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Say it ain't so, Joe


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Nah, that doesn't bother me. Nor does it bother me when adult male coaches give their male players a pat or hug.

We have to reclaim innocent gestures. That's why it's so important that everyone involved be punished. Sandusky, his enablers, and their enablers.

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Rammy, while you're by no means defending Penn State, you have been consistent in saying why the NCAA won't and/or shouldn't rain down on them. We can't get you up for some good old populist outrage?

Populist outrage only makes you feel good for a bit without addressing the root symptoms. As long as we value "look out for number one" and the almighty dollar over everything else, even ethical lapses on the scale that we have seen at Penn State will continue to happen regardless of punishments that are meted out.

Also, AFAIK the NCAA has only invoked lack of institutional control as a basis for sanctions in the context of a pattern of NCAA rulebreaking (recruiting violations, academic fraud, improper benefits, etc.). Since sexual abuse of boys who are neither student-athletes nor recruits is way outside the scope of NCAA rules, it's entirely possible they will leave it to the criminal and civil courts to punish Penn State and abstain from extracting their own pound of flesh.

Unless, of course, it turns out that the Sandusky coverup was part of a larger coverup of other transgressions by the Penn State football program under Paterno that would fall under NCAA jurisdiction (read: Paterno et al were afraid Sandusky knew too much, and would go all Nevin Shapiro on their @$$es if they ever ratted him out, a hypothesis I've brought up here before). If that's the case, then all bets are off.

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The Paterno Family releases a statement following the CNN report and administrative e-mails from this weekend.

Also in terms of the NCAA invoking the term they essentially gave the public (Lack of Institutional Control), SI's Andy Staples gave a case for the NCAA not to get involved, rather leave it to the Department of Education. Yahoo!'s Dan Wetzel, who was at the trial, has echoed the same view in recent interviews since Sandusky's convictions.

Staples:

This may seem cold, but nowhere in the 426-page Division I manual is there a rule forbidding the cover-up of a violation of state statute. There is no obstruction of justice charge, no way to punish someone for his or her failure to call the police. The NCAA has rules to handle free tattoos, excessive phone calls and couch surfing (maybe not even that), but it is way out of its league here. So even though NCAA president Mark Emmert inserted the organization into the case with one of the most misguided missives ever to emerge from NCAA headquarters,* please stop suggesting the NCAA needs to crush Penn State's football program because of the Sandusky tragedy. It may make a bunch of rival fans feel better if a bunch of players who were in elementary school in 2001 suffer, but it won't solve anything. It won't help anyone heal. It won't send any message that matters. * Here is how these things work. Something awful such as the Sandusky case happens, and people at powerful organizations such as the NCAA feel they have to say something. This is partially the fault of people in my business who constantly call for comment and partially the fault of the people inside NCAA headquarters who failed to realize that they needed to butt out of this issue in the absence of actual NCAA violations.

The messages that matter will come from the juries who convict and the judges who sentence. If former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz are convicted of perjury, then hopefully they'll get thrown in the general population of a state prison and forced to wear signs around their necks advertising that they helped a child molester. If former president Graham Spanier is found to have helped the cover-up, then hopefully he'll be charged appropriately, convicted and mistreated in a similar manner while in prison. (I'm aware part of this is unconstitutional. So they probably shouldn't do that part. Still, a relatively comfortable imprisonment is better than what someone who would do these things deserves.)

Those in favor of an NCAA attack on Penn State believe this only happened because of the football program. Did the men act to protect the football program? Yes, but only because they either worked for it or were closely aligned with it. This was about self-preservation. Had they gone to the authorities, this would have been a major scandal in 2001. Curley almost certainly would have been gone for signing off on any plan that allowed Sandusky access to the facilities. Paterno, coming off a 5-7 season in 2000 and hearing calls for his retirement, could have lost his job as well. They weren't protecting the program. They were protecting themselves.

Think of it this way: If Sandusky was a recently retired surgeon, Paterno was the chief of surgery and Curley was the dean of Penn State's College of Medicine, would you be asking the Liaison Committee on Medical Education to make it impossible for Penn State to continue training physicians 11 years after the fact? Of course you wouldn't.

