In the wake of the guilty verdict of Jerry Sandusky child molestation hearing, the NCAA is expected to announce harsh penalties on Penn State and their football program as early as Monday.
While I have been very critical of the program and university for allowing Sandusky to terrorize young boys on Penn State’s own facilities, what else does the NCAA want to do that hasn’t been done?
Much like an ambulance chaser or Al Sharpton or Jessie Jackson, the NCAA wants to get their stink on the tragedy that the university and the entire state of Pennsylvania so desperately wants to begin to heal.
Multiple media outlets are reporting that the NCAA is expected to announce harsh and even “unprecedented” penalties, due to lack of institutional control during Joe Paterno’s legendary (and now infamous) coaching career, but look at what has already been done in less than a year that the Sandusky scandal was finally brought into the public eye less than a year ago.
- Paterno is dead. Unfortunately, he died before he could see his own legend collapse , the legend that he determined was worth more than the innocence of so many young boys that were terrorized by Sandusky.
- Sunday, Penn State president Rodney Erickson determined that Paterno’s famous statue in front of Beaver Stadium was taken down.
- Former Penn State president Graham Spanier and former athletic director Tim Curley are no longer in their positions at the school and are currently facing jail time for perjury and crimes committed by allowing the scandal to reach the heights it did.
- The entire Penn State football coaching staff has been removed, and new head coach Bill O’Brien has brought a new staff that, unlike the last one, has done nothing wrong and has not harbored any pedophiles.
After all the changes have been made, along with the harsh (and fair) public critcism of Penn State and Paterno’s football program, why does the NCAA feel they need to do any more? Who is left to punish?
The significant loss of scholarships and the loss of bowl games to the university is going to punish the players, new coaches and students who had absolutely nothing to do with Paterno and other former Penn State officials’ lack of judgement.
Instead, the NCAA is going to punish the very people that have joined together to help heal the damage that Sandusky, Paterno and other former admistrator caused.
Unfortunately for Penn State, this is an opportune time for the NCAA to flex their muscles in the public eye and pat themselves on the back for maintaining the status quo in a sport that makes a lot of people, including the NCAA, billions of dollars.
The sad part is that NCAA gladly benefited financially from Penn State football when Paterno was at the helm. All the bowl games, all the jersey sales and all of the video games that used Penn State and NCAA logos have sent a stream of revenue to the NCAA offices.
While the NCAA obviously used the vast majority of those funds to aid other sports programs across all divisions and all sports, salaries were paid, too. In a recent article in USA Today, it was reported that current NCAA president Mark Emmert rakes in $1.6 million per year for his position, and they’re not generating that cash from a 50/50 raffle. It comes from the revenues from sports, the vast majority of which is football.
By intervening now and hammering an already crippled Penn State program that has shown the world that they are taking every step possible to move on and heal from this tragedy, the NCAA is only going to slow down the progress of all of the good and dedicated people who want to restore Penn State to everything it can be.
photo courtesy of USA Today