It is wonderful to live in an age where you can turn on the television at any hour and find out the most recent news on a multitude of stations. However, with that much programming time that must be filled comes the inevitable gaps in real news and the tendency to let a big story take over. This is exactly what we have seen with the Aurora shooter story. Do you find it necessary to analyze and over-analyze every aspect of this horrific crime? Does the constant storyline all over television serve to motivate people who want celebrity status to commit other heinous crimes?

By now, most are aware of ABC News’ Brian Ross recklessly trying to link the shooting to the Tea Party, as Feinstein discussed yesterday and Jon Stewart just obliterated. However, it appears that ABC News also took the shooter’s mother entirely out of context to paint a specific narrative for creating “news”. Do you trust the “news” or is this only another reminder that the media exists for one purpose: To make money.

Finally, the NCAA went outside of its normal review process to expedite the penalties placed upon Penn State which include a $60 million fine and the loss of 40 new scholarships over the next four years, which will decimate the football program. There is logic behind hammering the football program due to the lack of university control, which the NCAA commonly punishes member schools for. However, was it right to fine the school $60 million, which, as a state school, is effectively fining the citizens of Pennsylvania $60 million over the actions (or inaction) of a few people?

Comments

  • Edgar

    In regards to the 24-7 news cycle. You’re probably well aware by now that I s imply don’t trust Fox News at all. It might surprise you to find out that I have equal parts animosity for liberal cable news organizations as well, CNN and MSNBC. I think the 24-7 news cycle is pressuring these so called news organizations to come out with the story first, and this is why they are favoring speed over accuracy.
    Another famous example of sloppy reporting is the infamous headline CNN ran saying the ACA was overturned by SCOTUS. While CNN ran their headline I was anxiously watching the New York Times website for news on the ruling. The New York Times took a little linger than CNN to publish their report, and when they did they said, most of the healthcare law stands, we’re doing more analysis on the ruling before we report further. The New York Times wasn’t first, but they were accurate, and that’s what I care about.

    • Raúl Ramírez

      Accuracy? This was perhaps a first for the New York Times.

      • Edgar Harris

        Say what you will about the New York Times, but they have a well deserved reputation when it comes to reporting accurate information. Do they lean liberal? Yes they do, but they clearly put a lot of effort into making sure their reporting is accurate.

  • Edgar

    In regards to the 24-7 news cycle. You’re probably well aware by now that I s imply don’t trust Fox News at all. It might surprise you to find out that I have equal parts animosity for liberal cable news organizations as well, CNN and MSNBC. I think the 24-7 news cycle is pressuring these so called news organizations to come out with the story first, and this is why they are favoring speed over accuracy.
    Another famous example of sloppy reporting is the infamous headline CNN ran saying the ACA was overturned by SCOTUS. While CNN ran their headline I was anxiously watching the New York Times website for news on the ruling. The New York Times took a little linger than CNN to publish their report, and when they did they said, most of the healthcare law stands, we’re doing more analysis on the ruling before we report further. The New York Times wasn’t first, but they were accurate, and that’s what I care about.

    • Raúl Ramírez

      Accuracy? This was perhaps a first for the New York Times.

      • Edgar Harris

        Say what you will about the New York Times, but they have a well deserved reputation when it comes to reporting accurate information. Do they lean liberal? Yes they do, but they clearly put a lot of effort into making sure their reporting is accurate.

  • David Kaiser, Editor

    In regards to your Penn State question Scott, you may not be entirely aware of the higher education set up here in the Keystone State. Penn State, like my employer Temple University, as well as the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University are actually classified as “state-related” universities. Basically, only some of the funding of these four schools comes from the state budget. In the case of Penn State, less than 10% of its operating budget comes from state appropriations.

    Pennsylvania does have a state system, they are 14 primarily liberal arts and teaching colleges, all of which complete in Division II for athletics. They average about 8600 students per school.

    With a $4.3 billion annual budget and their endowment recently reported at over $1.8 billion, Penn State has the financial ability to pay the fine. Penn State president Rodney Erickson has made public assurances that the fine will not be paid using any state or tuition dollars. $60 million represents one year of television and conference bowl game revenues for the Penn State football program.

