The Edmond Sun

Opinion

July 23, 2012

The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown, Pa.: NCAA sends a stern message

Johnstown, Pa — In administering what was termed both punitive and corrective action, the National Collegiate Athletic Association on Monday correctly slammed Penn State University, through its football program, for “reckless and callous disregard of children.”

We commend the NCAA for its swift and appropriate response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Its action comes one month after Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts related to child sexual assault, and revelations of an independent investigation that several top university officials were aware of Sandusky’s actions but did nothing to stop them. Those officials include former president Graham Spanier and the late coach Joe Paterno.

And if the NCAA’s actions weren’t enough, the Big Ten Conference on Monday doled out its own list of sanctions.

While Penn State avoided the NCAA’s “death penalty,” which would have banned the football program from any competition for at least a season, one could argue that the penalties were in fact much harsher.

Included were:

• A $60 million fine, which is equivalent to the average gross annual revenue of the football program. These funds must be paid into an endowment for external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims and may not be used to fund such programs at the university.

• A four-year football postseason ban and five years’ probation.

• Vacation of all wins from 1998 through 2011.

• Loss of 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period.

• All returning and incoming Penn State football players can transfer and begin play at another school immediately.

Make no mistake, those penalties and sanctions could devastate for the long-term one of the nation’s most revered and lucrative football programs, while also seriously affecting the school’s entire athletic program, which provides opportunities for more than 800 student athletes.

The Big Ten fined the university $13 million and banned it from competing in the football conference championship game for four years. Its top officials also discussed a television ban of games, and even went so far as to discusss expelling Penn State from the conference.

While many Penn State athletes and fans were shocked and angered by Monday’s announcements, university officials apparently weren’t.

President Rodney Erickson said the university accepts the sanctions imposed by the NCAA, calling the action a part of the school’s process of moving forward.

Football coach Bill O’Brien expressed a commitment to stay.

“I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long-term to Penn State and our student athletes.”

Those responses by Erickson and O’Brien hopefully will go a long way to calming Nittany Nation, which continues to face pending and forthcoming lawsuits and perhaps even action by the Corbett administration.

Unfortunately, many people — Paterno and football fans particularly — still don’t get it.

On Sunday, while the famous statue of Paterno was being removed from his familiar spot outside the stadium, a woman screamed about the cowardice of president Erickson for having it moved to another location. There also were the yelps of “We are ... Penn State.”

They should instead have been mourning the fate of those afflicted by Sandusky and the inaction of Penn State officials who knew.

In announcing the NCAA’s actions, association president Mark Emmert said that the goal was to inspire a cultural change at the university that embraced “hero worship and winning at all costs.”

Hopefully, it also will send a much-needed message to major colleges and universities across the nation that their missions first and foremost are to educate young people, and not to produce professional athletes.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • RedBlueAmerica: What should the U.S. do about illegal immigrant children?

    The crisis along the southern U.S. border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.
    President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in borrowed money from taxpayers to cover the growing “care, feeding and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups” when our own veterans are not taken care of. Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.

    July 17, 2014

  • VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities

    The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes?

    July 16, 2014

  • For better politics, it’s time for some raging moderates

    Like more than 20 percent of my fellow Californians, I am now classified as a no-party-preference voter, registered to vote but with no affiliation to any of the state’s political parties.
    I am for lower taxes and for marriage equality. I am tough on crime and I am anti-abortion. I believe that a pathway to citizenship is a necessary part of immigration reform and that student test scores should be a critical component of teacher evaluations.

    July 15, 2014

  • Father on mission to stop gun violence

    Since his son died six weeks ago as collateral damage to a troubled young man’s wish for vengeance, Richard Martinez has been asked whom he holds responsible.
    “I’m responsible,” the California lawyer answers, referring to most Americans’ failure to push harder to change gun laws after earlier mass shootings. “All those kids died and none of us did anything.”

    July 14, 2014

Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results