Like many Penn State faithful I have tried to distance myself from the Jerry Sandusky trial as mush as possible, but now that their have been cries for Penn State football to receive the NCAA death penalty, claims that I believe are ludicrous. To ask the NCAA to involve themselves in a matter that has nothing to do with actual football would be to ask them to stretch far from their jurisdiction. This scandal has rocked State College and the nation to its core with the way it was reveal and, even more disheartening, the way various Penn State administrators swept the actions of this monster under the rug. Matt Hinton of CBSSports.com agrees that sometimes their are bigger issues than football that have to be taken into account.
Which is not to say that Penn State’s response doesn’t matter. Of course it does, and both the university and football program have paid for their negligence so far with the terminations of the longtime university president, athletic director and head football coach, the angry backlash from alumni and the public ransacking of their reputations. Two former officials, AD Tim Curley and vice president for business and finance Gary Schultz, still face felony charges for failing to follow up on an eyewitness account of Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in a locker room shower. The young assistant coach who reported that incident, Mike McQueary, has been placed on leave and will be extremely fortunate to coach football again. The rest of Paterno’s insular, long-serving staff has been scattered to the wind.
Another reckoning awaits with the publication of the results of an independent investigation into the university’s response by former FBI chief Louis Freeh. Many individuals have been and will continue to be held accountable in myriad ways for the negligence and ethical lapses that helped perpetuate so much human suffering.
But those lapses had nothing whatsoever to do with gaining an unfair advantage in football or complying with NCAA bylaws; the latter is so far afield that conflating it with actual justice almost threatens to diminish the severity of the former. The NCAA has more than enough on its plate to worry about how to go about toppling the last remaining pillar in a demolished mansion. Sometimes – not often, but occasionally – football is just beside the point.
For the rest of Hinton’s article click here
Many members of the media have expressed that ending the football program will bring some kind of closure to this trial and it simply won’t. This is not a situation that is a quick fix. This is going to sting for a long time and we have to rub some dirt in the wound and let it heal. Jerry Sandusky is now behind bars for what looks like the rest of his life and the victims are more than brave for testifying against him, but that will not make this go away. Penn State deserves a lot of things, and they will come to those involved, but ceasing the football program is not one of them.