Penn Statement

The Freeh Report came to light on Thursday, July 12, and with it, all doubt was removed. The investigation found conclusively that Joe Paterno, as well as Penn State's president, athletic director, and senior VP of finance were not simply negligent, but actively complicit in the cover-up that allowed Jerry Sandusky continued access to the boys that he raped.

I say this in no uncertain terms: The Penn State football program was a conduit for the rape and sexual abuse of children.

The question that remains is this: Will the NCAA see fit to sanction the Penn State football program, and if so, will that mean the death penalty?

I'm certain that I believe that Penn State should not compete in football this year, and perhaps for a few years. That said, I am unsure of who would or should mete out this punishment. In an ideal world, Penn State would pull the plug on their own season, but somehow, I don't see that happening. Should the NCAA step in and sanction Penn State? I've heard reasoned arguments for this both ways. On the one hand, as horrific as the violations of laws and human decency were here, it's difficult to pinpoint, save for the all-encompassing "lack of institutional control," where an NCAA violation occurred. On the other, the NCAA can set precedent here: It is clear that the coverup of Sandusky's crimes was done to protect the football program. By putting the same football program on hiatus, the NCAA would make it clear that anyone who would even think of harboring a criminal in the same manner puts the program in jeopardy.

If you can believe it, despite the general tilt here, it was my intent not to rehash the FAMU comparisons there make sense here. A conversation earlier today (interestingly enough, started by Luther "Uncle Luke" Campbell) pointed out that like the Marching 100--more, actually--Penn State football has a significant financial impact not only on the athletic program and the university, but on the entire community. The suspension of the program, much like the suspension of the Marching 100, would cause significant strain on many. None of this should matter. As I said when advocating for the suspension of the 100, Penn State football cannot be too big to fail.

I remain on the fence as to whether or not the NCAA should sanction Penn State. But if the university truly wants to set itself on the path to restoring its honor, the NCAA shouldn't have to.