By David G. Firestone
I normally don’t swear in these articles, I try to keep it family friendly, but since I have to discuss this, I’m gonna drop a few, so be forewarned. I can’t believe that this actually happened, and I need to state my feelings on the subject.
On Friday, the NCAA announced that, in response to a lawsuit from Penn State, all 112 wins forfeited by Penn State due to the Jerry Sandusky fiasco would be reinstated. Furthermore, the $60 million fine levied against Penn State would be spent in Pennsylvania to be used to help sexually abused children. This follows a decision last year to reinstate scholarships and bowl games for Penn State. So instead of the original penalties which are
- Five years probation.
- A four-year postseason ban.
- Vacating of all wins from 1998 to 2011–112 wins in all. This had the effect of stripping the Nittany Lions of their shared Big Ten titles in 2005 and 2008. It also removed 111 wins from Paterno’s record, dropping him from first to 12th on the NCAA’s all-time wins list.
- A $60 million fine, the proceeds of which were to go toward an endowment for preventing child abuse. According to the NCAA, this was the equivalent of a typical year’s gross revenue from the football program.
- Loss of a total of 40 initial scholarships from 2013 to 2017. During the same period, Penn State is limited to 65 total scholarships—only two more than a Division I FCS (formerly I-AA) school is allowed.
- Penn State was required to adopt all recommendations for reform delineated in the Freeh report.
- Penn State must enter into an “athletics integrity agreement” with the NCAA and Big Ten, appoint a university-wide athletic compliance officer and compliance council, and accept an NCAA-appointed athletic integrity monitor for the duration of its probation.
now all the school is out is $73 million, which the school has the finances to weather.
I’d love to know what fucking reality the NCAA is living in where they can come out with a penalty for a Division 1, Big 10 football program that fits the crime perfectly, and would send a clear message to the rest of the NCAA as a whole that crimes like this wouldn’t be tolerated, and then in less than two years all but dismantle that penalty, and let the school get away with simply cutting a check. The NCAA has let down the victims, the fans, the schools, and itself. By reducing all of the football sanctions levied against Penn State, the NCAA has made it clear that if enough people get upset with a penalty, it will eventually be reversed or reduced. If I were in charge of the NCAA, I would be afraid to show my face in public for a few weeks.
It’s not like the Sandusky case was a misunderstanding. These cases date back to 1994. The investigation that took place revealed that there were 20 different incidents that took place. A number of incidents took place on Penn State campus, and there is conclusive evidence, both from the grand jury, and independent investigator Louis Freeh that Graham Spanier at that time University President, and athletic director Tim Curley were aware of what was going on, and not only did not report what was going on, but went out of their way to protect Sandusky, as he was critical to the football program. Mike McQueary walked in on Sandusky with a child in 2002, and reported it to the University. A meeting was held where Paterno, in his own notes commented that this might not be the only incident. though the meeting was held, nothing was done, and nothing was reported. Thus it’s clear that McQueary, Paterno, Spanier, and Curley, in addition to vice president Gary Schultz were aware of what was going on, but did not report it to authorities.
What makes this even worse is that while this was going on, Sandusky was allowed to use university facilities for his charity football program. It’s clear that Sandusky was clearly using the charity to attract children which he later abused as victims. This is all in the Freeh report. The Freeh report states that the reasons that these incidents were not reported was, in addition to a lack of knowledge about child abuse laws, which is no excuse, was that those involved were worried about bad publicity, in addition to protecting Sandusky. The university got him an office. They kept him on to keep this all quiet. They didn’t protect future victims from abuse, and yet somehow, the university was wronged by these sanctions?
How can you be a decent human being with morals, who knows right from wrong and not be repulsed by this? How can you defend a program which went out of its way to protect a pedophile, while helping victims get abused? How the fuck can anyone defend Penn State in this situation? Why the fuck would anyone defend Penn State in this situation? Anyone who wants to defend Penn State in this case in terms of harming the football program needs to realize that since 2002 Penn State officials knew he was doing this, and protected him to protect the football program.
What makes it even worse is that Penn State can’t even accept responsibility for what happened. Even Southern Methodist University accepted total acceptance of the death penalty, they knew what they had done was wrong. The difference is that SMU was doing things that many other universities were doing, namely paying football players to play football. Penn State allowed a pedophile to operate on campus, and protected him from legal prosecution in order to save the program. The bottom line here is that I agree with Keith Olbermann that Sandusky is Penn State Football, and Joe Paterno’s legacy. Not wins, or National Championships, or tradition, it’s Jerry Sandusky. Penn State football, Penn State students, and Penn State fans need to realize that.
These deals to “undo the damage of the sanctions” for lack of a better term haven’t done anyone any good. The NCAA caved in all ways to the demands of those who had the most to gain from the revocation of these sanctions. Penn State made it clear that they aren’t able to accept responsibility for what happened, and won’t accept it. College football loses because the NCAA has made it clear it will cave if the pressure to change sanctions is enough. If there is no reason to behave or follow the rules or laws because no penalties will be handed out, why would you? The NCAA took a big step backwards, and I really hope that they learn from this and make changes, but I don’t think this will ever happen. I am disgusted at the whole thing, and I will NEVER have respect for Penn State again for the rest of my life!