Tag Archives: Football

The NFL’s Existential Crisis Just Got Worse

The fall of football and the NFL may slowly be in motion, and its further decline may have just been witnessed in the pages of the New York Times. Specifically, I am talking about a study published yesterday in the … Continue reading

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Putting Wins Over Universal Values

Putting Wins Over Universal Values

When corruption and coverups go deep, the punishment must go deeper. Yesterday, the NCAA handed Penn State unprecedented sanctions for the university’s coverup of the crime committed by convicted sex-abuser Jerry Sandusky. The sanctions include a $60 million dollar fine, a postseason ban for four years, reduction in football scholarships, and vacating all the team’s wins since the 1998 season. The football program was lucky it was not given the death penalty (banning the entire program from competing), as this coverup totally warranted it. The sanctions may seem harsh, but I will not complain. The NCAA did not make the wrong decision or the right decision — they made the necessary decision. They had to show the culture of corruption in college athletics had reached its breaking point and that Penn State had to pay for letting evil destroy the lives of too many young men. The scandal transcended previous college sports scandals that involved impermissible benefits such as giving players cars and tattoos, but those scandals pale in comparison to the debacle at Penn State. The Penn State scandal involved a massive coverup from the coaching staff to the university’s top administrators of child molester. The coverup allowed Sandusky to go abusing young boys for years after it was first alleged in 1998. It sickens me know that the school administrators had a golden chance to turn Jerry Sandusky into the police 14 years ago, but failed to act leading to the torment of more children. The football program’s reputation obviously would have taken a hit if the administration forced Sandusky to turn himself in to the police. But the team’s reputation should have been secondary to protecting children from a known and active sex criminal. In the grand scheme of things, wins and success mean nothing when the most despicable of crimes are being committed by a man who was supposed to trusted.

I remember last year, before the scandal broke out, how much I admired Joe Paterno. He represented everything good about college football and held up the values we hold dear; integrity, leadership, and doing the right thing, regardless of the pain it will cause the team. That now is all but gone and faded into the farthest reached of my memory. A man I and everyone grew to trust turns out to be a fraud, with only reputation holding importance over the value of honesty. Paterno cemented himself as just another heroic figure to fall from grace. As current student of a Big Ten university, I am ashamed at how the scandal unfolded. The entire university is to blame, and the football team will now feel the brunt of the NCAA’s wrath of the university’s inability to tell the truth. When Penn State comes to play at my school’s stadium I will refuse to attend and give my money, even partially, to a university and a football program that placed wins and fame over ethics and protecting the innocent youth. Sports are supposed to be vehicles of celebrating the human spirit and of social change, not excuses to take a pass on doing what is right.

Shame on Penn State.

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