College athletics need to take a long hard look at PSU | The Boneyard

College athletics need to take a long hard look at PSU

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State College allowed a monster to prowl its ranks and prey upon the most innocent among us – children. It is almost indisputable now, there was every reason for many of the leaders and the rank and file of a once great institution to have either direct knowledge or a high degree of suspicion that one of their own was performing the unthinkable. Somehow a culture developed that precluded the necessary intervention to halt ongoing atrocities of a pedophile. What motivation would there be for such a culture to develop? How could it develop?

We are Penn State! Winning above all else fueled the legacy that was Penn State and Joe Paterno. A stadium of 110,000 strong and the monetary rewards that come from such a following fueled a program and much of a university. Preservation of the program, above all else, allows for the legacies to continue and the monetary rewards that follow. Anything that threatens the legacy and the chance to win must be suppressed, must be hidden, must be destroyed. In an insular community, run by an 84 year old man who clearly lost perspective, such a culture takes hold and the unthinkable takes place.

College athletics needs to take a very close look at the developments in State College. While events there that put children in harms way are hopefully unique. I would argue that the culture, or at least many aspects of it, are not. Athletics, based on the principles of fair play and character development, has all but abandoned these traits in the search of winning at all cost and the search of financial reward.

Pennsylvania State University has demonstrated what can take place in college athletics when values become so distorted. Unfortunately, children paid the price. Maybe, just maybe, this time the outrage will be so pervasive, the disgust so great, that leaders in the ranks of college athletics will rise up and assess what should truly matter for their athletic programs, their institutions and their students. Because, at its core, it should be about much, much more than winning football games. If that happens, then maybe all the evil that transpired from that man will not have been without some modicum of good resulting.
 
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He missed the big picture in my opinion. There's been little talk and scrutiny of the President's role. Only Paterno is being held out. It's about power. I would like to see some introspection from colleges about the perversion of power relationships that allow stuff like this to happen. This is the worst scandal ever, but we've seen rapes swept under the rug at other schools, presidents fired for blowing whistles, Tennessee sweeping things under the rug, etc.
 
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State College allowed a monster to prowl its ranks and prey upon the most innocent among us – children. It is almost indisputable now, there was every reason for many of the leaders and the rank and file of a once great institution to have either direct knowledge or a high degree of suspicion that one of their own was performing the unthinkable. Somehow a culture developed that precluded the necessary intervention to halt ongoing atrocities of a pedophile. What motivation would there be for such a culture to develop? How could it develop?

We are Penn State! Winning above all else fueled the legacy that was Penn State and Joe Paterno. A stadium of 110,000 strong and the monetary rewards that come from such a following fueled a program and much of a university. Preservation of the program, above all else, allows for the legacies to continue and the monetary rewards that follow. Anything that threatens the legacy and the chance to win must be suppressed, must be hidden, must be destroyed. In an insular community, run by an 84 year old man who clearly lost perspective, such a culture takes hold and the unthinkable takes place.

College athletics needs to take a very close look at the developments in State College. While events there that put children in harms way are hopefully unique. I would argue that the culture, or at least many aspects of it, are not. Athletics, based on the principles of fair play and character development, has all but abandoned these traits in the search of winning at all cost and the search of financial reward.

Pennsylvania State University has demonstrated what can take place in college athletics when values become so distorted. Unfortunately, children paid the price. Maybe, just maybe, this time the outrage will be so pervasive, the disgust so great, that leaders in the ranks of college athletics will rise up and assess what should truly matter for their athletic programs, their institutions and their students. Because, at its core, it should be about much, much more than winning football games. If that happens, then maybe all the evil that transpired from that man will not have been without some modicum of good resulting.

I think this is relevant.

