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Penn State: Death Penalty? Ouster from B1G?


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#21 mweb08

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:56 PM

Well it is. That's the whole point. Why else would they even cover it up? As bad as this all is, I don't think JoePa covered it up to keep Sandusky happy and because he liked hearing of children getting raped. He covered it up because he knew what would have happened to his program if he didn't. That he covered up, undeniably created the pristine, great circumstances at Penn State to continue, when there is no mistaking the fact that those conditions would have taken a hit if he had come forward with the information.


Yep. I don't see the merits of any argument that can suggest they didn't do what they did to put themselves in a better situation compared to if they did the right thing; thus, having that news become public. So they weren't gaining anything over their current situation, but they were gaining over the alternative situation. Thus, an advantage. The same logic is applied to covering up a recruiting violation.

#22 DJ MC

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:59 PM

It's not the same thing, but the reasoning and the importance of what they did in regards to the health of the program parallels cheating to get better players or covering up doing that.


No it doesn't.

If somehow covering this up allowed the program to get better football players than before the discovery of Sandusky's activities, that would be an advantage. If the school had continued to let him coach for the next decade while they looked the other way, that would be an advantage. Simply trying to keep the status quo, other than losing the coach, doesn't constitute an advantage, especially when the administration was only digging itself a deeper hole by doing so.

#23 DJ MC

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 11:04 PM

Yep. I don't see the merits of any argument that can suggest they didn't do what they did to put themselves in a better situation compared to if they did the right thing; thus, having that news become public. So they weren't gaining anything over their current situation, but they were gaining over the alternative situation. Thus, an advantage. The same logic is applied to covering up a recruiting violation.

But in that case the recruiting violation was the advantage, and the cover-up made it worse. Applying that logic to this situation would suggest that Sandusky's raping of the victims provided the program with the advantage. That is obviously not at all the case, so it doesn't work.

I live in Bel Air. If I were forced to move somewhere and were given the choice between West Baltimore and western Iran, obviously I'm going to pick West Baltimore. That might put me in a better situation than the other choice, but it doesn't give me any kind of advantage. Unless I'm subconsciously learning more than I realize from Breaking Bad.

#24 mweb08

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 11:08 PM

No it doesn't.

If somehow covering this up allowed the program to get better football players than before the discovery of Sandusky's activities, that would be an advantage. If the school had continued to let him coach for the next decade while they looked the other way, that would be an advantage. Simply trying to keep the status quo, other than losing the coach, doesn't constitute an advantage, especially when the administration was only digging itself a deeper hole by doing so.


Read my last post. They got the advantage that you speak of vs the alternative of the status quo. There were two options, they took the one that was better for the program and the university's reputation.

Oh, and Joe Pa gave Sandusky the option to continue to coach, but Jerry opted for retirement.

#25 RShack

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:08 AM

In the rare cases when a program has received the death penalty, it was for failing to rectify serious problems concerning *athletics*, and only then after the program had faced multiple significant disciplinary actions before without fixing anything. There is nothing about this sad tale that is even remotely related to that. This is an otherwise squeaky clean program that now has one very tragic story as part of its legacy... but one that is unrelated to athletic activities. It could just as well been the history dept. And, no, I am not saying the history dept has comparable clout... only that the nature of the crime has zilch to do with football, just as it would have zilch to do with the study of history.

Now, I would not be surprised if the NCAA does something to Penn St. But the reason would have nothing to do with athletic rules. It would be a case of a basically corrupt organization taking a phony holier-than-thou posture while scoring points with the crowd that has blood lust and pitchforks.

Penalties should go thru the legal system. I expect (and hope) that there will be both criminal and megabuck civil penalties. (Just like I hope for the same thing re: guilty parties within the Catholic Church.) While all that is going on, the NCAA should keep it's big greedy nose out of it. This has nothing to do with the football program's treatment of recruits or anything related to that.

 "You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at.

  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#26 SammyBirdland

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 07:29 AM

In the rare cases when a program has received the death penalty, it was for failing to rectify serious problems concerning *athletics*, and only then after the program had faced multiple significant disciplinary actions before without fixing anything. There is nothing about this sad tale that is even remotely related to that. This is an otherwise squeaky clean program that now has one very tragic story as part of its legacy... but one that is unrelated to athletic activities. It could just as well been the history dept. And, no, I am not saying the history dept has comparable clout... only that the nature of the crime has zilch to do with football, just as it would have zilch to do with the study of history.

