NCAA President Mark Emmert recently placed punitive sanctions on Penn State University for allowing a known pedophile to victimize boys on their campus from 1998 to 2011. That felon has been dealt with by the legal system and is now facing a lifetime behind bars.
The “big four” administrative department heads responsible for allowing this abuse of children, are University President Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz, Athletic Director Timothy Curley, and head football coach Joe Paterno. Paterno died earlier this year, and the other three face their own day in court.
Emmert said, “…the cultural, systemic, and leadership failures at Penn State had to be addressed, and that the NCAA’s approach demands that Penn State become an exemplary NCAA member by eradicating the mindset that led to this tragedy.”
His words. You see, he just wants to eliminate the “mindset” that placed football above the welfare of innocent children.
So who is he punishing? Obviously, Emmert thinks that the football team (all of whom were in grammar school when this crime began) must answer for those who were complicit in these crimes. That's sort of like the IRS telling your children that they must take a year off from their 7th grade studies and do time in prison, because you cheated on your tax return.
After all, the IRS would want to eliminate the “mindset” that it’s good to cheat the Internal Revenue Service.
So why is Emmert sticking it to Penn State and their thousands of students, alumni, and followers? Surely he can’t consider them guilty of anything more than pride in their school and their football team. The guilty parties are either deceased, behind bars, or likely soon to be.
Abusing those younger and less powerful than yourself is not condoned by many in Western Culture, at least outside of Oscar Wilde and his admirers. Some people abuse those they consider subordinate for a simple, albeit psychologically cruel reason—because they can!
NCAA president Mark Emmert certainly can punish the thousands of innocent fans and students of Penn State who were completely ignorant of anything wrong with the football program outside of its failure to win a national title since the 1980s. So he did—punish the innocents, that is.
What good these punitive measures do for the football program, the university, its student body, or its legacy, is beyond me. And keep in mind; I said what good do these measures do.
This isn’t the first time there has been a massacre of innocents. I just wonder if King Herod the Great rationalized his slaughter of the innocents by declaring that he was taking this punitive action to eliminate the mindset that anyone but he should be king.
Crowned heads seem to still have a way of abusing those younger and less powerful than themselves.