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NCAA Smacks Penn State: Mom Talk

Thank you, NCAA, for reminding us that football does not come first.

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.

Let’s hope.

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.

Freeh’s synopsis is available here. The full report is here.

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.

Brad July 26, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Were rules boken? Maybe yes maybe no. But they did have a "lack of institutional control.". Because of the the NCAA is well within their right to punish them, if they don't like it I suppose they can just leave the NCAA, LOL. Another point is that the 60 mill is a drop in the bucket, the creepy PSU cultists will donate and dontate a lot! As for the health of the program 4 years from know, too bad, so sad, next time they will not allow their coach to cover up child rape for at least 14 years(probably knew about for longer.). A punishment is supposed to be severe, from now on it might be good for them to focus on education instead of deifying a coach and turning him into a false idol.
Paul L. July 26, 2012 at 01:33 PM
PSU and the community should be ashamed of themselves and you're making them out to be the victims here and not the kids. Seriously....
Cindy Jacobson July 29, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Great article, Erin. Very well written. I completely agree.
John Roberts August 06, 2012 at 02:56 PM
All of them should be in prison,the one who committed this crime and the ones who covered it up. any citizen that covered ump this crime would be in prison no matter who you are,we're or think you are. These people are looked at like they are so important and they are not they are not gods they are idiots and scumbags that if it were the 1800 they would of been hung in the town square or lynched by a mob...like some of the company owners today.Most would of been tried and convicted for the deception practiced today but people became sentimental idiots and now wanna sit and talk about the problem and discuss how it might of been prevented....Drag these sorry a$$es out in the street and hang em...like we did to establish our laws in the first place.
John Roberts August 06, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Does this fine take anything back? Does it make it better? No it only tells the other schools ya better cover it up more....a fine..what a joke...and people will accept it...I would ask for all trophies and melt them down and destroy all banners of games played by this school.

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