Comments about ‘In our opinion: Penn State's penalties inadequate, need to temporarily suspend football program’

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Published: Wednesday, July 25 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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DougS
Oakley, UT

The entire thing has me wondering about peoples view on "justice". When greater punishment is handed out for knowing about a crime and not reporting it than is given the convicted felon, something is skewed. Paterno may have died anyway, but was his demise hastened by this scandal? Many people lost their livelihoods and how, frankly, did this benefit the students at Penn State? If their educational facilities depended on revenue from their football program, who/what is going to replace that revenue (as well as the money paid out is a fine)? Why not just close the school? That way everyone having possible knowledge of Sanduskys crime will be punished "and justice served"...

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

Over reaching is an understatement for what is going on here. Yes, there was a problem here. It was a school administration problem. This wasn't a "football" problem. Penn State received no competitive advantage from the actions of this coach. Unlike UNC where players eligibility was in question, none of those young men 18 to 22 years old did anything competitively wrong or immoral. That is what the NCAA is there for - to ensure fairness and competitiveness of the game.

The NCAA is not there to do is to be enforcers of civil law. And that is what was broken here. Those people who withheld evidence of a crime, should be charged with doing so. Those who were in positions to correct a wrong, and didn't do so, should be civilly liable for it. And the school administration needs to be held civilly liable for not removing a predator from young kids, and I am sure will be held civilly liable for those actions.

If I were Penn State, I would sue the NCAA for over reaching their powers. But that doesn't make for a good "opinion" piece now, does it.

JD Tractor
Iowa City, IA

Agreed. Penn St. should have been completely shut down. Take four years off, start all over again. If these crimes would have been committed outside of the football circle and not intentionally covered up by top ranking school officials, I would think the NCAA had no cause to impose penalties. But it did not happen outside and it was covered up by the very people who are supposed to uphold the integrity of the NCAA.

Penn St. should voluntarily quit the program and get a fresh start. Now every time they play people will think of the scandal.

freedomingood
provo, Utah

If your sense of justice is to squash the hopes and dreams of the athletes that had nothing to do with it, then by all means, punish those kids instead of the adults. That's what America is about.

Surf_Waves
American Fork, UT

This Editorial is right on. In order to avoid punishing the innocent here I'd do the following:
1. Allow football players to transfer, penalty free, to another school ( this was done)
2. Allow any school accepting a Penn State football player to increase their available scholarships by that amount. Because football teams are limited in the number of scholarships they offer if a team gives a scholarship to a ex-penn state football player and then takes away a scholarship from an existing player because they have hit their max allowable scholarships ( 85?) then it unfairly impacts the innocent original player.
3. Lock and chain the stadium. Shut the program down for five years.

If your child was one of those abused, do you think in five years your child will be healed and be over it? Do you think said abuse could affect them for their entire lives? Five years is hardly a penalty in my mind given the life long burden these kids will carry.

Big Papi
South Jordan, 00

What did any of this have to do with the students or student-athletes at Penn State? NOTHING. Why are they the ones getting punished? This editorial is ridiculous... any punishment that affects the student-athletes on Penn State's current football team is making hypocrites of the editorial writer and NCAA President Mark Emmert, who claim these measures are justified because nobody protected the innocent. Why is Mark Emmert and this editorial now making the innocent pay for the misdeeds of others? Hypocrites, by their own words. Here's a novel idea... let's punish the guilty, and leave the innocent alone.

Surf_Waves
American Fork, UT

@Big Papi,

Students or student-athletes ( football) are free to go another institution. Let them go where they want to and they won't be punished. If they stay, then yes, they won't have a football team but they will have other sports teams to cheer for.. just not football. If they want that football experience, they are free to go elsewhere. Because the university failed in their duty to report child sexual abuse the university should be penalized. Students are free to leave to avoid penalties. Students transfer all the time.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

The entire athletic establishment should get the "death penalty." It's overwhelmingly costly, as the students subsidize the glorification and enrichment of a handful of athletes, most of whom can't do academic work. I wonder how the great universities of the world such as Oxford and Paris have survived all these centuries without this ridiculous and expensive sideshow?

Lbone
Salt Lake City, UT

I'm not sure what it is about our society where we love to punish the innocent along with the guilty. When an apple has a bruise, remove the bruise. When one kid is misbehaving in class, punish him and don't keep the whole class from enjoying recess.

