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Sins of the Father

  • King, some observations on your incisive post.

    I think you are correct in your views as pertains to what I will call routine violations.

    These usually occur in an ongoing cat and mouse atmosphere, where the booster community -- either in collusion with athletic department personnel or not -- risks seeing how far it can go in breaking the rules to attract recruits. There are, of course, other violations regarding eligibility, practice, etc., but they also fall mainly within the everyday operations of college football as we know them.

    The Sandusky/Penn State scandal is, in contrast, a complete outlier event. The triggering crime had nothing DIRECTLY to do with the operations of the team, and none of the usual offenses, as far as we know, were responsible for INITIATING what occurred. Instead, there were crimes committed of a sexual nature and a subsequent cover up.

    My view is that, unless that NCAA is specifically empowered to act in cases of this kind of moral turpitude, there is no reason it should. Such a situation is outside the realm of offenses it generally sees; they are arguably above its pay grade; law enforcement is acting; the miscreants are gone; and punishing Penn State for some kind of pervasive insensitivity, even if such an attitude could be empiracally proven to exist, which I strongly doubt, would be a pretty overweaning and arbitrary move.

    Further, you may have noted that Ham and I have been arguing this point of collateral damage. But, in truth, if the NCAA were to step in, be they empowered or not, now that the persons responsible for this entire series of events have exited the scene, the only people who would be the recepients of any sanctions would be those WHO DID NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS. Namely, the players; uninvoled coaches, administration/university staff; student body; and alums.

    In other words, we are not even talking collateral damage here, as I initially characterized it, but ACTUAL PRIMARY TARGETS, given that the culprits are already toast or will be. Again, this smells to me like collective punishment, i.e. the bark of authority meant to scare people in a blunt way, rather than the selective application of justice.

    As for deterrence, there is no way the Sandusky's of this world can be deterred from much of anything before the fact. They tend to be psychopathic compulsives who can only be deterred once they have been outted. And by deterred, I mean jailed and/or monitored.

    If there is another Sandusky engaging right now in similar activities on some college campus, he is about as unlikely to control himself as a result of anything tne NCAA might do to Penn State as the triggerman in Colorado the other night would have been in the wake of some other mass shooter going to jail. That deterrence dog just won't hunt.

    Where your deterrence argument does carry water is in response to the coverup issue, as coaches and administrators are regularly tempted, I would imagine, to cross the line in respect of any number of actions that might cause their teams to either accrue advantage or keep from losing it. But, again, unless the NCAA has the power to rule in this matter, why should it given the reasons I cited in paragraph five, the one that begins with "My view . . ."

    I would argue, in furtherance of my view, that what has already occurred at Penn State has provided more than enough deterrence ammo to last a long time. Did the people involved in facilitating this cover up not get the rocket? And that is what is of primary importance to the people on the ground, viz. will they be booted out and might they go to jail? I mean, worrying about what happens to the program at that stage is pretty much an afterthought.

    Furthermore, if someone is stupid enough to run the kind of coverup Paterno ran -- and he really let himself get boxed in here -- he's going to do it anyway because, like Paterno, he is going to think that his vital interests -- as crasy as those may be -- are better served by doing so. It's often just bad judgement under pressure. Lee sent Pickett into withering fire at Gettysburg. He apparently saw the situation as desperate.

    Let me also say that any IMMUNIZATION, as opposed to mere deterrence, against a similar incident occurring as a result of the NCAA punishing the Penn State community will not happen, a fact which leads me to wonder if some just want the NCAA to be SEEN as having acted, so as to feel that a sanitizing finish has been put on these proceedings, while relieving the rest of us of any passive or residual guilt in this matter as a result of any similar failings we may be repressing.

    I am sure there are folks at SEC, PAC 10 and Big 12 schools, to mention just a few, who are as over-committed to their football programs as there are at Penn State. But copping an attitude is not the same as committing a crime. The distance between a thought and an act is often the measure of a person's psychological health, as precarious a proximity as that may seem. So, why would we go after these people? They didn't do anything.

    Punish those responsible and let everyone else live to die another day. It is possible to do that here and deal with tomorrow, tomorrow. The world may just not come to an end if Penn State is allowed to keep playing football. And I don't thnk we will be any morally the pooer either.

    Well, now I've really done it. I will now have to deal not only with Ham and TX, but you probably as well. Fair enough. Sometimes you just need to get it all out. Play as well as you can, then, as Miles Davis used to say, "go further."

  • I don't know about you guys, but in my not so eloquent terms, if they seemed genuinely sorry about all of this then I think the majority of people who want severe punishment ( mainly me ) would call off the hounds.

    Not once have I seen anything that resembles true guilt or remorse. Instead they are fighting with one another trying to place blame and arguing ove a damn statue. Saying they would decide on it as " It's a Penn State thing "
    That statement has to be one of the most insulting and enraging statements throughout this ordeal. How dare they utter those words. It's also a Penn State thing to place football above the welfare of defenseless children and enable their rape for over a decade.

    Another statement made was " We have already donated 2.4 million to child abuse awareness efforts." Like that is supposed to be enough to make amends? Not even close, add a zero to that and that's a start. Throughout this whole thing all of these things are things done by the trustees. Don't get me started on students, players , alumni and fans. It is still in their culture to skirt the blame and try to place it on others. One players statements about the statue is " If it comes down it's on." Really? You're going to threaten? I mean for crying out loud they rioted because Paterno was fired. And it turns out it was 13 years too late.

    They need a dose of reality in Happy Valley and quickly. I believe the institution in need of the biggest example and lesson is PSU. Because according to them there is still a " Penn State thing." And that is what got us into this mess in first place. So in short, cut the lights and shut it down.

    This post was edited by 19BlueAndGold85 21 months ago

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