I admit to the brief moment of bloodlust when I heard the NCAA would be imposing sanctions on Penn State, despite this case having nothing to do with the NCAA’s laws regarding the line of pro and amateur athlete (apologies if you spit coffee through your nose laughing at the absurdity that the NCAA actually has a hand in that now). I mean, this was a criminal case, not a case of amateurism in question. This wasn’t the NCAA’s court.
I admit that I briefly felt what I preach never to feel: That we want someone else to go through what the NCAA put on us for no reason that could hold up in any court of law. I wanted someone who actually did something nefarious to experience a punishment worse than the baffling one given to us.
The truth is, I came off that high of wanting spilled blood and frayed blue and white scarves cut from the neck of Nittany Lions. I mean, let’s be real. Is there any worse feeling than saying you are a Nittany Lion right now? Nittany as a word is damned because so few outside of Happy Valley (worst name for a place that now is synonymous with child rape) know what it means. Now, like Happy Valley, it’s just a weird East Coast word that reminds us of innocent children being abused in football locker rooms. Dirty deeds in showers meant to wash away dirt. Nittany is now a dirty word.
So, massive scholarship reductions for four years, 60 million in cash (the approx. revenue of a college football season for any of you still thinking this isn’t a business), a four year bowl ban and over a decade of forfeited wins (don’t worry, USC kicked their ass both times they faced so we didn’t cost anyone anything). Players can transfer at will. Hell, the running back might be coming to USC where the showers are for showering. It’s a walking death penalty. Penn State, the college football equivalent of a zombie and equally as creepy.
I am conflicted in how I feel. There’s some things we need to separate.
There’s the criminal case and there’s the football situation.
From a criminal standpoint, the main call for justice was Batman’d and Jerry Sandusky is going to be in jail long after he’s dead. Also, if you’ve seen any movies about prison, being a rapist isn’t a good thing. Being a child rapist, even worse. Especially when you are with murderers at a lunch table. When you got someone looking to kill someone, that someone who raped children might be the someone that makes the most sense to whack.
There will be more criminal and civil investigation, heads will continue to roll and my sincerest hope is that this somehow gives the victims some modicum of peace, although I doubt any amount of money or justice can scrub your mind clean. We aren’t hard drives. There’s no delete button.
So let’s talk about the football program.
Do I think they NCAA got it right?
It’s complicated because they did although I don’t know how you think something is right coming from someone who by virtue of their very DNA cannot be right. When you enter into the NCAA’s jurisdiction, you basically agree they can do whatever they want whenever they want. Anyone who didn’t believe that does now after they nailed USC to the goalposts with 2 years of bowl bans, 30 schollies, free transfer rights despite the case being five years of soft evidence leveraged by Paul Dee, a man who probably died from guilt for condemning a program for needing high profile compliance when he was the Athletic Director of Miami.
Not to overblow things, but given the Nevin Shapiro hammer that will need to drop eventually, having Paul Dee preside over a compliance case is like having Sandusky preside over a kiddie porn trial. I am not using hyperbole. Nevin Shapiro paid for cocaine for players over a decade. He got them hookers. He even paid for an abortion for a player. Improper benefits if I have ever seen them. And this dude wasn’t a sports agent on the outside. This guy was a booster. He was on the field. He was this fucking guy:
Yep. The same guy who let a cocaine dealing, sex yacht chartering booster on the field for over a decade was the man leading the charge against USC leading to their sanctions. You can’t make this shit up. That’s why it’s hard to know how to feel about the NCAA hammering Penn State.
This is the NCAA.
We should be pissed anytime they judge anyone, even if Penn State was dirtier than a piece of pizza you find under your dorm couch (Paul Dee would have eaten it he is so corrupt, don’t ask me what Sandusky would have done with it and Paterno, well, he’d have looked the other way and ignored the pizza casually mentioning it to the maid who doesn’t speak English).
The Penn State football program needed to get hit hard, but it should have come from the school itself. It should have come the minute Sandusky was found guilty. They should have SHUT DOWN ALL ACTIVITIES for a year or two.
FOOTBALL was the reason no one stood up and followed through. If the women’s golf coach had raped little girls in the shower, does anyone think for a second they wouldn’t have strung that guy up in two minutes? Of course they would because when women’s golf gets shut down, you don’t lose 60 million dollars in revenue. It’s easy to make a stand until you realize you are cutting your own leg off.
And that’s why this got out of control. That’s why the truth was ignored, overlooked, assumed dealt with, you name it.
Now, the NCAA stepped in and there’s no precedent set for them putting play penalties based on criminal acts. I mean, think about it. Oregon QB Jeremiah Massoli robbed someone, but it didn’t end up in sanctions for Oregon (of course neither did paying for influence with recruits). The grandeur of these heinous PSU crimes is causing us all to freak out.