    So, no, I don’t view this as a fine to the tax payers of Pennsylvania. And while the severity of the sanctions placed by the NCAA will almost certainly ensure that Penn State football will not be relevant for at least six or seven years, I still personally believe that no punishment is equal to the years of suffering, treatment and recovery that the victims of Jerry Sandusky will endure.

    • Stephen C.

      As a fellow Pennsylvanian, and a life-long Penn State fan, I am okay with most of the NCAA’s punishment – the fees, payments, and bowl ban – but I do not see any rationalle to the vacating of wins.  First, as in the case with USC, for example, wins have only previously been vacated when the players participating in those wins were themselves receiving improper benefits or inducements to play.  I don’t see how you can say that any of the players in the space of those fourteen years was in any way benefiting in a way that affected their on-field performance.  Second, people seem to be forgetting that it was Sandusky who committed the crimes, not Paterno, and that JoPa did in fact report the incident to the police and university in 1998.  Was he supposed to overstep the police and university officials in taking action against things that he had never personally seen? And third, they went FAR outside the standard NCAA protocol to hand down this judgement.  Why are they so desperate to avoid due process?  Whether the judgement was handed down last week, next month, or next year, it wouldn’t have altered the admittedly horrific past.

      I don’t mean to minimize or trivialize any of the crimes that Sandusky committed, and I hope that he both rots in a jail cell, and burns in Hell for his assaults of those children, but the vacating of wins is a punishment against players that had absolutely nothing to do with Sandusky’s crimes.  Why punish the players and alumni?

      Personally, I think the events of the past year have shown the true colors of the PSU regents and the NCAA.  Much as they may have spoken on camera about their love and admiration for Paterno, they never really respected him.  The Regents in particular tried to toss him several previous times just for having a bad season or two, and looked apallingly gleeful when they announced his firing last year.  To vacate a full quarter of the man’s career, and the often-inspiring efforts of literally hundreds upon hundreds of players seems a slap in the face that goes far beyond any warranted penalties. 

      • David Kaiser, Editor

        Stephen, just wanted to respond:

        First, Joe Paterno was the single most powerful person on that campus. While he may have reported the incident, some of the things the Freeh report attempted to get at is that Paterno could have, and should have, done far more to resolve this situation. He knew enough, and even admitted after the story broke and he was fired that he did not do enough.

        I hear you in terms of the NCAA’s sanctions, they having nothing in their bylaws that cover this type of problem, but honestly, there has been nothing like this in college sports. Despite the efforts of some Penn State loyalists to claim this has nothing to do with football, it absolutely does. The stature of Paterno and the culture surrounding the reputation of the football program is what drove the decision to cover-up what Sandusky did. How much Paterno was involved in this cover-up can certainly be debated, but the reason for the cover-up cannot – they wanted to protect the Penn State football brand.

        That said, the NCAA’s executive board voted to give Emmert the power to levy these sanctions. The NCAA’s board is comprised of the presidents of universities, and there are even some reports that Penn State was told of the upcoming sanctions and accepted them, which reinforces that they knew they screwed up in a major fashion.

        The point in punishing the football program so severely is to show all schools that if you allow your athletics programs to drive how things are done, it can lead to calamity. There is no way that the NCAA could sit there and let Penn State off for such an institutionalized effort to hide the story of a man who raped children.

        The vacating of the wins was specifically designed as a punitive measure against the legacy of Joe Paterno. The NCAA could not have someone with such a tarnished reputation as their all time wins leader. The athletes who played on those teams know they won on the field. They still have trophies on their mantle. Those who went on to the next level are still getting paid a lot of money to play a game. There is really no tangible impact, other than changes in record books.

        Joe Paterno did a lot of good things in his life and impacted a great many people in a positive way. His defenders try to deflect this as one mistake in a great man’s career. That mistake enable a vile person to claim more victims, more innocent children suffered. Sorry, that’s not a small mistake.

        • Anonymous

          I could not agree more. 