Now, I would not be surprised if the NCAA does something to Penn St. But the reason would have nothing to do with athletic rules. It would be a case of a basically corrupt organization taking a phony holier-than-thou posture while scoring points with the crowd that has blood lust and pitchforks.

Penalties should go thru the legal system. I expect (and hope) that there will be both criminal and megabuck civil penalties. (Just like I hope for the same thing re: guilty parties within the Catholic Church.) While all that is going on, the NCAA should keep it's big greedy nose out of it. This has nothing to do with the football program's treatment of recruits or anything related to that.


They covered up the sexual abuse to protect the football program. This is absolutely an athletics story. They hid it so that they could maintain their squeaky clean image and have as little impact on their ability to get great recruits and those bigtime NCAA dollars.
¡Hasta la vista, pelota!

#27 SammyBirdland

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 07:52 AM

Here are some interesting quotes from around the Twitter world:

*Looks very close to the worst-case scenario at Penn State. Willfully protecting a monster, sacrificing children, for sport and school. (National Post's Bruce Arthur)

*Paterno denied to grand jury knowing about any other Sandusky act other than 2001. Freeh report says he knew about 1998 (Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel)

*Let this sink in: When McQueary reported the shower incident to Paterno, he already knew about the '98 investigation. Didn't do anything. (ESPN.com's Jemele Hill)

*Lack of centralized compliance + criminal concealment = more than enough for the NCAA to dig into Penn State with every available shovel. (Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson)

*Unreal that Sandusky was seated in the Nittany Lion club to see Paterno break alltime wins record in 2011. Wow, wow, wow. (SI's Lars Anderson)

*If nothing else, the Freeh reports just blasted open the doors for civil laibility.... (SI's Jon Wertheim)

*If you still don't think football culture played a role in the cover-up at PSU, the you're beyond reasoning with at this point. (ESPN.com's Kevin Van Valkenburg)


¡Hasta la vista, pelota!

#28 Mackus

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:12 AM

My thoughts on the death penalty from the other thread:

I don't think the football program should get the death penalty. I think it's a stretch to consider this a "lack of institutional control" scenario. Not that Penn St showed good judgement by any means, but just that this scenario is not at all what that terminology in the NCAA bylaws is meant to apply to. That is for direct, knowing, repeated violations of NCAA recruiting and amateurism rules that is not reigned in by the coaching staff, head coach, AD, and ultimately the president. This scenario is a different beast, as it didn't actually involve the football team, but was just these 4 pathetic cowards trying to avoid public scandal and in the process endangering young kids. It's far worse from a moral standpoint for sure, but it's not what the NCAA is meant to police. That said, if they go out and use a loose interpretation of the "lack on institutional control" ruling and do decide to whack PSU, I won't complain.

#29 SportsGuy

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 09:47 AM

There are 2 ways to look at this:

On one hand, this was covered because Paterno ran Happy Valley like Bud Kilmer ran West Canaan. Its a football school/town and what he says(said) goes. HE is #1 and anyone would be afraid to go against him.

OTOH, by penalizing the football program, I believe that trivializes this some and takes away the focus of what is really important..the victims.

For me, that's the big issue.

So, you must take down the Paterno statue. You must totally eliminate any assocation the university has with anyone named in the Free report.

Then, you are going to have to pay...BIG!

I can see the argument why someone would want to penalize the football program. We can say, well its only a few people. Well, it was only Reggie Bush and USC got penalized. That happens. But this is a bigger issue than taking money from a booster and for me, giving them the death penalty or whatever else won't change anything and it doesn't directly go after the heart of the issue, which are the victims.

#30 Mike B

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 09:50 AM

Nothing should happen to the football program.

I am not sure I agree with that. I have mixed feelings but the NCAA likes to use the term "lack of institutional Control" when smacking offending schools. This screams lack of control. As for the argument some make that he left Penn State over a decade ago, that is BS in my view. They knew what a low life predator this guy was and let him get away with it for 12-14 additional years. I do not know about the death penalty but there has to be a hammer dropped on them IMO.
I think we can all agree this is a disgusting situation. I have supported Joe Pa through out this situation, but the report is damning.
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#31 Mike B

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 09:56 AM

[quote name="Sports Guy"]There are 2 ways to look at this:

On one hand, this was covered because Paterno ran Happy Valley like Bud Kilmer ran West Canaan. Its a football school/town and what he says(said) goes. HE is #1 and anyone would be afraid to go against him.

