“Death” to Penn State Football

On New Year’s Eve, John Infante of the NCAA wrote a blog about “consistency” in the NCAA.  Originally, I came to the NCAA site looking for some type of rule book that would give me an idea of what type of punishment or penalty Penn State could face for the actions of their former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky.  The first bolded statement in this article, “The most important consistency is consistency with the rules” which makes me wonder…does the NCAA have rules  that are even remotely close to addressing the actions of Jerry Sandusky and his relationship with Penn State? For the record, the whole premise of this piece is based upon the outcome that Jerry Sandusky is guilty of the disgusting acts he is currently accused of.

The acts of this pedophile, a child rapist, goes deeper then the football program.  Tim Curley, the Penn State athletic director was notified of Sandusky’s actions by Mike McQueary (the former graduate student, now an assistant coach who is in charge of the receivers and is a recruiting coordinator) and sure enough, over a week later, McQueary had a meeting with Curley and the Vice President of Finance and Business, Gary Schultz about what McQueary saw.  Now, why the VP of Finance was brought into meeting is beyond me; but what I find interesting is the result of this meeting.  Was there an investigation into Sandusky’s accused actions? The information in the Grand Jury report would infer there was some type of investigation or meeting. Sandusky’s keys to the locker room were taken from him and the fact that the graduate assistant saw, what appeared to be anal sex on a ten year old, was reported to the charity foundation that Sandusky founded.  Do the police need to get involved? Psh, no way.  It’s perfectly normal and acceptable to have a man in his sixties hold up a pre-teen boy’s hands against the wall…in a shower…where the sound of skin slapping is so loud that it can be heard from outside of the locker room.

I’ve always believed that to have the allowance of an action, one must be accepting of it on one level or another.  You might not like it, but if you don’t do ANYTHING about the action then you’re either accepting that you cannot change said action, or you’re accepting the action.  Tim Curley and Gary Schultz did nothing to stop the alleged actions of Jerry Sandusky.  In situations of child rape, I think it’s fair to say that it’s pretty black and white.  Either you’re trying to stop it or you’re allowing it.  That’s it.  That makes me wonder about how Joe Paterno was involved in the whole situation.  Jackie MacMullen of ESPN said on Around The Horn that Paterno didn’t ask McQueary or Sandusky about the accusations because he didn’t know about the specific details.  That’s all good, Paterno, you covered your ass legally and everyone knows you’re a puppet of a coach for a program that can, arguably, be labeled as average over the past decade.  Part of being a man is making tough decisions.  Is it easy to ask a person you have known for over thirty years, “Jerry, is it true that you are showering with ten year old boys?”  No, no it is not, but it has to be done.  I know I would do it, hell, I’m required to do it as I’m a state licensed teacher, but my moral compass would force me to do this.  I know the friends and family I have linked to this story would do the same.  I would expect them to, just like the majority of people in the United States probably expected Joe Paterno to ask that difficult and potentially relationship breaking question.

Give me a moment to step off my morality soap box…it’s pretty big…

Now, in regards to the “Sandusky allegations,” the NCAA must do something.  This goes beyond buying student athletes to your program (Auburn, Oregon, USC) and sexual harassment (Colorado), and goes into the land of felonies that are so vial, so disgusting, that people like Sandusky are viewed as the scum of the Earth in every federal penitentiary.  If you’re wondering what happens to rapists and child molesters in prison just google this question, “What happens to child molesters and rapists in prison?”  It is a fact that the Penn State athletic director knew about Jerry Sandusky’s actions.  It is a fact that a high ranking PSU administrator knew of the actions of Jerry Sandusky.  Joe Paterno knew of a problem, some type of problem with his former coaching teammate, and did the bare minimum in regards to covering his program.  That worked out quite well for Jim Tressel, but some would argue the real “meat” of the punishment came to Tressel after he was caught in a lie.  Man, if what happens to Ohio State and Tressel is because of breaking NCAA rules and lying to them…what could happen when a program is convicted of lying to the Grand Jury?

If Jerry Sandusky is found guilty of these accusations, it means that both the athletic director and high ranking officials at Penn State were working together to cover up a felonious crime.  It will mean that representatives of Penn State have lied to the Grand Jury.  It will infer that a legendary head coach played dumb on purpose.

One of the “core values” of the NCAA is, “The highest levels of integrity and sportsmanship.”  The molesting of children, and finding evidence of a cover up of said act, is a direct violation of all levels of integrity.  I’m an optimist, I would like to think that the NCAA would punish a school that would allow such actions.

A good friend of mine, a fellow blogger, told me that, “If it’s not in the NCAA’s rules, then the punishment is probably going to be pretty soft.”   Another, “we cannot punish the school for the action of a handful of individuals” kind of situation.  Sadly, he’s probably right.

Just in case you’re looking for a copy of the grand jury report…click here. I will give you warning though, there is some pretty graphic stuff in here.

Posted by Lester Zook.


Filed under Articles, Off-topic

5 responses to ““Death” to Penn State Football

  1. Good write up, Zook. I personally feel that this was mishandled so badly that Penn State should not be allowed to field a football program of any kind for several years. Allow current players to transfer without sitting out, and tell the soccer and lacrosse teams that they now have a 100,000 seat stadium devoted to their sports. Not only were the actions of Sandusky disgusting and morally irreprehensible, but the actions of EVERY Penn State official made aware of the situation show that the priorities of the university are more than a little misplaced. Take football away, replace everyone who had knowledge of the situation and did nothing, and allow the university to review what an institution of higher learning should be about.

  2. Garrett

    Posted this on FB too – but I still disagree with giving Penn State the death penalty. The whole rootings of giving SMU the death penalty was to punish them for profiting off of illegally recruiting.

    I can’t imagine it being fair at all to a group of players & fans to give the program the death penalty for something that has nothing to do with the on-the-field product.

    I agree that the situation is FAR removed from illegal recruitings at OSU, Miami, USC, etc. Therefore, the appropriate punishment will be the punishment handed to individuals by the courts. The reaction to something this horrible shouldn’t be to just throw the death penalty at it.

    • Lester Zook

      That’s a fair assessment, Garrett. What do you think should happen to Penn State? The big reason I believe the NCAA should get involved in the matter is due to the involvement of their athletic director, head coach, and receivers coach/recruiting coordinator.

      • Garrett

        Joe Paterno will have his legacy tarnished forever, and will likely lose his job – and never coach again. In all likelihood, a majority of the coaches will also be fired, as will school administrators. Sandusky will go to jail for the rest of his life.

        I don’t know that levying punishment on the remaining people, the fans and players left after this mess, would make any sort of sense. The NCAA doesn’t need to punish them for the actions of others, and the ringleaders of this are going to face far stiffer punishments than anything the NCAA could ever give them.

  3. ackypoo

    this whole thing is disgusting and these people should all be castrated and have things that are way too large shoved up their assholes for the rest of their remaining days.