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Monday, July 23, 2012

A bigger question than Penn State

The college athletics league, the NCAA, has lowered the boom on Penn State University for its involvement in covering up child sex abuse by one of its athletic staffers. $60 million fine, forfeiting games that it won for many seasons, no bowl game eligibility, yada yada yada. Yes, Penn State is despicable, but why take it out on the athletes? And so now they'll have a crummier football team and a crummier school -- that's the punishment?

We agree with UO Matters, which asks: "[W]ho will fine the NCAA, the enforcers of the system that puts athletics before everything else in higher ed?"

Comments (22)

What the NCAA should do is donate the money to help victims of child abuse get the counseling they need. Otherwise it looks like the NCAA has used this scandal to get a nice fat payday, at the expense of children.

But the Nike checks will keep coming. THAT'S where the money is.

I read that the NCAA *is* dedicating the money to prevent and heal child abuse, that the money must come from the Penn State athletics program, and that no Penn State-associated program can be granted any of the child protection funds from the fine.

the money must come from the Penn State athletics program

That is a pretty meaningless concept. You can bet that it will be borne at least in part by non-athlete students and Pennsylvania taxpayers -- one way or another.

The NCAA lost a lot of credibility after guys like Carroll burn down USC and then nothing happens to him.

Heck, Calipari burnt down Memphis and UMass and Kentucky couldn't roll out the red carpet quick enough - Without penalty.

The NCAA said that the $60 million fine is to go to external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims of abuse. I'm not sure what kind of punishment would be more appropriate here...a large part of the problem, it seems to me, is that the football program was almost too big to be governed, and that having the football coach being the most powerful person on campus might not be a good idea. Hopefully other schools will take a look at this and re-think their own situations.

I agree with SEV. When the NCAA hit Southern Methodist University with its sudden-death probation in 1987, nothing really changed at SMU. The school, its students, and its administrators are all just as entitled and arrogant as they were a quarter-century ago. However, the probation did make SMU more circumspect about outside appearances. (This didn't work out as well as everyone thought, considering that most of our local news venues are now workfare programs for SMU's journalism department, so getting anything negative about the school in print is damn near impossible.)

And yes, I understand the concern that this is punishing football players who were otherwise blameless. One of my best friends from high school was on a football scholarship at SMU when the probation hit, so I have a dog in this hunt. However, my friend was one of the few who actually planned to use that scholarship for studies, instead of the usual "Pots For Jocks" graduation with no real major. What we're forgetting with all of the fussing is that nobody's asking of these students "And what reason do you have to go to school if you aren't getting there on a football scholarship?" You can say that of schools that legitimately emphasize academics over athletics. Can you say that here about Penn State?

The NCAA is donating the money to child abuse related causes?

Oh, never mind then.

Why do think it's the NCAA that equals 'the system' and not the schools themselves? Isn't the NCAA only part of the face of college sports?

If you want to fine someone, fine the commissioners or the leagues. Wouldn't that bring more change? Frankly, the idea of 'fining the NCAA' is just a knee jerk reaction, in my opinion.

They've also lost their share of bowl game revenues to the tune of ~13 million a year. That money will be donated to childrens programs instead.

Personally I would of loved to see some sanctions against administrators. Unfortunately I don't see what the NCAA could of done to them.

Whos gonna pay the fines (besides taxpayers) are the non-revenue generating sports at Penn State like tennis, golf, volleyball, softball etc..They are the ones who are gonna lose funding and will be lucky just to survive.

"[W]ho will fine the NCAA, the enforcers of the system that puts athletics before everything else in higher ed?"

Then take it up with the public, who has show time and time again to be much more interested in athletics than education.

THe NCAA also said current football players can transfer without sitting out for a year so they can just leave with no penalty.

What Chuck said. That first "A" in NCAA does stand for "athletic". They're not there to administer anything else. Do they do a lousy job of it? Yeah, pretty much. Brett Favre reaches decisions faster than the NCAA. It's ultimately the public that gives athletic programs the power that they have at colleges. They're also who can take it away. They could start by refusing to deify coaches and not allow coaches to dictate to ADs and Presidents.

I think this article nails it. The NCAA butting its head in here is nothing more than a sanctimonious pile-on for today's latest headline grabbing outrage. Let the courts hold the responsible parties accountable and leave the NCAA out of it.


[W]ho will fine the NCAA, the enforcers of the system that puts athletics before everything else in higher ed?

The same people who will fine Wall Street for the 2008-9 financial scandals, obviously.

No punishment will ever fit the crimes in this case, but the NCAA should have certainly imposed the "death penalty" for a couple of years. As sports journalist John Feinstein said today, Penn State got off too easy and will be stronger than ever when the bowl ban is lifted and new recruits will be promised more playing time - the theory being no good players will come to Penn State in the next few years. Not fair to the current players? So transfer.

From SI "
Penn State said it will pay the fine in five annual installments of $12 million but did not disclose where it will get the cash. The governor demanded assurances from Penn State that taxpayer money will not be used to pay the fine, while the NCAA insisted the university maintain spending on other sports and scholarships" Does not look like athletes in other sports at Penn State wil be hurt.

Where is the money going to come from? With the caliber of players they'll have, their athletics revenue isn't going to cover a $60 million hole.

" Does not look like athletes in other sports at Penn State wil be hurt".
Well if the governor and SI says it then it HAS TO BE TRUE right.....yeah, right

Apparently some of the officials at the school knew about their Sandusky problem and covered it up. Any chance of any of them going to jail? That might help solve this kind of a problem.

I sort of hope the money does come from PA taxpayers. Those folks -- and their unquestioning support of all things Penn State -- are a big part of the problem. The pictures of the students and graduates crying at the NCAA sanctions disgusted me. . . did they cry when they found out about the horrific abuse? Did they cry when they read the Freeh report? Did they cry when they realized their beloved Joe Pa assisted with the cover-up in order to prevent "harm" from coming to the football team?

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