From the very start, the Jerry Sandusky scandal clearly transcended the NCAA's purview of free tattoos and hundred-dollar handshakes. Sandusky might have coached at Penn State. He might have used his position as a coach to prey on young boys. Yet, what Sandusky did went well beyond football. The same goes for Joe Paterno and the administrators who stand accused of covering up Sandusky's atrocities. It was never a matter that deserved NCAA scrutiny.
I would've preferred that the NCAA just mind it's own business. That said, when the Association did decide to throw the book at the Nittany Lions football program, I just couldn’t work up any indignation.
The power held by Joe Paterno and the money that flowed from Penn State football enabled Sandusky. I won’t stand in the way of anyone trying to put a match to a culture that twisted, especially if it forces other institutions to be more vigilant and discourages such cover-ups everywhere else in the future.
Was Mark Emmert grandstanding as he went on a self-congratulatory P.R. offensive after handing down the sanctions? Sure. I was willing to look past the smarmy ego masturbation and unwarranted donning of the white hat. Given the ends, I could live with the means.
Fourteen months later, Penn State is making such great “progress” that the NCAA decided to start easing the harsh penalties that it had levied on the school.
Progress from what? Progress to where?
The NCAA started this with the goal – however quixotic – of discouraging schools from allowing big-time sports to unduly influence their values and mission. Now, the NCAA is rewarding PSU for checking off some boxes on a glorified to-do list.
Lesson learned, Mr. Emmert.