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Staples:

This may seem cold, but nowhere in the 426-page Division I manual is there a rule forbidding the cover-up of a violation of state statute. There is no obstruction of justice charge, no way to punish someone for his or her failure to call the police. The NCAA has rules to handle free tattoos, excessive phone calls and couch surfing (maybe not even that), but it is way out of its league here. So even though NCAA president Mark Emmert inserted the organization into the case with one of the most misguided missives ever to emerge from NCAA headquarters,* please stop suggesting the NCAA needs to crush Penn State's football program because of the Sandusky tragedy. It may make a bunch of rival fans feel better if a bunch of players who were in elementary school in 2001 suffer, but it won't solve anything. It won't help anyone heal. It won't send any message that matters. * Here is how these things work. Something awful such as the Sandusky case happens, and people at powerful organizations such as the NCAA feel they have to say something. This is partially the fault of people in my business who constantly call for comment and partially the fault of the people inside NCAA headquarters who failed to realize that they needed to butt out of this issue in the absence of actual NCAA violations.

The messages that matter will come from the juries who convict and the judges who sentence. If former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz are convicted of perjury, then hopefully they'll get thrown in the general population of a state prison and forced to wear signs around their necks advertising that they helped a child molester. If former president Graham Spanier is found to have helped the cover-up, then hopefully he'll be charged appropriately, convicted and mistreated in a similar manner while in prison. (I'm aware part of this is unconstitutional. So they probably shouldn't do that part. Still, a relatively comfortable imprisonment is better than what someone who would do these things deserves.)

Those in favor of an NCAA attack on Penn State believe this only happened because of the football program. Did the men act to protect the football program? Yes, but only because they either worked for it or were closely aligned with it. This was about self-preservation. Had they gone to the authorities, this would have been a major scandal in 2001. Curley almost certainly would have been gone for signing off on any plan that allowed Sandusky access to the facilities. Paterno, coming off a 5-7 season in 2000 and hearing calls for his retirement, could have lost his job as well. They weren't protecting the program. They were protecting themselves.

Think of it this way: If Sandusky was a recently retired surgeon, Paterno was the chief of surgery and Curley was the dean of Penn State's College of Medicine, would you be asking the Liaison Committee on Medical Education to make it impossible for Penn State to continue training physicians 11 years after the fact? Of course you wouldn't.

And I've flipped my position again. They got me with the bolded statements.

Sorry Admiral. B)

Seriously though, I'm having a helluva time with this mess. Part of me wants to see Penn State University and their football program blasted back to the stone age. But the article is right; all that would really accomplish would be to make people feel better. (I know it would make me feel better.) Still, is it really fair to punish people who literally had nothing to do with any of it? All I'm sure of is there is no good answer.

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please stop suggesting the NCAA needs to crush Penn State's football program because of the Sandusky tragedy. It may make a bunch of rival fans feel better if a bunch of players who were in elementary school in 2001 suffer, but it won't solve anything. It won't help anyone heal. It won't send any message that matters.

I'm not a rival fan. Talk about insulting.

And actually, he's absolutely wrong. It will.

If Penn State loses its football program, and the money and prestige that flows from it, it most certainly will send a message to other administrators at other schools - engage in a criminal conspiracy, and this will happen to you.

Sounds like a pretty strong message to me.

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In a just world, the Catholic Church and Penn State would both be facing far worse repercussions for their mass coverups. It's not enough that people have tut-tutted them. Untold children (way too many to count with the church) have had their lives dramatically altered and there haven't been real consequences yet for the enabling institutions. Institutionalized rape deserves institutional punishment. We haven't seen that and I'm not holding my breath.

By the way, this is a chance for any number of NCAA officials to be a hero and call for major punishment. You can never go wrong in the public eye punishing child molestors and their enablers. I've actually lost quite a bit of respect for Mark Emmert through this whole affair. He should be saying more.

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In a just world, the Catholic Church and Penn State would both be facing far worse repercussions for their mass coverups. It's not enough that people have tut-tutted them. Untold children (way too many to count with the church) have had their lives dramatically altered and there haven't been real consequences yet for the enabling institutions. Institutionalized rape deserves institutional punishment. We haven't seen that and I'm not holding my breath.

By the way, this is a chance for any number of NCAA officials to be a hero and call for major punishment. You can never go wrong in the public eye punishing child molestors and their enablers. I've actually lost quite a bit of respect for Mark Emmert through this whole affair. He should be saying more.