It’s actually the death penalty (the actual death penalty) argument. There’s a mistake in people who don’t understand why people are against killing a man who committed an unspeakable crime. Without getting into my own opinion, I understand intellectually the argument anti-death penalty people try to make. Sure, the rapist deserves to die, but should the government be in charge of doling out punishment? Does the government ever get it wrong? Has anyone ever been later released who was wrongfully incarcerated? That’s the argument. Not that someone shouldn’t die, but rather should a flawed system be doling it out?
I’m writing about football, my opinion on the previous point has nothing to do with how it applies here. Besides Second Mile and Penn State, tell me another organization involved in this more corrupt than the NCAA? I’m with Penn State being punished, but why by the NCAA? We shouldn’t be so impressed with them. I don’t trust them and them doing something to satisfy their fans feels like it is about business and preserving football, not reminding us that it is a game.
I get making them give back the money. That’s right. I get the ceremonial vacating of wins (doesn’t mean much), but I am sorry… The NCAA is doing it again. They are setting a precedent that makes no sense and will not tie into anything else. They are throwing darts and making it harder for schools to comply in the absence of governance anyone can understand.
If we want to look at it reasonably, if USC got what it got for a “culture of non compliance” and basically one player taking money from a 3rd party (not USC or related to USC), you’re saying what Penn State got equals dozens of counts of child rape and looking the other way? That’s the problem with this.
Reggie Bush takes money from a shady businessman and USC doesn’t know (or if you hate USC, let’s just go the distance and say they knew and ignored it). That was good for 2 years of bowl bans, vacated wins, transfer rights, reduced scholarships and so on. Let’s assume you think USC should have known, screwed the pooch and did everything they could to look the other way.
Are you telling me that serial child rape is only twice as bad? Are you saying that what Penn State looked the other way on was even in the same universe as what USC was told they “should have known about”? Not knew about and half-assed a report and then looked the other way. SHOULD have known.
Penn State should not be allowed to be a university if we are trying to go apples to apples. One of the punishments doesn’t fit the crime. If we decide that it is okay for the NCAA to decide to rule on criminal action when it wants to, are we saying we are okay with them giving out random punishments whenever it wants? Or not doing it at all (cough, cough Auburn)?
I’m not. I think either Penn State got off easy or the NCAA needs to show the same balls they had in condemning Penn State after JoePa died and condemn the USC witch hunt now that Paul Dee is dead. USC deserves and apology and since I know we aren’t getting one, I suggest we just take it in the form of winning all our games, locking up our #1 recruiting class and being glad that when sanctions are brought up, even if they look comparable on paper, ours are for not knowing about would-be agents as opposed to looking the other way about something insidious.
Unfortunately, with a governing body that has no process, there’s no chance there’s ever going to be equity in punishment or enforcement. The NCAA and Mark Emmert bowed to the public sentiment. Just like with USC. People felt it wasn’t fair USC had celebs on the sidelines and treated it like a game and they got hammered with no precedent. Penn State got the same thing.
But wait. Am I saying Penn State was a victim?
Everyone is a victim to the NCAA, so if everyone is a victim, in a way, no one is.
You should hate the NCAA for punishing Penn State. You should hate Penn State for not punishing themselves.
That’s the core message. Penn State got what it had coming, but it got it from the wrong people. The NCAA is the last entity you want stepping in and going rogue because as Trojans know, the next time it might not make sense. The next time, it might be bullshit. Penn State needed to learn that football should be second to many, many things in life, especially the welfare of children.
There are still PSU faithful that are missing the point. Ex players upset about the sanctions. Fans upset about Paterno’s legacy being tarnished. Hell, the Paterno family is on a quest to find a way to separate JoePa and the crimes he didn’t do everything in his power to stop. That is the problem. When you are the figurehead of a program, you should never look the other way with something like this. This wasn’t a 20 dollar handshake. This wasn’t a car or a new house for a parent. This was harboring a criminal of the worst kind.
Penn State Nation should be furious they thought taking the statue down was enough. They should be furious they didn’t beat the NCAA to the punch and knock themselves out like Ed Norton in Fight Club. The more they protest or try to preserve legacy, the more the quicksand holds them.
People knew the USC sanctions were bullshit. There’s truth in every lie. Were we too cavalier? Probably. Were we arrogant (hell yeah) about calling the NCAA’s bluff? You bet. They hammered us anyway.
The thing is here, we got to see two monsters. We got to see Penn State thinking they could have a vigil and say some nice words and then keep playing the game that was the reason they covered up the crimes. We also got to see the NCAA randomly jump in and make a ruling again. Even if the ruling was right, the judge was dead wrong.
The Bearfighter is back. It is soon to be August. The 2012 mission statement is almost ready. Are you?
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