With the release of the Freeh Report on the Penn State scandal and how far the cover-up went, NCAA President Mark Emmert is forced to consider giving Penn State the Death Penalty.
For those who don’t know, the Death Penalty is when a school is forced to stop all football operations for a full calendar year. It has been given out by the NCAA only five times and only once to a Division-I football team, Southern Methodist University in 1987.
While the things that went on at Penn State are horrible, unbelievable acts, giving the school’s current football team the Death Penalty would be punishing those who had nothing to do with Sandusky and the cover-up.
Granted it would be punishing the University as a whole for what happened, but what would punishing the new staff trying to correct this egregious mistake help do?
Consider this: when Paterno and university president Graham Spainer first learned of the allegations against Sandusky, in 1998, Christian Hackenberg, the number one quarterback in the Class of ’13 and a Penn State commitment, would have been three-years old. Does he deserve the Death Penalty for what Spainer and Paterno, men he will have no contact with during his time at Penn State, did to hide Sandusky’s crimes?
New head coach Bill O’Brien was working at Georgia Tech at the time as their running backs coach, should he be denied his first chance as a head coach because of the Death Penalty? Should he have to go from the Offensive Coordinator with the Patriots in 2011 to trying to field a team after the punishments have been lifted in 2013?
This isn’t suppose to be some plea that ‘Penn State is being punished unfairly’ because it is not anywhere close to that. Penn State University should go bankrupt trying to pay out civil damages to all of Sandusky’s victims. Had Joe Paterno not passed away I believe he should be in jail, along with Spainer, AD Tim Curley and Spainer’s VP Gary Schultz.
In the Freeh Report, Spainer decided turning Sandusky in wouldn’t be the ‘humane thing to do.’ Fine, if you believe that garbage you think and can still sleep at night, fine. But at least they got him off the Penn State campus right? Wrong, Sandusky was allowed to stay, but Spainer drove home every other meaningless NCAA bylaw while the biggest crime of all happened. Dan Wetzel described the ‘major’ infractions that Spainer decided to stop, including the buying of a suit by an agent for a player to attend an award show.
This entire scandal goes to show what happens when one man becomes bigger than the university that employs him. Hopefully every school in the country can learn from this and may despicable acts such as these never occur on a college campus by a man who uses his power to prey on innocent children.
I pray it never does, but if something as repulsive as this ever happens again hopefully the people in charge will act to stop the monster roaming their campus, because that will truly be the ‘humane thing to do.’