I don’t know that I ever wrote about the Penn State sexual abuse scandal. And, to be honest, I am turning into my summer school kids and I am just too lazy to look and see if I talked about it at all. But the “punishment” got passed down yesterday. And the punishment is multi-faceted.
The reason that I put punishment in quotes is because I’m not sure if it is a punishment or not. I mean, it is definitely a punishment, but I’m not sure that it punishes the correct people. I think because I’m not really connected to the scandal in any way (other than the fact that I don’t want to see kids being abused) allows me to see both sides of this and be as impartial as possible.
So, the punishment seems to be as followed. The school was fined $60 million. My understanding is that this is equivalent to one year’s revenue from the football team. They were stripped of all their wins from 1998-2011; also stripping Paterno of the title of Winningest Coach. The team won’t be able to compete in the postseason for 4 years. And scholarships have been lessened – I believe I saw a figure that 20 scholarships were taken away.
From my understanding, the NCAA has decided to do this because of the coverup that occurred. I heard from one news report that they want to make sure that the football team is never valued over the education and nurturing of the school again. And I can understand all of that. You have to let people know that covering things up is not good and can cause dire consequences.
On the other hand, I understand people that are upset by the punishment that was handed down. There is no reason to punish people that were not involved in the scandal. Scholarships are being taken away from people that may need them and will not be able to attend that school. The new coaches will not have the opportunity to prove their worth for the next four years, which could hurt their program.
The one positive to this entire situation is that Penn State was not handed the death penalty that the NCAA has handed down to a few teams in history. I have heard that plenty of people will still be renewing their season tickets for the football season. On one site, I saw a comment saying that the hardcore alumni would just hold a bake sale. Maybe that’s true.
The scandal was a shame. The people that should have been punished may or may not have been punished properly. And now, there may be harsh punishments to people that shouldn’t have been punished. It’s hard to decide if the punishment is just or not. But it’s the punishment that has been handed down and that all will have to deal with.