Thursday, November 10, 2011

Penn State

I want to believe the Penn State trustees acted from righteous indignation, but the cynic in me wonders if they weren't merely attempting to get ahead of the lawsuits, the NCAA, and the media. That doubt about their motives stems from the fact that everyone associated with the situation failed, and they failed because of the potential consequences that doing the right thing might have had on their own careers.

The graduate assistant - told his father and Paterno, and left it at that. Paterno - told a school official the next day, and left it at that. School officials - took away Sandusky's locker room privileges, and left it at that. Yet NO ONE CALLED THE POLICE - and meanwhile, a kid is getting his anus ripped out.

Paterno, being Paterno, could have called the police that night and they would have responded immediately. He could have had the grad assistant drive him over to the locker room, then to Sandusky's house. They could have made a huge deal out of it right then because a child was involved and the threat was immediate.

But they didn't. And I think they didn't because they knew that if Sandusky wiggled away from the charge, they would all see their careers evaporate. This is "winning is everything" taken to the extreme and it's an attitude and culture that permeates the entire school - you can see it in the reaction of the students - and it permeates all of college football. No one cares about anything except winning.

If there was ever "lack of institutional control" this is it. And I, for once, hope the NCAA gets into this case and closes the program and goes on a rampage through the ranks of college football and cleans house and rids the entire system of its obsession with winning and money. But they won't. And they won't for the same reasons no one acted to stop Sandusky - they're afraid of what will happen to their own status and position.