The Orlando Sentinel, our local daily rag here in Turkeyland, published a letter to the editor about the current state of affairs at Penn State written by a PSU alumnus and friend whom I’ll call “The Commish”, for lack of a better pseudonym.
I felt that it was interesting and controversial enough to publish here, since the Turkey’s readership is far greater than that of the Sentinel. Well, maybe not, but it should be. They publish a lot more trash than I do and they want to charge for it. The Nittany Turkey is always free. Free crap! You can’t beat it. (If you do, someone probably put it in a paper bag, set fire to it, and yelled “Fire! Fire!”)
Here is The Commish’s proposal:
In November 2011 when this scandal became public, the football operation should have been curtailed IMMEDIATELY, rather than wait for the curmudgeon to be fired while dallying through his desire to retire “one week after the bowl game”. This failure suggested no atonement or contrition for the ugliness which occurred. No solemnity for the innocent victims.
Common business sense says you negotiate from a position of leverage. Get the upper hand, which is what an immediate shutdown would have allowed. Then you evaluate various economic scenarios, one of which will soon be on your doorstep. None of this was done. Betcha getting the upper hand on the NCAA from a self-imposed punishment would have HALVED the consequence. Imagine the sincerity from abruptly ending the season and rejecting a bowl game. Which is worse: asking the NCAA for a two-year DEATH penalty, or being economically water-boarded for ten years?
The foolish, selfish Penn Stater says the latter. What if you threw in an EXIT from the Big Ten? Both parties in truth would have been ecstatic. Better yet, say they’re EXPELLED! The Big Ten looks mean and punitive, and Penn State begins to elicit sympathy. Shhh.
Today (07/26/12) it’s learned that the NCAA had recommended a FOUR-year death penalty. If Penn State negotiated with ANY leverage, it could have asked for TWO-years (last year’s abrupt ending plus this year) and likely gotten THREE.
Even FOUR years is much kinder than being economically water-boarded for ten years. WTF are their brains?
This Turkey is scratching his head. As far as I’m concerned, this is a lot of speculation straight out of left field. Commish must have been slightly out of commission when he wrote it. By his own admission, “[This] shows how little I have to do, and what this cultural backwater accepts [for publication].” This Turkey can’t believe they actually left a “WTF” in there.
Everyone wants to criticize how Penn State has handled this misguided penalty, but no one is taking shots at the NCAA for taking license to come down hard on the innocents on the field by invoking “the chillllllllldren.” Obviously, we can no more change how the football program was run last year than we resurrect its late lamented leader. So, what’s the point, Commish? Just throwing stones?
Hell, you couldn’t even bear to mention Joe Paterno’s name!
I believe that the NCAA was bluffing with the purported ultimatum giving Penn State the choice of the sanctions that would eventually be levied or the dreaded “death penalty” for four years. In my old fowl brain, I’m thinking that for the NCAA to impose either the “death penalty” or a TV ban would be cutting off its nose to spite its face. Too much non-Penn State money would be lost in either of those two cases. I’m thinking that we might never see those extreme punishments again. Follow the money.
I still don’t see the Penn State situation as a football problem. The NCAA used the unfortunate institutional cover-up to make it one, and thus put it under their purview. It was easy enough to do by spouting platitudes about “the victims” and “the children” to gain the public’s ear and sympathy. The sanctions brought down from on high won’t do anything to help the victims, although having Penn State create a charitable endowment to aid organizations created to benefit future victims of abuse was a positive step. The rest of the sanctions were superfluous, draconian, and downright sadistic. No competitive advantage was gained, so why the hell should victories be “vacated” and what does a won/lost record have to do with the victims, anyway? All the punishments were football oriented with the only real connection to football being that a high-level administrator who happened to be a football coach screwed up on a non-football issue. But once again I rant pointlessly. I’m either preaching to the choir, or I’m not.
For what it’s worth, PennLive.com has published a report by Charles Thompson that chronicles the negotiations with the NCAA from beginning to end.