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Penn State vs Akron in 2006.

Second Update / Monday ~ July 23 ~ I have mixed feelings about the NCAA’s sanctions for Pennsylvania State University.

Pro ~ NCAA ~   “…reserves the right to initiate a formal investigatory and disciplinary process and impose sanctions on individuals after the conclusion of any criminal proceedings related to any individual involved.

This is a very important statement, but mentioned last in the NCAA sanctions.  I think this statement and this statement only, is what the NCAA should have released.   I think a rush to judgment was made, even though this event became public in the Fall of 2011.

Pro ~ NCAA ~ “…imposes a $60 million fine, equivalent to the approximate average of one year’s gross revenues from the Penn State football program…”

Okay ~ get’em where it hurts – in the pocketbook.   The NCAA states that those monies must be used as an “endowment for programs preventing child sexual abuse and/or assisting the victims of child sexual abuse…”   Individuals, groups, associations, etc., will pony up to take care of this.

Pro ~ NCAA ~  “… and shall not be eligible to participate in any postseason competition, including a conference championship, any bowl game, or any postseason playoff competition.”

Not thrilling, but I guess it’s better than the death penalty.  Maybe if the Nittany Lions win all games on a year’s schedule, PSU could give the players a little token of appreciation ~ lapel pins, can koozies, whatever ?

Pro ~ NCAA ~ “…imposes this period of probation, which will include the appointment of an on-campus, independent Integrity Monitor…”

All right by me – maybe Integrity Monitor’s should be assigned to all the BIG 10 universities as a pro-active preventative step, you know, as a never again deterrent.  A first measure to change the culture ????

Con ~ NCAA ~ “Any entering or returning football student-athlete will be allowed to immediately transfer and will be eligible to immediately compete at the transfer institution, provided he is otherwise eligible.”

Really ?  If football training begins in August, what currently enrolled student athlete at another BIG 10 school, is going to give up their spot on the team, for an immediately transferring PSU student athlete?  Sure, everyone will feel sorry for the guy, but not enough to forfeit their dream.

Con ~ Speaking of dreams ~ … the NCAA imposes a limit of 15 initial grants-in-aid (from a maximum of 25 allowed) and for a period of four years…”

As a mother of a boy who played football from peewee through high school in Central Pennsylvania, the loss of scholarship monies to boys hoping to live out their dreams playing football for Penn State is deplorable.  In Central Pennsylvania, Penn State football is right up there with the folklore of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the House That Ruth Build, and Miracle on Ice.  I’m sure there are more recent events, but I’m in my 60’s, so I look back to “in my day.”  I cannot imagine what we’ll realize looking back to this day.

The instant I heard this particular sanction, in my head, I also heard bits and pieces of a song from Disney’s Cinderella ~ A dream is a wish your heart makes…  No matter how your heart is grieving if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.

Destroying the dreams of these young men, is the wrong penalty.

Con ~ the NCAA ~Vacation of wins since 1998.  The NCAA vacates all wins of the Penn State football team from 1998 to 2011.  The career record of Coach “Joe” Paterno will reflect the vacated records.”

VACATION ?   Where the hell did that come from ?  Sure, I know what it means, and this sanction is more deplorable than the loss of future dreams.  This is the eradication of fulfilled dreams, of strenuous physical and academic work for years by dedicated student-athletes ~ how many former, maybe still current players have lost their own life memories, as their life histories are now changed forever.

I can’t speak for Coach Paterno, but as a long-time coach, JoePa understood games lost or a bad season.  I think he would have accepted this sanction as his own penalty with grace and acquiescence, perhaps a shoulder-shrug of bewilderment at the penalty itself, but to make the innocent pay for the sins of the guilty is a scandal in itself.

Speaking of scandal, ~ Sandusky and his actions are at the root of these actions.  Sandusky was convicted and is rotting in jail.  Coach Paterno, was fired, admitted culpability, was remorseful, and then died.  There are still university-related individuals being investigated: some have been fired, others charged with perjury or omission.

I don’t think this scandal started out as a premeditated cover-up.  One person saw one incident; he told his own father and his coach, believing that these older, more experienced people would handle that incident.  The father and the coach then told their supervisors, believing that more experienced, higher-level administrators would take care of this situation.

Omissions, oversights, and neglect followed.  And yes, apparently a cover-up began.

The baby/babies, (yes, college students are still only babies!), should not be thrown out with the bath water.  I’d like to believe that somewhere during all this; Coach Paterno would have said something about the buck stopping with him, not taint the players with his mistakes or the mistakes of others. 

Before I conclude, I have to mention the removal of the Coach Paterno statue outside of PSU’s Beaver Stadium.  I’ll concede that the statue was a hurtful reminder to Sandusky’s victims, their families, and to all victims of abuse of any type, anywhere.  On the other hand – Coach Paterno was never charged, evidence was never proven, wrongs were never substantiated.

And yet again, innocent students were penalized: the universal, young, student-athlete football player figures, were carted away in disgrace too.

This event, like ripples on water, will be far reaching.  A “water” cliché here, (swamping, mire & mire, drowning, etc.), is inappropriate, just like some of these sanctions.

Kate

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First Update / Sunday ~ January 22 ~ My sincere sympathy to the family.

Joe’s sincere contrite apology that he should have done more, is more than enough for me and should be his legacy ~ do more in life, on the field, in school, for your family – Do More !

http://www.centredaily.com/

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First Post / JoePa Eff’ed up!  But We Won’t !/  November 10, 2011 ~  Ok, a preface please: for a while back in the 70’s, the ex and I attended and worked at Penn State, and lived in State College.  I’m also a New Yorker from the Bronx and Joe is from Brooklyn.

It pains me to say, Joe should have done more, and now, he should be saying so.

He should be saying that he is SORRY he didn’t do more.

He should be using his failure to act, his lack of follow-up, as a lesson to teach the PSU community and the rest of the world, that it truly does take each member of the village to raise a child.

No matter how uninvolved we want to be, sometimes we must go one-step further.

You can draw your own line on how far you’ll commit to being a member of the global village.

Maybe you won’t call the pound to report the stray dog.  But you’ll
call about seeing the dog attack someone.

Should you have made the first call?

I’m so very sorry for all the victims and their families.

I’m so very disappointed in Joe.

Kate

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