Kristian:NCAA should stay out of Penn State investigation
Kristian@wwl.com - The ''death penalty.'' It's the harshest punishment the NCAA can hand down for rules violations. There have been 5 schools that have received the death penalty in college sports. Kentucky basketball received the death penalty for a points shaving violation. Southern Methodist University's football program was given the death penalty for cash rewards to players. University of Southwestern Louisiana Basketball received the death penalty for academic fraud and recruiting violation. Morehouse College had their Soccer program shut down by the NCAA for having ineligible players, and MacMurray College's tennis program was handed the death penalty for offering scholarships to players in foreign countries. However, Div III programs can't offer scholarships.
All the infractions committed by the above-mentioned schools were in violation of NCAA rules, and were not criminal. This is a criminal matter, not an NCAA matter. Should innocent people in the community pay for the concealment of a crime by a coach, athletic director, and a university president? No!
If you are a business owner three miles off campus that thrives off Penn State football on Saturday afternoons at Beaver stadium, you couldn't possibly be in favor of the death Penalty. If a team recruits illegal players or commits academic fraud to maintain a players' eligibility, you are gaining competitive advantage. The NCAA governs sports...NOT federal, state, and municipal laws. Penn State didn't gain a competitive advantage with the concealment of Jerry Sandusky's heinous crimes. What if you were a high school Senior that just graduated, headed to Penn State this fall to play football? Should you pay the price for something that happened at the school before you even committed to attend? Especially if you didn't have anything to do with it? The kids currently on the team shouldn't pay just because the administrators didn't have the moral compass pointed in the right direction.
I'm not making the case for Penn State, or for Jerry Sandusky. I'm making the case for the football players, community business owners, the interns, the coaches, and other support staffers that had nothing to do with raping boys. Sandusky is getting what he deserves, and I am sure he'll get even worse in prison. Paterno is dead, his legacy forever tainted and perhaps ruined. The President and A.D could be facing criminal charges. The NCAA should tread carefully here before they execute a football program, because they could execute a community in the process. It's not their place to enforce the law, but to maintain competitive integrity within the playing fields of collegiate athletics.
Joe Paterno's statue should be taken down, and his name removed from the Library. The Death Penalty would only serve to make things worse in Happy Valley. As we've witnessed in New Orleans, football has a way of healing communities. Give Penn State a chance to heal through the same game.