at large.  While their may not be molestation going on anywhere else, there are certainly larger than life athletic coaches and players whom university administrations are covering up for based on athletic success and money brought in.  The NCAA was set up to foster amateur competition between college STUDENTS and has somehow spun off into something more powerful than colleges themselves.  Instead of figuring out how to punish Penn State, the NCAA commissioner ought to take a look at the steps that the NCAA has taken that led this tragedy to happen in the first place, and let Penn State punish themselves (for once).

I don't think there is any way that Penn State football kicking off in the Fall is going to provide any relief for the entire Sandusky era.  Forget about football.  Let the players transfer, and focus on letting the academic community take a front seat again.  Moreover, if this incident doesn't show once and for all that the NCAA needs to be checked in its power, then I don't think anything ever will.  

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