Did The Punishment Fit The Crime?
That’s the big question since the NCAA came down with its punishment on Penn State University following the investigation about the scandal and cover-up of the sexual molestation of over 40 children over the years. By now the details of this terrible story can be found on most news sites so I will not rehash the details here. I wanted to share some overall thoughts on the issue and point out why this punishment will never fit the crime.
Regardless of the amount of the fine against Penn State, the loss of scholarships, and banned from post-season play for the next four years, is that really enough to repair the lives, scarred memories, and broken psyches of the young boys who were raped by a monster that used the football program and activities to feed his sickness? No it is not. You can’t fix those lives that are broken. One can only hope they have moved on as best as they can.
No one wins with this decision. A lot of good athletes who work hard and live honorable lives will be punished for something they did not do, nor even about until we all learned of it. Many students and families will have to disrupt their lives and education as they change schools. Even the non-athletes at Penn State lose. Imagine four years of hard work and you graduate. You know that every interviewer for their first job will see Penn State on the resume and the first thing they will think about is how kids were molested and how a so-called man of integrity enabled a monster and did nothing about it. How embarrassing.
What Paterno let happen was evil. His name is forever soiled. I am not sure if the public will ever see him as anything but the enabler of a dirty old man. Just to protect a football program?
I love football. However, suddenly football didn’t seem to matter. My guess is that a lot of people turned a blind eye over the years. If Penn State never recovers so be it. I hope their student athletes all transfer today. Their university betrayed them and their costly investment to go there. In fact, if I were a student I would want my money back.