          For those that are outraged at the fines, sanctions, and removal of Joe-Pa’s statue, I have a solution. Do as Penn state did. Turn your heads and pretend it did not happen. Pretend the records hold, pretend you have a real football program, pretend the insanity that engulfed the entire hierarchy at Penn State did nothing wrong and acted appropriately. If Penn State was willing and able to turn their heads and pretend child rape was not occurring than you can turn your heads and pretend the sanctions don’t exist.

          The response from the Paterno family was appalling. “The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach…” Uhhh… No ….! That is what they were designed to do!!!

          Kaiser is dead on! This is about the football program and the power it wielded. This is about an entire University culture that existed for the sole purpose of winning football games. Penn State was willing to overlook the most brutal crimes and even assisted in facilitating more crimes as opposed to doing anything that might tarnish their treasured jewel and glorious leader, Penn State football and Joe Paterno.

          Every Penn State athlete and student, all sports programs and organizations, should be given a free agency pass to accept offers from any University interested in their services and should not face being red shirted for their defections.

          Any NCAA sanctions less than shutting the doors, renaming the institution, establishing new colors and a new mascot should be viewed as a gift by Penn State.

          • Anonymous

            Everyone is acting like things of this nature don’t happen on a daily basis on campuses across the country.  Where are the sanctions on everyone higher up then JoePa?  They are the ones that covered this up just as it is covered up at every University and College.  Campus police do not report to the local Police Department, they report to the University.. and that is where it is dropped.

            Penn State just got caught.  This won’t change a thing in the long run.

            BTW: That statue will probably be put back up within a few years.

            • Stephen C.

              TLaMana is sadly right, about it going on at other campuses. While I sincerely hope that there aren’t the same crimes going on at every school, I do know crimes go on far too often, and far too often the powers that be turn a blind eye. I still wonder why the president and regents at the University of Michigan haven’t been jailed for willigly and willfully allowing “Hash Bash” every year on the fiat thru central campus…the one day each year that I was grateful to have an isolated, windowless office. Worse yet, I’ve even seen members of both campus and city police not only tolerating the “event,” but participating themselves. The crimes committed on each campus vary, but they should all be punished to the fullest extent of the law. If not, then why have campus police to begin with? They have to serve a better purpose than fugitive parking tickets if you go one minute over the meter….trust me, it happens.

              Further, I think it bears noting that contrary to some of the comments above, winning at football is not and was not the sole focus at Penn State, just as it isn’t at Michigan, USC or OSU, nor is winning at basketball the sole focus at Duke, or UNC. The vast majority of the student body does not play on the sports teams, especially at the schools with substantial numbers of graduate students, like those listed above. They are there for academics. The caliber of the medical and law schools alone at these institutions, and the competitiveness of other academic programs, should make that clear. When I myself went to Michigan, it was for academics only. I didn’t even go to more than a handful of games, of any sport, in my five years there.

              I think that the ones who should be paying the fines are those directly responsible for what happened, or who knowingly and willfully stopped the investigations from proceeding. That wasn’t the athletes, especially the non-football athletes, and it certainly wasn’t the non-athletes. There must be a way to punish the guilty without punishing those who were truly innocent or ignorant of any wrongdoing. What the NCAA has done, and even moreso what some above posters have recommended, would punish the innocent, purely as guilt by association…and a very loose association at that.

              • Stephen C.

                Slight correction from autocorrect… The “diag” thru campus, not “fiat”

              • Stephen C.

                Ughhhh…. I hate autocorrect… Don’t know how “purely” got autocorrected to “fugitive.”

              • David Kaiser, Editor

                 Stupid auto-correct!

              • David Kaiser, Editor

                Stephen, I agree that punishing innocents is not ideal, which is why I believe the NCAA took the approach it did, rather then the “death penalty” was to avoid collateral damage.

                If you shut down the program for a year or two, you are hurting businesses in Happy Valley that make a ton of money on the six Saturdays every fall that State College becomes the third largest city in Pennsylvania.

                The primary damage done by these sanctions are to the football program, and this was done because the football program was the creature that enabled this entire sordid mess.