Penn State needed an individual like Hugh Thompson, the chopper driver that first reported the My Lai (Viet Nam) massacre to the chain of command.
For those of you that don’t know or remember what I am referring to, here’s the short-form. In March of 1968, a Company from the Americal Division was tasked with a cordon/sweep operation covering the hamlet of My Lai. The platoon chosen to undertake the sweep was commanded by an abomination (“just following orders”) named Lt. William Calley. The sweep was normal stuff. I’ll bet every infantryman in VN participated in at least one, without murdering anyone.
A normal sweep became a blood bath that raped women and took, depending on whose number you believe, 350 to 500 civilian lives, between the ages of one (1) and ninety(90).
Hugh Thompson was piloting one of the choppers in support of the operation. He:
1. Landed and “unassed” his chopper, got nowhere with Calley, gave orders to his crew chief and door gunner to fire-up the next GI that fired on civilians in the ditch (they had been herded).


2. Located and evacuated as many wounded civilians as possible, in other choppers.


3. Thompson, backed by his and other chopper crews, reported the incident to his unit’s CO, a Lt. Col. Got nowhere but stayed with it until congress got wind of the incident.


A Warrant Officer One has about as much Army clout as I do (a long-inactive 1rst Lt). But he stopped the massacre and evacuated survivors while being watched by a heavily armed platoon that had just murdered civilians. He then took on the Army, death threats and mutilated animals left at his home.


McQueary ran out on the rape of a kid.
 
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State College allowed a monster to prowl its ranks and prey upon the most innocent among us – children. It is almost indisputable now, there was every reason for many of the leaders and the rank and file of a once great institution to have either direct knowledge or a high degree of suspicion that one of their own was performing the unthinkable. Somehow a culture developed that precluded the necessary intervention to halt ongoing atrocities of a pedophile. What motivation would there be for such a culture to develop? How could it develop?

We are Penn State! Winning above all else fueled the legacy that was Penn State and Joe Paterno. A stadium of 110,000 strong and the monetary rewards that come from such a following fueled a program and much of a university. Preservation of the program, above all else, allows for the legacies to continue and the monetary rewards that follow. Anything that threatens the legacy and the chance to win must be suppressed, must be hidden, must be destroyed. In an insular community, run by an 84 year old man who clearly lost perspective, such a culture takes hold and the unthinkable takes place.

College athletics needs to take a very close look at the developments in State College. While events there that put children in harms way are hopefully unique. I would argue that the culture, or at least many aspects of it, are not. Athletics, based on the principles of fair play and character development, has all but abandoned these traits in the search of winning at all cost and the search of financial reward.

Pennsylvania State University has demonstrated what can take place in college athletics when values become so distorted. Unfortunately, children paid the price. Maybe, just maybe, this time the outrage will be so pervasive, the disgust so great, that leaders in the ranks of college athletics will rise up and assess what should truly matter for their athletic programs, their institutions and their students. Because, at its core, it should be about much, much more than winning football games. If that happens, then maybe all the evil that transpired from that man will not have been without some modicum of good resulting.

That is very well said. I hope that this is a catalyst for change. But we'll have to see.
 

nelsonmuntz

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It won't be a catalyst for anything. Auburn was using casinos to pay off athletes, the second or third time there has been a scandal involving Auburn in the last 20 years, and nobody cares. Alabama's entire recruiting infrastructure was outed and they got a slap on the wrist. Clemson has covered up many rapes and gang rapes of its football players going back into the early 90's. Every time the witness or the victim dropped charges after enough pressure and a small payoff. The only time anyone gets in trouble (ex. Ohio State) is when they leave a paper trail that some reporter gets a hold of.

And even then, most reporters are in the pocket of the major programs so a lot of the stories are just buried. Does anyone really think that there were not some reporters that didn't know about Sandusky? Do you think the Big 10 office had not heard rumors about Penn State's DC?

The reality is that the big, powerful programs exist to protect the criminal activities of their coaches and players as long as the money keeps coming in. A few raped kids isn't going to make a difference to anyone. It will all be blamed on Sandusky, everyone else will wring their hands and ask "how could anyone have known", and everyone will go right back to business as usual.

They only thing that will ever change this is when it comes out that the major conferences have been fixing games, which is just a matter of time in my opinion, particularly with the SEC. That would really shake college athletics to its core.
 
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