But the punishment the NCAA handed down to Penn State was awesome.
They rolled into town like bosses and were like; “Wanna see a magic trick? All wins from 1998-2011 don’t exist anymore. They’ve disappeared. And your next four years of football? Just forget about those.”. Then the NCAA began to walk away, stopped, turned back around and said; “Oh, and also you’re being fined $60,000,000. Have a nice day.”
Anyone who tries to say these punishments are excessive needs to remember the football program deliberately hid child abuse for over 10 years.
People also need to remember that the NCAA is allowing Penn State players to transfer out without penalty or to stay at Penn State and keep their scholarships even if they don’t play. They’re not punishing the players, they’re punishing the program and giving the players an escape clause.
I have a lot of thought on this punishment but most them boil down to: WOO-HOO! GO NCAA! It’s a harsh penalty and some are complaining that the students and players don’t deserve it but the thing is, the reason this abuse was covered up was because it seemed like football was more important than the abuse of a bunch of children to way too many people in power. Sandusky may have been a sick dude who would have done what he did no matter what, but the people who covered up for him made a reasoned decision based on their own warped cost-benefit analysis. Judgements like this shift the balance and make it clear to anyone else that the cost of covering up a scandal is bigger than the cost of dealing with it. If they had just let the Nittany Lions keep their record, keep playing football, keep worshiping football to a degree that eclipses anything I ever saw in Texas (for real), then that says “yeah, this kind of thing, isn’t a big deal” and the next time some coach or administrator discovers something like this they think maybe they should just sweep it under the rug, they think about their record and reputation. This was harsh, but needed to happen.
I was thinking about this this morning. About how yes, this is harsh. It NEEDS to be, because it needs to send the message ‘we do not and will not condone child abuse. We value the lives and safety of children, and anyone who undermines that will be punished.’ It needs to be harsh so that, in the future, when someone is tempted to ignore abuse, they will report it instead, out of their own self interest. It means, if you think football and the reputation and achievement of your team is worth more than anything, then you are motivated by that to do the right thing, not the wrong thing.
We need more decisions and statements like this.