                It is unfortunate that some innocents will be impacted by this, but the NCAA could not sit on its hands and let this go unpunished. It simply was not an option for them. As previously stated, the current Penn State administration accepted these sanctions, and the vast majority of Penn State people I know are sad, but agree that the punishment was necessary.

              • Anonymous


                The primary damage done by these sanctions are to the football program, and this was done because the football program was the creature that enabled this entire sordid mess.”

                I disagree, the Regents and University President enabled this sordid mess.  Otherwise, the first time this was reported, they would have brought justice to the victims. 

              • Anonymous

                You disagree? Did you do your own independent investigation? The Freeh Report clearly states otherwise.

                The fact is they did not act when it was reported. That is why Penn State has been hammered the way they have. Did you not follow any of this while it was happening in real time?

                There will be other cases brought in the matter. 

                Please read the following article and then read the report itself. Get back with me if you still believe that others did not enable this sordid mess.

                http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/07/12/penn-state-freeh-report-sandusky-paterno.ap/index.html

                The fact is they did not act which is why Penn has been hit so hard.

              • Anonymous

                I’m saying it’s not entirely the football programs fault since it was reported, and ignored.  

              • Anonymous

                Did the football program have to continue to allow Sandusky to coach, to bring more boys, and even maintain an office next to JoePa’s even after Sandusky was retired, all the while knowing that an eye witness and fellow coach reported seeing him rape a child?

                The level of fault is so deep and so wide at this institution it is sickening.

              • David Kaiser, Editor

                Disagree all you want, I know Penn State quite well, and I work with two people that were senior level administrators there. Football runs that school, and the culture surrounding it is what caused the athletic director, the VP of Finance and the President to cover this up.

                There were no checks and balances there. They didn’t even have a general counsel office until 18 months ago. It is completely unfathomable to me how the 19th largest university in the *nation* didn’t have a central counsel office until 2010!

              • Anonymous

                There are winning at all costs cultures on many campuses but I do not believe they are as engrained as they were at Penn State. I do not believe that there are other institutions where the fear of bad press for their football program would cause numerous people to simply turn their heads and allow a platform and person to not only get away with rape, but, continue to allow that platform to continue to exist. Call me KOOK, but I simply do not believe that this level of coverup is possible anywhere else. Even the Catholic Church moved accused priests away. 

                Where else in the NCAA has a coach been coaching for 62 years and is the defacto leader above all others on that campus? It took 60 years for the Penn State/JoePa culture to manifest itself to that extent on that campus. No other universities, no matter how much they value winning, have a 60 year leader that answers to no one. The closest I can think of of such hero worship the peoples of North Korea.

                The truth is I was not using hyperbole. I think this scandal is devastating to Penn State and I am not sure that anything less than a complete remake with a red banner saying “Under New Management” can bring this school back. 

                Honestly. I simply cannot fathom a series of crimes that would be worst for Penn State. Had JoePa and the entire faculty been running drugs for the Mexican cartel it would not be a crime to this level of incompetence and failure. It is bad enough to engage in a cover up of child rape but to continue to allow a man to bring more young boys onto their campus and allow the act to continue is beyond comprehension.

              • Gururussell

                I’m just glad to be an Alabama Crimson Tide fan, where we have our priorities right:

                1.  Quality Education;
                2.  Follow all NCAA rules without exception, so that we receive NO sanctions ever;
                3.  Win the National Championship every couple of years.

                Well, at least most of #1 and all of #3.

              • https://twitter.com/#!/PD_Scott Scott A. Robinson, Editor

                 I’ll give you #3, but that’s it.

          • Crabt012

            I’m in no way trying to defend the scumbag Sandusky, or ignore what happened. I do feel, as I stated, that severe penalties had to be paid. To be sure, crimes were committed, and the guilty parties should be jailed for as long as the law allows. I’m just thinking that there should have been regular due process by the NCAA. The NCAA should have given the death penalty to PSU. That would have done a lot more to help the campus move on, because it would have given them some light at the end of the tunnel. I’m willing to bet that just like SMU, they would have voluntarily extended the penalty, probably to at least four or five years.