Generally speaking, I hate it when people say "I have lost my faith in humanity". It strikes me as hyperbolic. But the PSU case (and others like it including that Red Sox clubhouse guy, and yes, the church) really kind of cause me to lose my faith. When that many people turn their heads away from something like this because everyone's afraid to mess with the tidy little world as it is, that is really depressing. Look at all the people at PSU that could have taken great steps toward stopping this and probably saving future children from this. We focus on Paterno and McQuerey, but really there were tons. Some were thinking of the money train, others of their job security/upward mobility, others of the school/team reputation. Bottom line, a considerable number of people went to bed every night and woke up every morning knowing this secret and chose every day to keep it to themselves. And we know it's happened elsewhere. That's disheartening. It's disheartening to know that this would probably be able to happen at just about any organization, be it sports, religion, government, business, etc. If JoePa was the only guy that knew about it, I could just say "well Sandusky's a sick SOB and Paterno's a scumbag". But potentially dozens of people swept this under the rug, which tells me that this could happen just about anywhere. That's depressing.

And to go a step further, the overall reaction of "the rest of us" as well. The PSU faithful who continued to fight tooth-and-nail for JoePa's reputation. The NCAA/Big Ten/PSU Athletic Department who did not even consider suspending the season because of the financial implications. Fans...I admit it, as a Big Ten fan, I did not like the idea of the removal of PSU's games having the effect of hurting the integrity of the schedule...though I did think they should have cancelled the season. Virtually everyone involved and not involved wanted to make sure that this disrupted the tidiness of their world as little as possible. It's time for some re-evaluation (including of myself as a sports fan).

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By the way, this is a chance for any number of NCAA officials to be a hero and call for major punishment. You can never go wrong in the public eye punishing child molestors and their enablers. I've actually lost quite a bit of respect for Mark Emmert through this whole affair. He should be saying more.

And I'm sure Emmert's hypothetical moral stand would do him a lot of good when he's trying to find a new job after his old one disappeared as a consequence of said moral stand. :rolleyes:

Keeping your job trumps everything in today's American society. For good or for ill.

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By the way, this is a chance for any number of NCAA officials to be a hero and call for major punishment. You can never go wrong in the public eye punishing child molestors and their enablers. I've actually lost quite a bit of respect for Mark Emmert through this whole affair. He should be saying more.

And I'm sure Emmert's hypothetical moral stand would do him a lot of good when he's trying to find a new job after his old one disappeared as a consequence of said moral stand. :rolleyes:

Keeping your job trumps everything in today's American society. For good or for ill.

I think hero compensation tops out in the low six figures. Emmert's making seven and on the way to eight. Being a hero is hard.

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Staples:

This may seem cold, but nowhere in the 426-page Division I manual is there a rule forbidding the cover-up of a violation of state statute. There is no obstruction of justice charge, no way to punish someone for his or her failure to call the police. The NCAA has rules to handle free tattoos, excessive phone calls and couch surfing (maybe not even that), but it is way out of its league here. So even though NCAA president Mark Emmert inserted the organization into the case with one of the most misguided missives ever to emerge from NCAA headquarters,* please stop suggesting the NCAA needs to crush Penn State's football program because of the Sandusky tragedy. It may make a bunch of rival fans feel better if a bunch of players who were in elementary school in 2001 suffer, but it won't solve anything. It won't help anyone heal. It won't send any message that matters. * Here is how these things work. Something awful such as the Sandusky case happens, and people at powerful organizations such as the NCAA feel they have to say something. This is partially the fault of people in my business who constantly call for comment and partially the fault of the people inside NCAA headquarters who failed to realize that they needed to butt out of this issue in the absence of actual NCAA violations.

The messages that matter will come from the juries who convict and the judges who sentence. If former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz are convicted of perjury, then hopefully they'll get thrown in the general population of a state prison and forced to wear signs around their necks advertising that they helped a child molester. If former president Graham Spanier is found to have helped the cover-up, then hopefully he'll be charged appropriately, convicted and mistreated in a similar manner while in prison. (I'm aware part of this is unconstitutional. So they probably shouldn't do that part. Still, a relatively comfortable imprisonment is better than what someone who would do these things deserves.)

