Penn State Death Penalty: Arguments For... and Against

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Over the last week, I feel like I’ve read one hundred different articles explaining why the NCAA should “bring the hammer down” on Penn State. I disagree and don’t think that will happen. Let’s play.

“Penn State has shown a lack of institutional control.”

Absolutely true. Except not by the NCAA’s definition. The NCAA defines a “lack of institutional control” as a repeating offender of NCAA violations. Penn State is not guilty of that. They have never been sanctioned by the NCAA. Yet.

“The NCAA won’t just let them get away with that!”

What? Who? The deceased coach, the monster in jail or the two being charged with perjury by the grand jury? I can understand the rage, but this is and has been bigger than football. Punishing the current program for the crimes that a few men (NOT athletes) committed is not likely to happen. Never before has the NCAA sanctioned a university when there were no NCAA violations committed by players.

“The culture there allowed this to happen!”

I gotta tell you, if a community loving their football program is punishable then we might as well let Pitt and Boston College play for the national championship on September 1st and call it a season. I can assure you, Tuscaloosa, Columbus and Tallahassee all love and cheer just as hard for their teams. They just don’t look as attractive while doing it. The fans and alumni had nothing to do with the decision to not report Jerry Sandusky and also didn’t have the authority to let him on campus. The “culture” of college football is nation-wide, not just in Happy Valley.

The administrators knowingly conspired to hide a pedophile while he committed monstrous acts. 

Oddly enough, there’s no real evidence of that. It’s evident that four men blundered an opportunity to take a monster off the street through a series of misjudgements, underestimations and terrible decisions, but in the 3.5 million documents studied by the Freeh report, there’s no mention of a conspiracy or a cover-up “for the program.” In 3,500,000 letters, notes and emails, there’s not a single “if this gets out…” mentioned. Just sayin.

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