            The reason football was such a big thing is because, much like at the University of Michigan where I did my Ph.d., it’s the one thing the whole campus – scholars, athletes, alumni, professors, etc. can all rally around. It’s the same at every institution with a long-established, high-caliber sports program. I’m not saying that that’s a good thing, but I don’t think that it’s an altogether bad thing, either. Where else on campus are you going get everyone (or almost everyone) rallying together for a common cause, and sharing the camraderie that comes from camping outside the stadium, tailgating, or, as with UM, hiking in the mile-long caravan from campus to the stadium? It’s certainly not going to be around any single professor, student club, or the latest ranking for a given department.

            BrianH, what in the world would be the point, or grounds, for any of the penalties in your last sentence? Changing the name, colors, and mascot? For what possible reason? Shutting the doors? What would that do other than harm all the non-athletes? I’m going to presume you were just using hyperbole there.

            • David Kaiser, Editor

              Stephen, I am a huge fan of college sports, and working as I do at a Division I university that has a storied basketball legacy and an up-and-coming football program, I can relate to everything you just said about the positives of intercollegiate athletics.

              I don’t agree with Brian’s point of the need for a greater punishment for Penn State, but I can understand his frustration and vitriol for what happened. I have a six month old at home, and as a father, if someone like Sandusky laid a finger on my child, and then I found out there was an organized effort to cover it up by people who’s job it is to protect children, trust me, I would want to inflict as much punishment as I can.

              We can go around in circles arguing about NCAA jurisdiction, appropriateness of punishments, and the back and forth of he-said, she said, but at the core of all of this is the fact that educators, who are supposed to protect children, tried to cover-up for a rapist.

              I personally cannot get my head around any type of defense for these people in this case.

        • Gururussell

          Very well stated, Kaiser.

  • David Kaiser, Editor

    In regards to your Penn State question Scott, you may not be entirely aware of the higher education set up here in the Keystone State. Penn State, like my employer Temple University, as well as the University of Pittsburgh and Lincoln University are actually classified as “state-related” universities. Basically, only some of the funding of these four schools comes from the state budget. In the case of Penn State, less than 10% of its operating budget comes from state appropriations.

    Pennsylvania does have a state system, they are 14 primarily liberal arts and teaching colleges, all of which complete in Division II for athletics. They average about 8600 students per school.

    With a $4.3 billion annual budget and their endowment recently reported at over $1.8 billion, Penn State has the financial ability to pay the fine. Penn State president Rodney Erickson has made public assurances that the fine will not be paid using any state or tuition dollars. $60 million represents one year of television and conference bowl game revenues for the Penn State football program.

    So, no, I don’t view this as a fine to the tax payers of Pennsylvania. And while the severity of the sanctions placed by the NCAA will almost certainly ensure that Penn State football will not be relevant for at least six or seven years, I still personally believe that no punishment is equal to the years of suffering, treatment and recovery that the victims of Jerry Sandusky will endure.

    • Stephen C.

      As a fellow Pennsylvanian, and a life-long Penn State fan, I am okay with most of the NCAA’s punishment – the fees, payments, and bowl ban – but I do not see any rationalle to the vacating of wins.  First, as in the case with USC, for example, wins have only previously been vacated when the players participating in those wins were themselves receiving improper benefits or inducements to play.  I don’t see how you can say that any of the players in the space of those fourteen years was in any way benefiting in a way that affected their on-field performance.  Second, people seem to be forgetting that it was Sandusky who committed the crimes, not Paterno, and that JoPa did in fact report the incident to the police and university in 1998.  Was he supposed to overstep the police and university officials in taking action against things that he had never personally seen? And third, they went FAR outside the standard NCAA protocol to hand down this judgement.  Why are they so desperate to avoid due process?  Whether the judgement was handed down last week, next month, or next year, it wouldn’t have altered the admittedly horrific past.

      I don’t mean to minimize or trivialize any of the crimes that Sandusky committed, and I hope that he both rots in a jail cell, and burns in Hell for his assaults of those children, but the vacating of wins is a punishment against players that had absolutely nothing to do with Sandusky’s crimes.  Why punish the players and alumni?

