Has Penn State been punished enough?

The NCAA handed down what some of the media is calling some pretty severe punishments for the football hierarchy looking the other way while a serial child sex abuser ran roughshod through the childhoods of…well, we don’t know how many children he hurt, do we?

The NCAA, as punishment:

  • Fined the school $60 million.
  • Imposed a four-year postseason ban on Penn State football.
  • Erased former coach Joe Paterno’s wins from 1998 to 2011.

This in addition to the school voluntarily removing a statue of Paterno, who died in January.

Was that enough? Nothing gives those young men their childhoods back, and, save for the fine, the punishment seems centered on the football program. The attitude that allowed Jerry Sandusky to rape little boys is something that went beyond the football program, and I wish for people who worry about Paterno’s legacy that this goes far, far beyond that, as well.

Of course, not everyone agrees that this was too light a punishment. Perhaps we can agree on this: The whole thing makes us queasy, and the best way to avoid that sick feeling in your stomach is to report to the proper authorities — and follow up on those reports — if you see or suspect child abuse.

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  1. Good interview on All Things Considered last night, with Robert Siegel interviewing NCAA President Mark Emmert. From the ATC page:

    “The school, Emmert said, had allowed its athletic culture to go “horribly awry.” And without naming former head coach Joe Paterno, Emmert said the school had allowed one person to become too powerful.

    “….All Things Considered host Robert Siegel asked Emmert why — if the NCAA didn’t want to impose the death penalty because that would punish too many people, including players, who had nothing to do with Sandusky’s crimes or any coverup of them — it is denying current players the chance to go to bowl games?

    “That sanction is “certainly meant to have a punitive impact on the institution,” Emmert said, not the players. And the message it should send, he added, is that “for the next four or five years, Penn State, don’t worry about going to the Rose Bowl; worry about getting your culture right.” ”

    And he emphasized the fact that academics are more important than sports on the college/university level.

  2. I don’t think the NCAA was left with many options. Considering the conclusions of the Freeh Report, I think Penn State is fortunate the football program survived, although it could be a very long time before it gets close to the prominence it once held.

    If the goal is to “make clear that the culture, actions and inactions that allowed [tragic and tragically unnecessary circumstances] will not be tolerated in collegiate athletics,” then I think these NCAA sanctions are an important first step.

    I think the Suburban Guerilla had a good take on the subject along with some motherly advice:

    As to the tearful Penn State students seen crying as the news was announced, I would like to offer some motherly advice: Don’t pick your college on the basis of its sports teams.

  3. No, I don’t think they have been punished enough. The NCAA should drop them for the next 5 or so years. Zero tolerance.

  4. Hmmmmm. The NCAA imposed penalties on Penn State for condoning and/or covering up pedophilia.

    I wonder… Is there an NCAA for churches? Just asking.

    1. It’s all about “religious freedom” Dick, religious are free to do as they please.

      1. Thanks, Rick. Now I get it.

        And if they are not allowed to impose their own beliefs on others, that is a violation of their religious freedom, too. Right?

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