Paterno’s statue and legacy taken down
Sometimes it takes a monstrous act to create a monster.
That is exactly what has happened at Penn State.
The NCAA has levied it’s punishment against the college for it’s role in the scandal surrounding Jerry Sandusky. $60 million in fines, a four-year postseason ban, loss of 20 scholarships per year (for four seasons), the allowing of immediate transfers of current players and the vacation of all wins since 1998.
The crime was heinous, but is the punishment just?
I. for one, don’t think so. Not even close.
My main issue is with the unprecedented power this gives to NCAA president Mark Emmert. This single act elevates Emmert to the level of Roger Goodell of the NFL. The NCAA did not conduct it’s own investigation. The fines will go to victims of abuse (a plenty just cause). That being said, they represent a year’s worth of revenue for the program and the proceeds go to a private organization. This is a precedent that shouldn’t be set. Other organizations should not be involved in NCAA policy.
Also, the bans from postseason play is detrimental to players that had nothing to do with the scandal. I believe that the people responsible need to be punished. I don’t think these sanctions do this. They are effectively a death sentence to Penn State football.
As far as Paterno goes, in the way the scandal may have tarnished his legacy in people’s minds, this will do the same officially. The vacated wins will take him from 409 wins to 298, moving him from first to 12th on the all-time list. I don’t believe this is in anyway fair. Those wins happened on the field, and should be left on the field. Taking them away also takes something away from every player that had a hand in earning them. This is the biggest travesty. They did nothing but play football, now they don’t even get the credit they deserve. Same goes for Paterno. Think what you want of JoePa off-the field, on the field he did nothing wrong. On the field, he is a legend.
The legendary coach’s statue was taken down on Penn State’s campus yesterday. For what? Will it make the victim’s whole? Or will it leave the current students, alumni and fans of the university feeling even more empty? It may be another generation before they feel whole again.
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