      Personally, I think the events of the past year have shown the true colors of the PSU regents and the NCAA.  Much as they may have spoken on camera about their love and admiration for Paterno, they never really respected him.  The Regents in particular tried to toss him several previous times just for having a bad season or two, and looked apallingly gleeful when they announced his firing last year.  To vacate a full quarter of the man’s career, and the often-inspiring efforts of literally hundreds upon hundreds of players seems a slap in the face that goes far beyond any warranted penalties. 

      • David Kaiser, Editor

        Stephen, just wanted to respond:

        First, Joe Paterno was the single most powerful person on that campus. While he may have reported the incident, some of the things the Freeh report attempted to get at is that Paterno could have, and should have, done far more to resolve this situation. He knew enough, and even admitted after the story broke and he was fired that he did not do enough.

        I hear you in terms of the NCAA’s sanctions, they having nothing in their bylaws that cover this type of problem, but honestly, there has been nothing like this in college sports. Despite the efforts of some Penn State loyalists to claim this has nothing to do with football, it absolutely does. The stature of Paterno and the culture surrounding the reputation of the football program is what drove the decision to cover-up what Sandusky did. How much Paterno was involved in this cover-up can certainly be debated, but the reason for the cover-up cannot – they wanted to protect the Penn State football brand.

        That said, the NCAA’s executive board voted to give Emmert the power to levy these sanctions. The NCAA’s board is comprised of the presidents of universities, and there are even some reports that Penn State was told of the upcoming sanctions and accepted them, which reinforces that they knew they screwed up in a major fashion.

        The point in punishing the football program so severely is to show all schools that if you allow your athletics programs to drive how things are done, it can lead to calamity. There is no way that the NCAA could sit there and let Penn State off for such an institutionalized effort to hide the story of a man who raped children.

        The vacating of the wins was specifically designed as a punitive measure against the legacy of Joe Paterno. The NCAA could not have someone with such a tarnished reputation as their all time wins leader. The athletes who played on those teams know they won on the field. They still have trophies on their mantle. Those who went on to the next level are still getting paid a lot of money to play a game. There is really no tangible impact, other than changes in record books.

        Joe Paterno did a lot of good things in his life and impacted a great many people in a positive way. His defenders try to deflect this as one mistake in a great man’s career. That mistake enable a vile person to claim more victims, more innocent children suffered. Sorry, that’s not a small mistake.

        • Anonymous

          I could not agree more. 

          For those that are outraged at the fines, sanctions, and removal of Joe-Pa’s statue, I have a solution. Do as Penn state did. Turn your heads and pretend it did not happen. Pretend the records hold, pretend you have a real football program, pretend the insanity that engulfed the entire hierarchy at Penn State did nothing wrong and acted appropriately. If Penn State was willing and able to turn their heads and pretend child rape was not occurring than you can turn your heads and pretend the sanctions don’t exist.

          The response from the Paterno family was appalling. “The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach…” Uhhh… No ….! That is what they were designed to do!!!

          Kaiser is dead on! This is about the football program and the power it wielded. This is about an entire University culture that existed for the sole purpose of winning football games. Penn State was willing to overlook the most brutal crimes and even assisted in facilitating more crimes as opposed to doing anything that might tarnish their treasured jewel and glorious leader, Penn State football and Joe Paterno.

          Every Penn State athlete and student, all sports programs and organizations, should be given a free agency pass to accept offers from any University interested in their services and should not face being red shirted for their defections.

          Any NCAA sanctions less than shutting the doors, renaming the institution, establishing new colors and a new mascot should be viewed as a gift by Penn State.

          • Anonymous

            Everyone is acting like things of this nature don’t happen on a daily basis on campuses across the country.  Where are the sanctions on everyone higher up then JoePa?  They are the ones that covered this up just as it is covered up at every University and College.  Campus police do not report to the local Police Department, they report to the University.. and that is where it is dropped.

            Penn State just got caught.  This won’t change a thing in the long run.

            BTW: That statue will probably be put back up within a few years.

            • Stephen C.

