While this morning’s NCAA pronouncement implementing punishment and imposing additional bureaucracy upon Penn State athletics hit the mark for many Penn State haters, who use the Sandusky scandal to declare everything up to and including targeted nuclear weapons as fair game (sanctimoniously stating that even nukes won’t restore normal lives for the victims), many of us believe that the punishment was vindictive and draconian. And it still won’t restore normal lives for the victims.
I have selected two essays that engender the latter viewpoint, both published in Sports Illustrated’s SI.com. Fortunately, there are still some writers out there with the balls to contradict the common wisdom.
July 24 Update: added link to a great essay by Spencer Hall of SBNation.
The first, by Stewart Mandel, is entitled “NCAA’s Mark Emmert overstepped bounds in hammering Penn State.” Mandel feels that NCAA President Mark Emmert, enabled by the logic of the Penn State hater mentioned above, felt that he could justify going far beyond the pale to invent creative, crippling penalties for the Nittany Lions. Mandel sees this as high visibility hypocrisy, and his article is definitely worth a read.
The other, by Michael Rosenberg, is “NCAA sanctions against Penn State reinforce overemphasis on winning.” Rosenberg thinks that by prescribing these sanctions “Emmert is not fighting against the hypocrisy of college sports. He is acknowledging it, legitimizing it, and — in a way — even embracing it.” Read it for more strongly worded pearls of Rosenberg wisdom.
Spencer Hall of SBNation words his piece even more strongly. Here is a taste of “Penn State Scandal: NCAA Beats Up Corpse, Then Demands Your Applause.“
It makes sense for the NCAA to protect its product. It also makes sense of the coldest kind for Mark Emmert, head of the organization, to take a defenseless Penn State, prop it up on stage, and then take a few delighted whacks at its staggering corpse with the heaviest hammer imaginable. The key is not killing the victim, the Penn State football program. It will now be toured through every stage of the redemption cycle, and eventually brought forth as a model citizen at the appropriate date by a fully empowered oversight authority — one that can now, with the consent of its backers, make bigger, more immediate show trials of its thoroughly fixed bouts.
Meanwhile, the Big Ten should have been flagged for piling on, for it was announced today that Penn State will not be allowed to share in the bowl revenues of other Big Ten teams for the duration of the NCAA postseason prohibitions.
The very hot Kristi Dosh of ESPN says that the true costs of today’s NCAA sanctions, both monetary and abstract, are unknown.
The Penn State Football Lettermen’s takes an angry stand.
The Paterno family offers its response to the NCAA sanctions.
Meanwhile, Former Penn State President Graham Spanier sent a letter to the board of trustees seeking to exonerate himself.
Statements by Rodney Erickson, David Joyner, and Bill O’Brien.
Consent decree between the NCAA and Penn State (PDF – 1.31 MB).
That’s a wrap for another issue of Sudden Impact. It’s been a long day today, but the longest, darkest days are yet to come.
my favorite reaction so far.
The Nittany Turkey says
That piece is brilliant. I had difficulty choosing a paragraph to quote because each one hit the mark so well. I settled on:
I think I want to include that link in this article. Thanks for pointing me to it!
It seems to me that too many people are paying the price for something they had no involvement in. Just a non Penn Stater’s opinion.
The Nittany Turkey says
I agree with you, Lizzie. The NCAA saw a prime opportunity to flex its muscles for all the other member institutions to see. It can be argued both ways that this was or wasn’t an athletics issue that was or wasn’t within the purview of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association, for you foreigners 🙂 ). However, if the legendary coach had a character flaw and the coach was fired and replaced, doesn’t that pretty much solve the problem? After all, it took Paterno 50 years at Penn State to fully consolidate his power; if his replacement hangs around for one-tenth of that time it will be amazing.
Yeah, most of the sanctions were gratuitous. Only the first of them, which creates an endowment for sexually abused children makes any sense in the context of the unassailable moral high ground assumed by the NCAA. The rest seem draconian, sadistic, and vindictive.
I suppose that the NCAA, Emmert particularly, knew that PSU would throw itself on its sword, so it pulled out all the stops. I think that Erickson should have at least provided one layer of resistance, but he just offered the university up for sacrifice.
I guess he was afraid to be categorized by our black/white society as a child rapist facilitator.