Politically correct NCCA overreacts on one hand, underreacts as well
I hate it when those we trust put in betray that trust, forcing us at a minimum to make judgements about their actions, and at the most having to take punitive or even legal measures because of those actions. In my heart I want to be a "why can't we all just get along" type person. "I won't do something to intentionally rock your boat... and would you please do the same for me." You know, the Golden Rule.
But then when someone we trust, or at least expect better from, does something really outlandish, I want to pull out my hair out -- which according to my wife I don't have that much to spare.
With the Penn State scandal I'm once again forced to make judgements and draw conclusions I don't want to have to do. And I resent being forced to. I don't want these atrocious actions covered up... I just want these guys in positions of authority to do the right thing. Don't be jerks. "You're making me take a position I don't want to take... and shouldn't have to because you failed to do right.
My gut reaction is that Penn State football should be crushed. Draw-and-quarter the program. I resent that many should-have-been trustworthy persons weren't.
Should Joe Paterno be posthumously drawn-and-quartered? I don't want to have to make that judgment -- that is whether or not a truly great coach, Joe Paterno, looked the other way while his friend and heir-apparent Jerry Sandusky did unspeakable things.
Then on the other hand I have mixed feeling about the NCAA's action regarding Paterno -- designed to punish a dead man and take away his legacy, even before he has had his "day in court."
Here's where I'm really conflicted. Even if he did look the other way, the NCAA, in denying Paterno those Penn State wins, they have denied many players their legacy and place in history -- even though they were totally innocent. It's throwing the baby out with the bath. In tying to deflect criticism the NCAA has drawn fire.
Could the almighty NCAA have just as easily expunged Paterno's record as head coach, thus reducing his win total while maintaining the team wins... for those countless Penn State players. This is truly a case of the sins of the father being visited on the children -- unjustly.
I've talked to numerous other area folks who feel the same way. Give Penn State the death sentence, or whatever, for having looked the other way all those years. But don't take it out on the players. Or the coach, until he's "tried."
How do you feel? Email me your two or three paragraphs on the subject and I'll put the best together in a future column. firstname.lastname@example.org