On Thursday, July 12th, the Freeh Report of the Penn State university 14-year sexual molestation scandal was released. I have not even had a chance to digest it and I've already seen lots of clamor for a "Death Penalty" for the football program.
I'm not the only one.
“The blogosphere is alive with calls for a death penalty,” said Bob Dvorchak, co-author of the book “Game Over: Jerry Sandusky, Penn State and the Culture of Silence. For Penn State and the football program, I think there will be sanctions, and the basis of that will be lack of institutional control.”
The "Death Penalty" would mean that Penn State's football team would be shut down by the NCAA for at least a year. In a word: ridiculous. As Dvorchak said, this is about "institutional control", not strictly about a football team.
Pulling the team out of play for a year or more is tantamount to punishing a child when it was a parent who erred. The ones who'd suffer the most in that scenario would be the players who couldn't play, would have to transfer and possibly sit for a year, or, if special considerations were to be made for transferring players, would have to battle for a position they'd already had locked up at their current school.
There wasn't one player in any way involved in the scandal, but people want to give Penn State the Death Penalty? Purely asinine!
Like Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said: "This is bigger than football and it would be irresponsible to punish one aspect of the university. It should be a broad-stroke punishment."
What's the best way to do that? Money and scholarships. Not just from football, either, but from all aspects of the university. This was a cover-up from day one and should be approached as any other scandal of this nature, because Spanier, Curley, Shultz and even Paterno all "concealed critical facts." - http://t.co/3l0QnFcT
The aforementioned Kaboly agrees with me on this: "How to punish PSU as a whole? MONEY. And that starts with cutting state funds in some way for period of time."
No matter what was thought of a particular individual or how lauded he or she is/was, it can never excuse the deliberate endangerment of innocents, especially children.
Anyone, by the way, who would present the argument that the USC football and Michigan basketball programs were hit hard by the NCAA and that it was subsequent players who suffered needs to remember something: there was actual player involvement in those cases. Players, boosters and coaches were in cahoots to win at all costs. It cost them alright. The punishments there, though, fit the crime. It absolutely would not be the same in this case.
Penn State as a whole needs to be punished for this. This was a disgusting, reprehensible and malicious ongoing crime against multiple youths. Like was said in the movie The Untouchables, "Somebody steals from me, I'm gonna say you stole. Not talk to him for spitting on the sidewalk. Understand?"
In this case, the entire university shares in the culpability of stealing the innocence from these young men. They should all share, therefore, in the punishment, and have the football team's players punished for something in which they had no part.
TIDBITS: There was a report published by Sport Illustrated in 2009 that said 78% of NFL players are bankrupt or facing serious financial stress within two years of ending their playing careers.
It seems Larry Foote is getting a jump on that.
Pro Football Talk Thursday reported that Larry Foote was the victim of fraud. - http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/12/foote-says-hes-a-victim-of-six-figure-fraud/
I won't linger too long on this, but I'll simply say that I hope he wasn't just stupid or ignorant about some shady deal and that one of his handlers mishandled an investment. Because, before I part with any significant amount of cash, please know that I will have done a THOROUGH investigation of where my money was going.
Granted, most NFL players are multi-millionaires and can’t just put $10 million in the cookie jar or under a mattress. They have to invest. Some guys evidently invest badly.
Hopefully he is able to rectify this and learn from his lesson so that he'll be of that other 22%.