OTOH, by penalizing the football program, I believe that trivializes this some and takes away the focus of what is really important..the victims.

For me, that's the big issue.

So, you must take down the Paterno statue. You must totally eliminate any assocation the university has with anyone named in the Free report.

Then, you are going to have to pay...BIG!

I can see the argument why someone would want to penalize the football program. We can say, well its only a few people. Well, it was only Reggie Bush and USC got penalized. That happens. But this is a bigger issue than taking money from a booster and for me, giving them the death penalty or whatever else won't change anything and it doesn't directly go after the heart of the issue, which are the victims.[/quote]
On this we are in total agreement. My thought though is that there would have been a lot less victims had Joe and the AD, President etc done the right thing. They did not largely IMO to protect the cash cow which was the football program. For that reason there should be a penalty IMO.
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#32 RShack

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 11:09 AM

IMO, those who think the football program should face NCAA sanctions are confusing the motivation with the crime. The crime should and must be punished. You can't punish the motivation, you can only punish those responsible for the crime. And the crime had nothing to do with football players or football or anything like that.

Let's say somebody commits murder to protect his wife's reputation. The facts are clear that his wife was clearly what he wanted to protect... so let's punish her too?

Face it, there is no principle here. This calls for critical thinking, not just a blanket desire for punishment. I expect the legal system will provide ample punishment for both individuals and for the institution. The latter will pay thru the nose, and it's football program is already irrevocably tarnished beyond any other. We'll see who goes to jail. But none of this should concern the NCAA unless you can cite some NCAA rules that were broken. So far, I haven't seen any.

 "You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at.

  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#33 SammyBirdland

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 11:19 AM

Let's say somebody commits murder to protect his wife's reputation. The facts are clear that his wife was clearly what he wanted to protect... so let's punish her too?


Let's say employees of a local construction company commit murder to protect the company reputation. The CEO, CFO, and lead architect all conspire to commit murder and are arrested. Should the local home builders association remove them from their ogranization, even though there is now a new CEO, CFO, and lead architect?

Does the fact that all of their company branding and literature still sings the praises of the old CEO and that there is still a statue of the old CEO outside the company office have any bearing on your decision?
¡Hasta la vista, pelota!

#34 Mike B

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:02 PM

IMO, those who think the football program should face NCAA sanctions are confusing the motivation with the crime. The crime should and must be punished. You can't punish the motivation, you can only punish those responsible for the crime. And the crime had nothing to do with football players or football or anything like that.

Let's say somebody commits murder to protect his wife's reputation. The facts are clear that his wife was clearly what he wanted to protect... so let's punish her too?

Face it, there is no principle here. This calls for critical thinking, not just a blanket desire for punishment. I expect the legal system will provide ample punishment for both individuals and for the institution. The latter will pay thru the nose, and it's football program is already irrevocably tarnished beyond any other. We'll see who goes to jail. But none of this should concern the NCAA unless you can cite some NCAA rules that were broken. So far, I haven't seen any.



The precedent for punishment is certainly there. The violation is lack of control. The len Bias situation is somewhat similar. The basketball coach, AD and University Prsident all moved on or were dismissed. However the NCAA came down hard. I think the NCAA has to act. The school acted to cover up this matter. I do not think the death penalty solves anything but I think a strong message has to be sent. I think they get a 2 to 3 year probation and a loss of scholarships.
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#35 RShack

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:11 PM

Let's say employees of a local construction company commit murder to protect the company reputation. The CEO, CFO, and lead architect all conspire to commit murder and are arrested. Should the local home builders association remove them from their ogranization, even though there is now a new CEO, CFO, and lead architect?

Does the fact that all of their company branding and literature still sings the praises of the old CEO and that there is still a statue of the old CEO outside the company office have any bearing on your decision?

There's a huge diff between removing a company from the local voluntary professional org vs. putting them out of business. The NCAA has arbitrary police and enforcement power yet is free from any standards that they have to meet themselves. What they mainly do is MAX the money for big schools while ensuring that players don't get a nickel for the $billions they generate, not even minimum wage. Why anybody looks to the NCAA for moral and ethical judgments is beyond me.