Those in favor of an NCAA attack on Penn State believe this only happened because of the football program. Did the men act to protect the football program? Yes, but only because they either worked for it or were closely aligned with it. This was about self-preservation. Had they gone to the authorities, this would have been a major scandal in 2001. Curley almost certainly would have been gone for signing off on any plan that allowed Sandusky access to the facilities. Paterno, coming off a 5-7 season in 2000 and hearing calls for his retirement, could have lost his job as well. They weren't protecting the program. They were protecting themselves.

Think of it this way: If Sandusky was a recently retired surgeon, Paterno was the chief of surgery and Curley was the dean of Penn State's College of Medicine, would you be asking the Liaison Committee on Medical Education to make it impossible for Penn State to continue training physicians 11 years after the fact? Of course you wouldn't.

And I've flipped my position again. They got me with the bolded statements.

Sorry Admiral. B)

Seriously though, I'm having a helluva time with this mess. Part of me wants to see Penn State University and their football program blasted back to the stone age. But the article is right; all that would really accomplish would be to make people feel better. (I know it would make me feel better.) Still, is it really fair to punish people who literally had nothing to do with any of it? All I'm sure of is there is no good answer.

If they're there to truly get an education, honor the scholarship players' scholarships. If not, allow for them to transfer to other schools without sitting a year. Problem solved.

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If they're there to truly get an education, honor the scholarship players' scholarships. If not, allow for them to transfer to other schools without sitting a year. Problem solved.

Bingo. Easy enough.

And I just fell down. I'm getting a bit dizzy from all the back and forth I've been doing on this. So, before my head explodes, I'm going to stop flip-flopping and take a firm position on whether or not Penn State football should be blasted back to the stone age. Drum roll please...

Once and for all, this is where I stand; I have no earthly idea what the right course of action is. There. That settles it. B)

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If they're there to truly get an education, honor the scholarship players' scholarships. If not, allow for them to transfer to other schools without sitting a year. Problem solved.

Bingo. Easy enough.

Yeah. That gets it done. It gives the players options. Sure, some would like both (to play football AND continue living/going to school at PSU), but you cannot (or, at least, should not) ditch integrity over it. Life can be unfair and while this would be to the players, it's pretty well mitigated with options.

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If they're there to truly get an education, honor the scholarship players' scholarships. If not, allow for them to transfer to other schools without sitting a year. Problem solved.

Bingo. Easy enough.

Only problem is the NCAA has made it very clear that's not going to happen and unfortunately I think don't the NCAA has been criticized enough by people in the press for taking that action. I don't think its unreasonable for a player to ask for a transfer and not be penalized by sitting out a year given the recent transgressions that I don't think anyone could have seen forthcoming at this time last year, but obviously the NCAA doesn't feel that way.

I also have no doubt that the NCAA could very easily find something to go after the Penn State football program for in regards to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Bottom line is they simply don't want to.

For me this very well may be the first year I don't watch a single game of college football. Every year I've watched less and less because I've gotten too fed up with what I feel like is rampant corruption in Division 1 college football to the point where I can't watch a game (any game) and not think about that. Last year I watched three games. Alabama/LSU I, Alabama/Auburn and Alabama/LSU II. That's it. My heart is just not in the sport anymore. And I used to be able to tell you half the starting QB's in college football.

The way the NCAA handled the whole Penn State thing may very well be the last straw for me in regards to college football. Rather then taking any kind of stand, they chose to just wash their hands of the issue altogether and pretend like its business as usual up in Happy Valley. That tells me they are either unwilling or unable to make any type of stand on any issue that actually matters that goes against what's in the best interest of the major programs. At this point you might as well just get rid of the NCAA entirely and let major schools run the entire show themselves, because that appears to be what's happening anyway.

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Bottom line, a considerable number of people went to bed every night and woke up every morning knowing this secret and chose every day to keep it to themselves. And we know it's happened elsewhere. That's disheartening. It's disheartening to know that this would probably be able to happen at just about any organization, be it sports, religion, government, business, etc.

