Cheers to the NCAA for kneecapping Penn State for covering up the atrocities of Jerry Sandusky. Finally, collegiate football says education comes first.
“Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people,” NCAA President Mark Emmett said.
Too many schools have lost sight of what matters: the education and formation of young people. Yes, athletics is a part of that. However, the almighty dollar has trumped math and science.
Football programs in Big Ten universities rake in the dough, directly through the sport, and indirectly through alumni contributions because of the sport. The $60 million NCAA penalty is a hiccup.
Football’s popularity breeds school athletic departments that are 32-deep in every position on the football roster, sucking up all the scholarships, while other sports—and yes, I’m gonna go there—especially the women's teams, get the spare change, the pocket lint.
Football is important. Sports are important. Excelling as a team is important. Nothing, absolutely nothing is more important than protecting our children.
Louis Freeh’s independent investigation included 430 interviews and 3.5 million emails and other documents. It shows that the university’s “pyramid of power,” specifically Spanier, Schultz, Curley and even Paterno, not only did not report, but also continually covered up allegations as early as 1998.
Further, Paterno said he did not report Mike McQueary’s allegations because he did not “want to interfere” with people’s weekend, the report said.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and conveniences, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy,” said Dr. Martin Luther King. “The time is always right to do what is right.”
You failed us, Joe Pa. We trusted you and you let us down. I’m sorry your legacy is not going to have its day in court. That’s unfortunate. As you said yourself, you should have done more. Indeed.
One of Freeh’s major criticisms of the university board was it rubber stamped Spanier and the pyramid of power. Let’s learn this lesson in our own homes. As parents, we need to ask the questions of our leaders and coaches. It is OK to trust. We should also verify.
Thank you NCAA for reminding us of that.