Monday, July 23, 2012

Look Out Below

Today the NCAA has imposed the some of the toughest sanctions ever doled out to a university and one of their sport's programs.  The NCAA handed down a 60 million dollar fine, took away post season appearances for 5 years, reduced scholarships by 10 per year, and vacated all the wins by the program from 1998 to and including 2011. Their current or recruited players can now transfer without penalty.

The NCAA did this while never conducting their own investigation. For all intents and purposes, PSU received a "death penalty" without it being official.  Call it fair, unfair, or whatever you want, but NCAA sanctions in most instances penalizes the current and future teams. It does also penalize over a decade of players most who worked hard for 5 years.

This story is far from over and there is actually more "bad" to come from this.  In one of my favorite movies of all time, Jaws,  the chief of police is in conflict with the mayor of the town to close the beach for the safety of the residents.  In a shark attack where the mayor's and chief's children were nearly victims, they come to an agreement to deal with the problem.  The Chief said in a statement, "Larry you are the mayor of shark city." That was movie fiction and this is real life.

Somewhere between 1998, an indictment, a jury trial, and an internal investigation, like or not, Penn State has become synonymous with cover up, secrecy and child molestation. The most famous name of the university has become the new mayor of "Shark City."

College football in general is part of the problem.  Pressure whether intentional or not is put on football programs to win and generate revenue for the universities.  Do you realize they play a full schedule, rely on computer, and vote who the two best teams are and play a championship game roughly six weeks later????  This is part of the insanity.  A team with two early season losses is almost never in contention for the vote.

Penn State won't be last university in trouble for putting the dollar and their reputation ahead of what is right, but the NCAA and college football needs to look at itself in the mirror.  We as Pennsylvania citizens need to more adamant about the incestuous relationships that exist between our elected and appointed officials have with institutions they supposed to regulate and provide oversight.  (See campaign contributions from 2nd Mile and grants given to them by the state.)

To those former players and graduates, you will continue to be leaders and innovators in your chosen professions and endeavors. Nothing that has transpired over the last 15 years that could ever change it.  To all current students, study where leadership has failed on your board of directors, the attorney generals office and transparency of your university.  Become engines of change.

To the new generation of Penn State football player who decide to play their careers with no hope of post season, I applaud your decision. You will still receive a great education and your displaying leadership qualities which has been lacking and will hopefully translate into a better future for all involved.

No comments: