|EDITOR’S CORNER: Sex abuse not target in NCAA decision|
|Written by Tawni Ricketts, Daily Vidette Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 24 July 2012 16:43|
Edmund Burke once said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
The Penn State Board of Trustees and the late former football coach Joe Paterno did just that as they swept allegations of child sexual abuse by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky under the rug. And the NCAA followed in the footsteps of that path when laying out the so-called "consequences."
As most of you know, just last month Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse. This month, JoePa’s legacy and the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees also reap the consequences of the sickening and heart-rending charges.
Or do they?
Charged with a $60 million fine, a four-year football postseason ban, eradication of all wins dating back to 1998, and the removal of 20 scholarships each year for four years, Penn State is feeling the blow.
Here’s the problem with the Penn State consequences: they’re aimed at Penn State.
The University as a whole should not be punished for these crimes. Penn State encompasses a student body of nearly 100,000 students, and a faculty and staff of nearly 17,780 full-time employees — a vast majority of which had no knowledge of the heinous child abuse crimes.
By implementing these consequences, the NCAA is punishing innocent people throughout the University community.
Although the $60 million fine, which according to ESPN will be paid to "external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims," is only about the average yearly revenue of the Penn State football program, the University will undoubtedly try to make up for that loss elsewhere. It wouldn’t surprise me if current and future students see rising tuition costs and fees over the next couple of years.
As for the postseason bans for the football program over the next four years — that’s harsh, and there’s no doubt that Penn State won’t feel the financial blows, as well as the popularity blows.
Chances are, aspiring football players will now look past Penn State, current players won’t have much of a goal to work toward, and fans won’t have a whole lot to look forward to after the regular season. Again, the vast majority of people affected here are innocent members of the university community.
But what I find most baffling is how the NCAA possibly thinks that it can eradicate all Penn State wins dating back to 1998. News flash: You can’t change history!
The NCAA might be able to remove pendants from offices and delete numbers on a computer screen, but it can’t delete the players and coaches that contributed to those wins. The idea is asinine.
Former Penn State football player Adam Taliaferro, who played during the years of Paterno’s reign and suffered a spinal cord injury in a 2000 game, tweeted the following response to the punishment on Twitter:
"NCAA says games didn’t exist. I got the metal plate in my neck to prove it did ... I almost died playing 4 PSU … "
It seems like all the NCAA is worried about is taking Penn State back to times before JoePa’s reign over the football program in an attempt to restore its image, which is not only impossible, but it’s focusing on the wrong thing while punishing blameless former players and members of the coaching staff in the meantime.
It seems as though throughout the turmoil this scandal has created, people have lost sight of what really matters here — preventing future child sex abuse. Taking away the late JoePa’s victories and his title as the winningest coach may hurt his legacy, but it will do nothing for that cause.
Concealing a crime is a criminal action; therefore the people responsible for sweeping Sandusky’s initial allegations under the rug should be treated as such. The solution is simple: fire the Penn State Board of Trustees and punish them criminally. Stop trying to restore Penn State’s reputation, and start battling the real crime — child sex abuse.