Unhappy Valley: Joe Paterno’s Family Responds to Penn State Penalties and Sanctions over Sandusky Sexual Abuse Crimes … “defamed the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator”
UNHAPPY VALLEY FOR AT LEAST A DECADE TO FOLLOW … NCAA PUNISHED PENN STATE PAST, [RESENT AND FUTURE.
The family of Joe Paterno responds to the harsh sanctions handed down today by the NCAA in the wake of the heinous and hideous sexual abuse crimes of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Among the penalties were $60 million sanction, four year ban on bowl games, loss of scholarships and most peculiar, Penn State vacating all wins from 1998 through 2011. What is a little trite about this punishment is the fact that I fail to see how this properly punishes PSU and makes it better in the future. Granted, the vacating of wins makes Paterno no longer the winniest division I coach in NCAA history and slots former Florida St coach as the new #1. What a way to become number one. That being said, the NCAA said it did not want to punish current players with their sanctions. Well, what about former ones? So all players that took part in Nittany Lion football from 1998 to 2011 didn’t exist?
I realize the crimes that Sandusky did were beyond comprehension, but there just seems to be a bit of vindictiveness in the vacating of games. I can understand the $60 million fine and the money to go to groups that deal with abused and exploited children. I can understand the bowl ban and the loss of scholarships. I more than understand the steps to create a compliance policy and an independent group to oversee PSU. However, if one is going to go out on a limb and make accusations against anyone, including JoePa, they best get all the information from all parties. Just because there was blood in the water and some one needed to take the fall, does not mean you bypass the process. The family of Joe Paterno released a statement.
“Sexual abuse is reprehensible, especially when it involves children, and no one starting with Joe Paterno condones or minimizes it. The horrific acts committed by Jerry Sandusky shock the conscience of every decent human being. How Sandusky was able to get away with his crimes for so long has yet to be fully understood, despite the claims and assertions of the Freeh Report.
“The release of the Freeh Report has triggered an avalanche of vitriol, condemnation and posthumous punishment on Joe Paterno. The NCAA has now become the latest party to accept the report as the final word on the Sandusky scandal. The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator without any input from our family or those who knew him best.
“That the President, the Athletic Director and the Board of Trustees accepted this unprecedented action by the NCAA without requiring a full due process hearing before the Committee on Infractions is an abdication of their responsibilities and a breach of their fiduciary duties to the University and the 500,000 alumni. Punishing past, present and future students of the University because of Sandusky’s crimes does not serve justice. This is not a fair or thoughtful action; it is a panicked response to the public’s understandable revulsion at what Sandusky did.
“The point of due process is to protect against this sort of reflexive action. Joe Paterno was never interviewed by the University or the Freeh Group. His counsel has not been able to interview key witnesses as they are represented by counsel related to ongoing litigation. We have had no access to the records reviewed by the Freeh group. The NCAA never contacted our family or our legal counsel. And the fact that several parties have pending trials that could produce evidence and testimony relevant to this matter has been totally discounted.
“Unfortunately all of these facts have been ignored by the NCAA, the Freeh Group and the University.”
Rush Limbaugh stated it best as to the double-talk coming from NCAA President Emert. How can you sat that you did not want to punish the player that had nothing to do with this scandal when you take away current scholarships, tell them they cannot play in a bowl and forfeit all of Penn States wins from 1998 to 2011. How is this not punishing those that were not responsible?
But when you vacate all of the victories, and then you tell the existing team that they can’t go to a bowl game for four years, and there’s no championship for you, how are you not punishing the people that didn’t have anything to do with it? The $60 million fine is about what they say the Penn State football program generates every year. They’re gonna take that one year of revenue of $60 million and they’re gonna set up basically a charity for abused kids to deal with those who are and to prevent it from ever happening again.