              TLaMana is sadly right, about it going on at other campuses. While I sincerely hope that there aren’t the same crimes going on at every school, I do know crimes go on far too often, and far too often the powers that be turn a blind eye. I still wonder why the president and regents at the University of Michigan haven’t been jailed for willigly and willfully allowing “Hash Bash” every year on the fiat thru central campus…the one day each year that I was grateful to have an isolated, windowless office. Worse yet, I’ve even seen members of both campus and city police not only tolerating the “event,” but participating themselves. The crimes committed on each campus vary, but they should all be punished to the fullest extent of the law. If not, then why have campus police to begin with? They have to serve a better purpose than fugitive parking tickets if you go one minute over the meter….trust me, it happens.

              Further, I think it bears noting that contrary to some of the comments above, winning at football is not and was not the sole focus at Penn State, just as it isn’t at Michigan, USC or OSU, nor is winning at basketball the sole focus at Duke, or UNC. The vast majority of the student body does not play on the sports teams, especially at the schools with substantial numbers of graduate students, like those listed above. They are there for academics. The caliber of the medical and law schools alone at these institutions, and the competitiveness of other academic programs, should make that clear. When I myself went to Michigan, it was for academics only. I didn’t even go to more than a handful of games, of any sport, in my five years there.

              I think that the ones who should be paying the fines are those directly responsible for what happened, or who knowingly and willfully stopped the investigations from proceeding. That wasn’t the athletes, especially the non-football athletes, and it certainly wasn’t the non-athletes. There must be a way to punish the guilty without punishing those who were truly innocent or ignorant of any wrongdoing. What the NCAA has done, and even moreso what some above posters have recommended, would punish the innocent, purely as guilt by association…and a very loose association at that.

              • Stephen C.

                Slight correction from autocorrect… The “diag” thru campus, not “fiat”

              • Stephen C.

                Ughhhh…. I hate autocorrect… Don’t know how “purely” got autocorrected to “fugitive.”

              • David Kaiser, Editor

                 Stupid auto-correct!

              • David Kaiser, Editor

                Stephen, I agree that punishing innocents is not ideal, which is why I believe the NCAA took the approach it did, rather then the “death penalty” was to avoid collateral damage.

                If you shut down the program for a year or two, you are hurting businesses in Happy Valley that make a ton of money on the six Saturdays every fall that State College becomes the third largest city in Pennsylvania.

                The primary damage done by these sanctions are to the football program, and this was done because the football program was the creature that enabled this entire sordid mess.

                It is unfortunate that some innocents will be impacted by this, but the NCAA could not sit on its hands and let this go unpunished. It simply was not an option for them. As previously stated, the current Penn State administration accepted these sanctions, and the vast majority of Penn State people I know are sad, but agree that the punishment was necessary.

              • Anonymous


                The primary damage done by these sanctions are to the football program, and this was done because the football program was the creature that enabled this entire sordid mess.”

                I disagree, the Regents and University President enabled this sordid mess.  Otherwise, the first time this was reported, they would have brought justice to the victims. 

              • Anonymous

                You disagree? Did you do your own independent investigation? The Freeh Report clearly states otherwise.

                The fact is they did not act when it was reported. That is why Penn State has been hammered the way they have. Did you not follow any of this while it was happening in real time?

                There will be other cases brought in the matter. 

                Please read the following article and then read the report itself. Get back with me if you still believe that others did not enable this sordid mess.

                http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/football/ncaa/07/12/penn-state-freeh-report-sandusky-paterno.ap/index.html

                The fact is they did not act which is why Penn has been hit so hard.

              • Anonymous

                I’m saying it’s not entirely the football programs fault since it was reported, and ignored.  

              • Anonymous

                Did the football program have to continue to allow Sandusky to coach, to bring more boys, and even maintain an office next to JoePa’s even after Sandusky was retired, all the while knowing that an eye witness and fellow coach reported seeing him rape a child?

                The level of fault is so deep and so wide at this institution it is sickening.

              • David Kaiser, Editor

                Disagree all you want, I know Penn State quite well, and I work with two people that were senior level administrators there. Football runs that school, and the culture surrounding it is what caused the athletic director, the VP of Finance and the President to cover this up.

