Off-Topic: The Penn State Penalty

In this October 3, 2004, founder of the Second Mile Organization and former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky talks at the closing ceremony to celebrate Penn State's 150th birthday (Getty Images)

The big news in sports today has nothing to do with baseball, major or minor league, but rather the penalties imposed on Penn State University by the NCAA. Apparently, the powers-that-be in college sports take a dim view of an athletic department and college administration being run by enablers of child rape.


The penalties:

**Four-year bowl ban
**Drastic reduction in scholarships, only 15 new ones per year for the next four years
**Any Penn State football scholarship player can transfer to another school immediately, waiving the normal one-year waiting period
**Any Penn State football scholarship player can leave the football team but retain his academic scholarship at Penn State
**All wins from 1998 through 2011 are vacated, expunged from the history books
**The University of must pay $60,000,000 to charities dealing with abused children

The complete "death penalty" was apparently considered, but they went with this instead in an attempt to preserve the program in some form and avoid harming too many innocent people connected with the program who had nothing to do with the child rape coverup.

So what do you think, guys? My opinion is below the fold, but take the poll question first. Is this enough?

My opinions: I think institutions that protect child rapists (and that's exactly what was going on here, Paterno and his goons choose to protect the university over helping the rape victims and stopping Sandusky's atrocities) should be destroyed. The angry side of me would have loved to see a permanent ban on the entire football program.

Now, that said, the rational side of me sees the bigger picture. Destroying the program completely would hurt a huge number of people who had nothing to do with the abuses. I have never approved of the concept of collective punishment.

On the other hand, the worship of football in the town and the figure of Paterno in particular set the stage for this sort of cover-up. There was something gravely dysfunctional here, something wrong with the university culture that enable a snake like Sandusky to get away with his crimes for years.

In a case like this, the rot went so deep that something drastic had to be done, if nothing more than to warn other universities not to participate in such coverups. Perhaps the example will also pull some programs back from erecting a Cult of Personality around coaches as well. I live in a town that worships basketball and the Kansas Jayhawks, so I know how this sort of tribalism works.

Are the penalties drastic enough? I don't know. Emotionally speaking, it isn't for me.

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