Friday, July 27, 2012

Thoughts on the NCAA, Penn State, and Ethics

I don't know about the rest of you; but, I've been thinking about the NCAA's recent ruling regarding the late coach Joe Patierno, Penn State, and ultimately the football team.  Now, I will admit up front that I do not watch much football and do not have any favourite teams, either college or professional.  I do not have an axe to grind. 

I am disgusted at what the assistant coach is accused of doing (having child porn on his computer).  However, from what I have read about this scandal, Patierno did take the issue to the university's president when he found out about it.  I don't know about the hierarchy at Penn State; however, he was ordered to keep quiet and sit on it.  Who knows what he may have told this assistant to do since he is now dead.  He may have tried to order him to stop the behaviour at work. So, yes, he kept quiet and the s***t hit the fan last year.  Oedipus, anyone?  Symbolically falling on his sword, he let himself die.  Now the jackals of the press and the editorial cartoonists are further ripping apart whatever is left.

However, in my opinion, what is even worse in this whole debacle, is what was done to former members of the Penn State football team, most of whom DO NOT become professional players, by the NCAA. Over 100 wins were wiped away as if they didn't even exist -- including bowl wins.  This brings me back to ancient Egypt, when a new pharoah would sometimes try to eliminate all historical references to his predecessor by scatching out his cartouches.  (Stalin also did the same thing, if you need a more modern example.)

I do agree that the university's President, who made the decisions in the first place should be the one who faces the firing line -- and he has been fired.  The monetary fine levied against the university I also cannot argue.   However, I've always had a huge problem when the NCAA punishes the athletes who had nothing to do with the actions of the persons in charge.  I don't care what sort of weak excuse the NCAA comes up with in this regard -- IT IS WRONG.