There are a lot of thoughts swirling around about Penn State’s monumental punishment at the hands of the NCAA for the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the school’s cover-up.
It almost breaks down into two camps:
1) People associated with Penn State
2) Everybody else
In Tuesday morning’s USA Today Sports section, they list a variety of Tweets from the PSU community – all of them shocked or defiant about the punishment, which included significant fines, postseason bans and loss of scholarships.
The Paterno family has lashed out against the NCAA, as well.
But here’s how I, totally non-related to PSU, see it.
Good job, NCAA.
You made a stand that and took aggressive action against a heinous situation.
Some have said the NCAA has now gone down a slippery slope of punishing schools for criminal acts and without NCAA-sanctioned investigations.
Here’s the thing: I have no problem with the NCAA selectively and punitively punishing schools that harbor and aid a child molester! NONE. ZERO.
And the NCAA didn’t “tarnish” Paterno’s legacy – JoePa did that all by himself.
The hard part here is that, just a few months ago, Paterno was everything that was RIGHT about sports. He was perceived as a humanitarian – as the recently removed statue stated,
However…when new information comes to light, it is fair to change your opinion, especially when that information changes your entire perspective on him. (For example, think about how your opinion of OJ Simpson has changed over the past 25 years.)
When the Penn State community can take a step back and see how the global perception of their icon has forever changed, perhaps they will sing a different tune.
And, honestly, I think the NCAA could have gone further with the punishments. Everything here went against the football program, but the failings are much bigger than one sport. In my opinion, a school-wide ban on sports for any length of time would have been reasonable.
Some have talked about how the NCAA is “just” a sports organization, designed to crown champions and ensure fair competition. However, it is also a membership organization – and it has the right to determine who is and isn’t a member,
In that case, Penn State, you got off very, very light.