                There were no checks and balances there. They didn’t even have a general counsel office until 18 months ago. It is completely unfathomable to me how the 19th largest university in the *nation* didn’t have a central counsel office until 2010!

              • Anonymous

                There are winning at all costs cultures on many campuses but I do not believe they are as engrained as they were at Penn State. I do not believe that there are other institutions where the fear of bad press for their football program would cause numerous people to simply turn their heads and allow a platform and person to not only get away with rape, but, continue to allow that platform to continue to exist. Call me KOOK, but I simply do not believe that this level of coverup is possible anywhere else. Even the Catholic Church moved accused priests away. 

                Where else in the NCAA has a coach been coaching for 62 years and is the defacto leader above all others on that campus? It took 60 years for the Penn State/JoePa culture to manifest itself to that extent on that campus. No other universities, no matter how much they value winning, have a 60 year leader that answers to no one. The closest I can think of of such hero worship the peoples of North Korea.

                The truth is I was not using hyperbole. I think this scandal is devastating to Penn State and I am not sure that anything less than a complete remake with a red banner saying “Under New Management” can bring this school back. 

                Honestly. I simply cannot fathom a series of crimes that would be worst for Penn State. Had JoePa and the entire faculty been running drugs for the Mexican cartel it would not be a crime to this level of incompetence and failure. It is bad enough to engage in a cover up of child rape but to continue to allow a man to bring more young boys onto their campus and allow the act to continue is beyond comprehension.

              • Gururussell

                I’m just glad to be an Alabama Crimson Tide fan, where we have our priorities right:

                1.  Quality Education;
                2.  Follow all NCAA rules without exception, so that we receive NO sanctions ever;
                3.  Win the National Championship every couple of years.

                Well, at least most of #1 and all of #3.

              • https://twitter.com/#!/PD_Scott Scott A. Robinson

                 I’ll give you #3, but that’s it.

          • Crabt012

            I’m in no way trying to defend the scumbag Sandusky, or ignore what happened. I do feel, as I stated, that severe penalties had to be paid. To be sure, crimes were committed, and the guilty parties should be jailed for as long as the law allows. I’m just thinking that there should have been regular due process by the NCAA. The NCAA should have given the death penalty to PSU. That would have done a lot more to help the campus move on, because it would have given them some light at the end of the tunnel. I’m willing to bet that just like SMU, they would have voluntarily extended the penalty, probably to at least four or five years.

            The reason football was such a big thing is because, much like at the University of Michigan where I did my Ph.d., it’s the one thing the whole campus – scholars, athletes, alumni, professors, etc. can all rally around. It’s the same at every institution with a long-established, high-caliber sports program. I’m not saying that that’s a good thing, but I don’t think that it’s an altogether bad thing, either. Where else on campus are you going get everyone (or almost everyone) rallying together for a common cause, and sharing the camraderie that comes from camping outside the stadium, tailgating, or, as with UM, hiking in the mile-long caravan from campus to the stadium? It’s certainly not going to be around any single professor, student club, or the latest ranking for a given department.

            BrianH, what in the world would be the point, or grounds, for any of the penalties in your last sentence? Changing the name, colors, and mascot? For what possible reason? Shutting the doors? What would that do other than harm all the non-athletes? I’m going to presume you were just using hyperbole there.

            • David Kaiser, Editor

              Stephen, I am a huge fan of college sports, and working as I do at a Division I university that has a storied basketball legacy and an up-and-coming football program, I can relate to everything you just said about the positives of intercollegiate athletics.

              I don’t agree with Brian’s point of the need for a greater punishment for Penn State, but I can understand his frustration and vitriol for what happened. I have a six month old at home, and as a father, if someone like Sandusky laid a finger on my child, and then I found out there was an organized effort to cover it up by people who’s job it is to protect children, trust me, I would want to inflict as much punishment as I can.

              We can go around in circles arguing about NCAA jurisdiction, appropriateness of punishments, and the back and forth of he-said, she said, but at the core of all of this is the fact that educators, who are supposed to protect children, tried to cover-up for a rapist.

              I personally cannot get my head around any type of defense for these people in this case.

        • Gururussell

          Very well stated, Kaiser.