I started reading "No One Would Listen" by Harry Markopolous which is the book by the Bernie Madoff whistleblower on how he figured out it was a Ponzi scheme and everything that followed. I couldn't help but make the parallel here. Not that it was the same type of crime, and not that I'm more than 3 chapters into the book (about 1/3 of it), but that the SEC (see: PSU) didn't want to be bothered with investigating even with all the evidence presented (see: what PSU higher ups knew), because he was "well respected Bernie Madoff" and "Why would he be doing anything illegal--he's Bernie Madoff--he's a Wall Street King!" etc.

Basically, even with mounting evidence to the contrary, they didn't want to be bothered with having to take any action. Why? It's easier to do nothing.

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The former VP of Student Affairs talked about Paterno's power on campus when the story broke, but now, it seems he sent emails through his assistant to (like most every college coach) keep punishment of players "in house".

Story

Newly obtained e-mails between Joe Paterno, the former Penn State coach, and the university's former president illustrate the scope of the coach's control over top administrators' decisions on disciplinary matters.

The documents, which The Chronicle acquired from a source close to the Jerry Sandusky investigation, contradict comments made in recent days by Mr. Paterno's representatives suggesting that the coach never used e-mail or played a role in influencing university investigations.

The 2007 disciplinary case stemmed from an off-campus fight involving as many as two dozen football players. After the incident, Mr. Paterno wrote to Graham B. Spanier, the university's president, and "Tim"?presumably Mr. Curley?through an e-mail account used by the coach's assistant, Sandi Segursky.

"I want to make sure everyone understands that the discipline of the players involved will be handled by me as soon as I am comfortable that I know all the facts," said the April 7, 2007, e-mail, which was signed "Joe."

"This is my understanding as well," wrote Mr. Spanier in response.

Vicky Triponey, a former vice president of student affairs whose department was investigating the alleged attack by players, was copied on the correspondence between Mr. Paterno and Mr. Spanier.

She wrote back to the president, saying, "Thanks for sharing. I assume he is talking about discipline relative to TEAM rules (note: he does not say that). Obviously discipline relative to the law is up to the police and the courts, and discipline relative to violations of the student code of conduct is the responsibility of Judicial Affairs.

"This has not always been clear with Coach Paterno so we might want to clarify that and encourage him to work with us to find the truth and handle this collaboratively with the police and the university," she went on. "The challenge here is that the letter suggests that football should handle this and now Coach Paterno is also saying THEY will handle this and makes it look like the normal channels will be ignored for football players.

"Can you remind them of police and University responsibility?"

Mr. Spanier did not appear to respond in writing to those concerns. But in a May 11 letter to Coach Paterno, the president described steps he had taken to facilitate interviews for the players charged in the case. In the letter, Mr. Spanier said he had arranged for student-affairs staff to do those interviews in the Lasch football building.

"I appreciate your cooperation in this important matter," Mr. Spanier wrote to Mr. Paterno, "and I trust this comports with your understanding."

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I was watching the US Olympic gymnastics trials last night and something occurred to me that I've never thought about before. No matter what event it is or how well the girls do on their routine, they come off the mat and their adult coaches, usually male, give them a hug. It feels so creepy and it's hard to trust their motivation now.

The last thing we need to take from this incident is more mass paranoia and hysteria then we already have. It's going to get to a point where a parent holding their child's hand will be put up for question. As mentioned earlier, I don't even think a coach in the shower is bad, but we as a society are getting more and more paranoid about everything. Obviously we should be aware of those who may be harming our children but not to the point where every mundane action is met with fear.

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The way the NCAA handled the whole Penn State thing may very well be the last straw for me in regards to college football. Rather then taking any kind of stand, they chose to just wash their hands of the issue altogether and pretend like its business as usual up in Happy Valley. That tells me they are either unwilling or unable to make any type of stand on any issue that actually matters that goes against what's in the best interest of the major programs. At this point you might as well just get rid of the NCAA entirely and let major schools run the entire show themselves, because that appears to be what's happening anyway.

For all intents and purposes, the NCAA lost control of big-time college football back in the 1980s after losing a big lawsuit over TV contract negotiation rights. This is also why it's been unable to put an end to the game of "musical conferences" being played out in football over the last couple of years. The only reason those schools haven't yet broken away from the NCAA outright is for their other sports, but there have been runblings that college basketball may be on the way to a similar schism for the same reasons as football. If the NCAA loses control over the two sports that provide the bulk of revenue to college athletics, it might as well fold up its tents.

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