When asked to think about college football scandals, one would typically conjure up images of players and coaches accepting cash, drug use, etc. Well those were the good ol’ days. Now collegiate football has been marred by what can only be described as one of the most heinous cover-ups in not just NCAA history, but perhaps our country’s history as a whole.
Don’t believe there was a cover-up to protect Sandusky and Penn State? Don’t believe that Joe Paterno and most of that staff knew what Jerry Sandusky was up to? Don’t believe that the university decided that the matter of child-rape was less important than protecting their football program? Feel free to read the Grand Jury findings here (if you can stomach it) and try to say that with a straight face.
It’s important to remember that the only reason that Sandusky’s 35-year tryst with torturing young boys was brought to light isn’t because of the actions taken by the university, but rather by actions taken by a parent of one of the victims; years after Mike McQueary, Paterno and the Penn State administration were aware of what was going on. In other words; if it wasn’t for a parent contacting police, it’s likely that Sandusky would still have his office on the Penn State campus while those that were aware of his actions continued to do nothing.
Trying to describe that as callousness is impossible, because it’s more than that. For Sandusky to remain a part of the Athletic Department for so long is more than just turning a blind eye, it is an implicit acceptance to a seedy, sordid, and downright malevolent status quo.
So where do we go from here? How should Penn State handle this fallout? The answer is that they shouldn’t. It’s clear that Penn State has neither the capacity nor the integrity to handle this matter internally. Rather, the NCAA must intervene immediately and for the second time in collegiate football history they should enact the “death penalty,” meaning that the football program is terminated for the period of one year and the entire coaching staff at Penn State is replaced.
Furthermore, the NCAA and Big-10 should strip any revenues received by Penn State football for the rest of this season and use the money to pay the families of the victims.
Think that sounds harsh? Then you obviously didn’t click the link to the Grand Jury report above. Here’s a second chance. But I warn you; your eyes will be opened.