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What An Education
Penn State should impose athletic sanctions on itself
Revelations that have shocked the nation, tarnished a great institution and opened up wounds for many people, threaten to continue. We refer to the Pennsylvania State University Sandusky affair, one sordid story that should not have been allowed to continue.
All of the United States is shamed by this story. Last week’s report by the eminently respected former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Louis J. Freeh cast even a wider lens on the scandal.
Now sportswriters and editorialists are pointing to the National Collegiate Athletic Association as the next step in the process, wondering if the college sports group will impose tough sanctions on the school.
What should happen, if the Penn State officials really want to reform their school, is for Penn State itself to impose sanctions. So far, the school has only shown that it would try to deflect the story, hunker down, protect high officials, and offer denials, when it had, it now appears, hard evidence that it should have recognized, and taken severe action.
Now to right itself, Pennsylvania State University trustees themselves or the Pennsylvania Legislature should take Penn State out of athletic competition for years. Perhaps ten years without football would help the institution. Perhaps it should also remove itself from NCAA competition for its other athletic teams. Maybe it should also remove itself from the highly-competitive Big Ten Conference, and join some less high-profile league, perhaps the Ivy League, where the state’s other big college, the University of Pennsylvania, competes.
Penn State has greatly crossed the line, showing more interest in protecting university officials and its own sports program, than it has shown care, concern and protection of its students. People ought to be fired, and its athletic officials and others involved in the cover-up should not be hired by other universities. Perhaps by being removed from college employment, then they can begin to understand the harm they have done to children, to the university, to mankind and themselves.
All this may be hard for Penn State to understand. But in reality, it’s simple: Penn State University has allowed horrible conditions to happen, to continue and to seek to deny that they were even happening in the face of overwhelming evidence. The school must be held up as an example of what not to do, and be severely punished.
If the university itself takes this step, it will be the first step to point the school in a far better direction.
* * * * *
For years, a continued parade of evidence should have shocked Penn State officials into action. In a far different field, a continued parade of evidence has not caused our nation’s government to act, for which it should know better.
We refer to the continual signals from the banking field. Almost daily, some new shred of evidence is let out of the bag showing another banking irregularity. But the sad news is that our government continues to forgive banks, not spanking their hands, by allowing their leadership to escape without penalty, with no reform in the works.
Not unlike the Penn State scandal, banking needs serious reform, as we recognize from first one new unsavory tidbit after another. The best we can hope for now is for some elected official to have the strength and tenacity to take on not just the big banks, but banking in general, and gain serious reform. We’ll vote for the man or woman for president who will take on banking reform!
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