Frankly, I don't trust the NCAA to show appropriate judgment about this... even if the issues were within their jurisdiction, which I think they are not. Of course, some folks think the NCAA should be able to do anything they damn please and, well, we'll just have to disagree about that if you think they should be do whatever they want.

Bottom line: The NCAA's role is to address academic-athletic standards which are *not* a matter of law, and they have unlimited power in that regard. The crimes at Penn St are matters of the law, both criminal and civil. There's a ton of mixing apples and oranges going on here. Why anybody would prefer the NCAA jump in with both of their arbitrary and very unsupervised feet into what are clearly legal matters is beyond me.

As for how Penn St deals with things like statues and brochures, they need to have a chance to respond. I am not in any way sympathetic to Penn St about this whole tragedy, but IMO the proposals being discussed here are beyond the pale.

Do you think the Catholic Church should be kicked out of whatever inter-faith org's they belong to?

Forget for just a moment the constitutional protection for religion: if not for that protection, do you think the Catholic Church should closed down due to their complicity in virtually identical crimes on the grounds that the Church provided and is still providing cover for child abusers? Or do you think the people involved in both the abusive crimes and the cover-ups should go to jail and the Church should be liable for civil penalties?

 "You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at.

  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#36 RShack

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:12 PM

The precedent for punishment is certainly there. The violation is lack of control. The len Bias situation is somewhat similar. The basketball coach, AD and University Prsident all moved on or were dismissed. However the NCAA came down hard. I think the NCAA has to act. The school acted to cover up this matter. I do not think the death penalty solves anything but I think a strong message has to be sent. I think they get a 2 to 3 year probation and a loss of scholarships.

Good point about MD and Len Bias. I had forgotten about that.

But that's way different than a death penalty...

 "You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at.

  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#37 DJ MC

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:14 PM

Let's say employees of a local construction company commit murder to protect the company reputation. The CEO, CFO, and lead architect all conspire to commit murder and are arrested. Should the local home builders association remove them from their ogranization, even though there is now a new CEO, CFO, and lead architect?

Does the fact that all of their company branding and literature still sings the praises of the old CEO and that there is still a statue of the old CEO outside the company office have any bearing on your decision?


Considering all of this has come down publicly over less than a year and the investigation offered their report yesterday, I think using the remnants of the old guard as justification to punish everybody is a bit much. Especially when there are other things to consider, like how the old CEO paid to put his name on the corporate headquarters building, which will create many more issues to take it off.

You're still punishing the innocent for the crimes of the guilty, who are no longer in charge. And unlike that local company, Penn State cannot change their name or logo or other identifiers to help put this behind them.

#38 mweb08

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:36 PM

Considering all of this has come down publicly over less than a year and the investigation offered their report yesterday, I think using the remnants of the old guard as justification to punish everybody is a bit much. Especially when there are other things to consider, like how the old CEO paid to put his name on the corporate headquarters building, which will create many more issues to take it off.

You're still punishing the innocent for the crimes of the guilty, who are no longer in charge. And unlike that local company, Penn State cannot change their name or logo or other identifiers to help put this behind them.


That's pretty consistent with how the NCAA operates.

#39 Mike B

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:24 PM

Good point about MD and Len Bias. I had forgotten about that.

But that's way different than a death penalty...



I am not advocating the death penalty, in fact, I do not want to see that happen. I think in the end, the NCAA, who is more full of it, then the PSU admin, will cite "lack of institutional control" and impose penalties on Penn State. All through college sports people have left(John Calipari) or been shown the door before the NCAA has imposed penalties, but the penalties are still handed down. I expect the same for Penn State. I do think the NCAA is very inconsistent, and they certainly protect some of their favorites, so it will be interesting.
SG is right when he says the only thing that is important is the victims and how they are treated is more important then PSU and their football program.
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#40 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:39 PM

The precedent for punishment is certainly there. The violation is lack of control. The len Bias situation is somewhat similar. The basketball coach, AD and University Prsident all moved on or were dismissed. However the NCAA came down hard. I think the NCAA has to act. The school acted to cover up this matter. I do not think the death penalty solves anything but I think a strong message has to be sent. I think they get a 2 to 3 year probation and a loss of scholarships.


The infractions the NCAA sanctioned UM for all occurred well after Bias' death and Lefty Driesell was forced out. Not to say that the punishment wasn't harsher than the crime because of what happened before. But officially all of the infractions happened during the Bob Wade era except for one, a minor infraction committed by Gary his first season when he was present for an informal workout.




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