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Version: 1.0
(July 25, 2005)

Penn State

Nov 23, 2011 by Ugh
MckinneyTexas asked at the Mothership whether there would be a Penn State post but there were no takers, so I thought I'd throw one up here. But, what to say? I'd like to say that this illustrates "everything that's wrong with big time college athletics," but I don't think that would be true.

I actually typed the last sentence above a few days ago* before today's story in the WSJ, which seems to indicate that JoePa's Penn State football program did not in fact live up to the "squeaky clean" image it maintained. While true that PSU was not sanctioned by the NCAA during JoePa's tenure, it appears from the article that there were many many cases, dating back to who knows when, where football players were given more leniency by the PSU administrators when it came to things like, e.g., breaking into an apartment en masse and beating people, than would have been given to "ordinary" students. Shocking, I know. Further, they went so far as to basically strip the student conduct administrators of their ability to discipline football players with respect to football related activities, "After Dr. Triponey's departure, the university hired Bob Secor, a former vice provost at the school, to head a committee to examine the judicial-review process. Mr. Secor says that Mr. Paterno told him that he didn't think other people should be able to decide whether a football player should be able to play or not. 'And we agreed with that,' he says."

So, assuming more and more stories like this will come out, it actually does seem to me that the PSU "scandal" can be held up to illustrate most, if not all, of what's wrong with big time college athletics. If I were sending a kid to college right now with a big time NCAA athletic program, one piece of advice I would give would be to stay away from those athletes (be they football, basketball, and/or some other sports stars on campus). They are unaccountable and the temptation to act accordingly is strong.

*along with a few other things that don't seem relevant anymore


Nov 25, 2011, 07:45:26 libjpn wrote:

Thanks for putting this up, Ugh, and sorry for not being over here. Life has been a bit overwhelming of late.

This piece by Berubé

is interesting. As I noted at the mothership, he's a person whose writing I eagerly read, but the last phrase of the piece:

"But if the administration is serious about restoring shattered trust at Penn State, it must start by trusting its own faculty; and we faculty members — invisible so far, too stunned and depressed to speak — must work with the administration to repair what Mr. Sandusky and his enablers have destroyed."

seems oddly vague. Though I'd note that the WSJ article about Penn State program irregularities came out after this, I'm still trying to find a way to be able to exclude Paterno as one of Sandusky's enablers, even at the earlier date, but I'm coming up empty.

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