Monday, July 23, 2012

And so, sports fans, it all comes down to this...

Usually when you hear that phrase it means the final play of a closely-contested football game, in which this play will determine the victor. I most distinctly hear the loud nasal tones of the late Howard Cosell uttering it.


That is really, at it's core, what the Penn State cover-up was all about.


The scandal was two-fold; child molestation over a long period, and the attempt to hide that from the public.

Because of money. Money that would cease flowing into the university coffers from their sparkly-clean football program, and the other (preferably large) donations that seem to go hand-in-hand with a winning football program. Trying not to tarnish the reputation of a prestigious university was a part of that cover-up, but really it was all about money. And today's sanctions levied by the NCAA against Penn State bore that out.

 - a $60 million fine (approximately one year's gross revenue to the Penn State football program), to be used to set up a foundation to combat child molestation

- a four-year bowl ban (millions of dollars from the larger bowls now not available)

- a reduction of scholarships for the football program (fewer opportunities for the program to bring in elite players, thus preventing the team from competing as easily for those bowl dollars)

Non-financial penalties include the school vacating all football wins from 1998-2011, inclusive; be on probation for 5 years, and allow any incoming or current football player to transfer schools and play immediately at their new school, should they choose to do so.

The Big 10 conference commissioner also decreed that the school will not receive their share of the Big 10 bowl games revenue split for the next four seasons, and still reserves the right to boot the school out of the conference.


For that, the revered head football coach as well as several higher-ups in the university attempted to hide the fact that a former assistant football coach was raping and sodomizing young boys, on campus, and blatantly covered up their knowledge of these despicable acts.

There are many who believe the university should have been given the "death penalty", at least a one-year shutdown of the football program. I am of the opinion that the "death penalty" is justified because of the dreaded "lack of institutional control" the bigwigs showed, deferring to the wishes of their head coach to not reveal what was going on. Others argue that would be too harsh, since it would further impact all the innocent players, and all of the businesses that would suffer because a large portion of their business would be greatly affected by shutting down the football program. Not fair, they cry.

Again, money lies at the root of the problem.

Whenever an athletic program is penalized, it is usually the innocent players who are most affected, as their chance at further glory is diminished. Well, unfortunately, life is definitely not fair, and often the innocent are made to suffer for the actions of a few. And the actions of the university administrators showed they had no regard for anyone but themselves.

The university and its administrators are being or will be sued for damages, costing untold millions (or more); the reputations of the university, the administrators and the revered late head coach are forever shattered, and no amount of rehabilitation will succeed in making them whole.

Had the administrators and/or the football coach had the guts to stand up and say what was happening in 1998, they would have been praised for their openness and action (firing the person responsible), and who knows how many young boys would not have had their world torn apart in so vile a manner in the years since.

Why did they not do so?

Because of money, in the end. They cared more for the almighty football dollar for fourteen years than concerning themselves with stopping the commission of disgusting crimes by one of their own.

All because of money.

May they rot in hell, each and every one of them.

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