Monday, July 23, 2012

Pointless Punishment

Penn State has been handed an astonishing penalty for the derelictions of its representatives during the era of Sandusky's pedophilic depradations. Not only is Paterno's campus statue to be removed (an appropiate step, perhaps), not only is the university to be fined (an appropriate move), not only are they to be banned from bowl games for four years (four years?!), but all their football wins going back to 1998 are to be vacated (pure vindictive stupidity).

What's the point in banning the university from post-season play when no one currently in the program had anything to do with the events for which they're being punished? And what's the point in saying that games that were won weren't really won. Exactly what does all this accomplish? Why punish people who had nothing to do with Sandusky's crimes in the attempt to impose a posthumous punishment on one man who did? It reminds me of those accounts one reads of how some mob in a third world country will dig up the corpse of a hated foe so they can desecrate it even further.

It's the very definition of injustice that innocent people are punished for crimes they didn't commit. In this case, the NCAA's punishment affects only the innocent. The guilty are no longer there.

If PSU officials did not fulfill their legal obligations then prosecute them and put them in jail. If Paterno deserves disgrace then remove his statue, but why hurt the students and businesses in State College which rely upon Penn State football for financial aid, scholarships and revenue? Why take away wins that were achieved by players on the field who had no knowledge whatsoever of what Sandusky was doing?

The NCAA said they're not going to terminate the PSU football program, but they are. They're terminating it in the same way that withholding food and water from a man eventually terminates his life even if no one actively kills him. State College and Penn State will be a very different place, not just athletically, but also academically, for the next couple of decades and it's all so pointless.

As I said, the NCAA's punishment seems both stupid and vindictive.