There was/is nothing bad/wrong about the Penn St. football program. Coaches and administrators in the school are either dead, fired, or in jail. That's where the blame should be confined. Those who were guilty have been dealt with. The football players, the fans, and all the supporting structures of the program are INNOCENT.

The NCAA is akin to a totalitarian regime. They have no right to punish innocent people! In its zeal to "send a message," excessive punishment becomes overkill. The crimes were serious to be sure.

Use a flyswatter to kill the fly, not a machine gun!

Someone needs to rein in the NCAA! The organization is out of control.

Big Papi
South Jordan, 00

@ Surf Waves
You make it sound so easy... just transfer away. Having been a D1 football player I can tell you it's not that easy. Trying to transfer somewhere else, especially for a Junior or Senior, and having to compete for a spot against kids that have been in the program for several years is hardly an easy thing to do. These transfers won't be familiar with the coaches, the other players, the offenses and defenses they now need to learn,etc. This can essentially end their careers. This is punishment to the innocent and greatly impacts their lives. Punish the guilty, not the innocent.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Irony Guy
"It's overwhelmingly costly"

How so? Penn State was fined 60 million, a number they came up with because it represents one years' worth of football revenue for penn state. Now, I don't know exact numbers for how much Penn State spends on athletics as a whole each year, but that 60 million in football revenue might singlehandedly cover every single sport.

"a handful of athletes, most of whom can't do academic work"

Incidentally Penn State is ranked first of all BCS schools for football team academic rankings. That's one of the things that made Joe Paterno so notable, that he was producing top-tier graduation rates and academic rankings in his teams. That was the model other schools followed.

4601
Salt Lake City, UT

The Penn State persona, its brand, its mojo was built on success with respectability. Penn St. administrators were afraid to disclose because of their fan and donor base who had created and demanded that facade. None of those involved except the apex criminal would sanction child rape, but Penn St. valued appearance over substance and assumed their fan base did too. The perpetrator will be in prison, but athletics at PS, their fans and the money involved were the enablers and should share in the punishment. Athletes who came to PS in good faith have options to stay or leave and they, not the fans, are the innocent casualties. Perhaps they have legal redress from PS.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

I think that Penn State should do two things:

1) Sue the NCAA for overreaching on all issues except permitting the players to transfer to other schools, and then
2) Volutarily close the program down for four years, put a big visible chain and padlock on the stadium, and announce, "What happened is so ugly we need to stop for a few years completely and get a new start at some point in the future.

So then they have completely divorced themselves from what happened.

eagle
Provo, UT

I thought at first that shutting down the program would be justified. However, I changed my tune after thinking about the issue and listening to the debate. I think the sanctions are fair and reasonable. There would be a huge economic loss for that area of the country, an area of the country already hurting economically, if Penn State shuts down its program altogether. It would punish a lot of people making them collateral damage. Yes, football was glorified too much, there was lack of institutional control and the sanctions do send a powerful message about priorities. But there is also the reality that perhaps putting thousands of people out of work at this time isn't a good idea either and that could happen with the death penalty. Plus those young men who want to stay and in reality don't have other options are not (too) penalized for the actions of adult leaders.

smart_aleck
VANCOUVER, WA

I strongly disagree with the Editorial Board's opinion. The NCAA has no business exacting a penalty in a criminal offense and has overstepped its authority in leveling any penalties against Penn State. The NCAA governs athletic competition and student athletes, not criminal offenses. Prosecution of the heinous and unspeakable offenses committed by Sandusky and covered up by school administrators properly belongs to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, not the NCAA. The offense is the individual responsibility of five men: Spanier, Schultz, Curley, Paterno, and most of all, Sandusky. If the NCAA is to pronounce any penalties, it should do so against those individuals, not the university.

Penn State and its football program have shown a willingness to change the culture and place of athletics by removing all of the culpable individuals from their employment. To level any kind of punitive measures at the students, players, coaches, staff and fans is entirely inappropriate and wrongheaded.

The reference to penalties assessed against the Univ. of Indiana as a measuring stick is unfortunate. Indiana has no parallel whatsoever to the situation at Penn State. Regrettably, the suggestion that football program be shuttered is not well founded nor carefully thought out.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

This draconian penalty doesn't bring any justice to anyone. It short changes those students who paid TOP dollar's to go to this school. And now they are ripped off.
Punish the Administrators, NOT the institution. This is typical justice: smoke and mirrors.

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