Monday, November 14, 2011

What Do You Think About This?

I want to be clear up front, I place the entire blame for the mess at Penn State at the feet of the coaches and administrators involved. They had an assistant coach who was using their locker room for a playpen with little boys and they covered it up.

I do have to wonder though, have college sports fans helped set the stage for this?

Not the sexual assaults, coach Sandusky owns that one in it's entirety.

I am talking about the cover-up and the apparent feeling among the coaches and administrators that it is okay, maybe even expected, to protect the program and it's revered head coach at all costs.

Think this is absurd?

For decades schools have let kids play for them for 3 - 4 years without making any real effort of working towards a degree.

It is unlikely there is a college in the country that doesn't let it's players hold no-work "jobs" for money.

For decades kids have had others do their school work for them and even sit in on tests.

Players physically and sexually assault their female acquaintances with impunity and continue playing.

It often seems drunk driving arrests are a rite of passage for a college football player.

Alcohol and drug related crimes are endemic.

For decades players have openly driven cars, lived in apartments, and had walking around money that a typical college kid, especially one from an impoverished inner-city family, doesn't have.

None of this is a deep dark secret. A school gets caught doing any of the above, there is the proper level of shock displayed, a tolerable penalty is applied by the NCAA, and everyone feels like we are cleaning up college sports. Then it happens again on another campus, maybe in another year, maybe that same season.

What happened at PSU is an aberration, it's horrific even for college sports. Look around you though.

-Reggie Bush from USC is rumored to have gotten over a half a million dollars while playing college football.

-It's a pay-to-play scandal a week at Ohio State

-The University of Miami. A booster has come out and claimed he has paid for prostitutes, bounty money for good hits, an abortion for a players girlfriend, on and on.

This is but a sampling of what is happening right now.

While Penn State's allegations are the most shocking and disgusting, the above list does put it into a little perspective.

Some of college football's problems are related to money. There is so much money available to programs that are successful.

A lot of it's problems though are directly traceable to it's fans.

One final thought. Fans rioted at PSU over the firing of Paterno. Fans were devastated and depressed when coach Jim Tressel stepped down from Ohio State. Pete Carroll ran off to the riches of the NFL. Have you heard of any protests yet over PSU's allowing the sexual assault of children? Anybody marching in the street of Miami to condemn the actions of the players? How about downtown Columbus Ohio?


Ticker said...

And crap like this is exactly why it is OK for coverup's at Penn St.
Here is a story of a coach who is a real jackass, is allowed to resign as head coach but is RETAINED as COUNSELOR AT THE SCHOOL. Now read the article and tell me what is wrong with this picture.
From High school to University, as long as you are winning , hey it's ok, we'll cover for you.

Phill Senters said...

The protesters should have been demanding that Sandusky and Paterno be prosecuted rather than wanting either to stay.

sue hanes said...

Chuck - You wouldn't see stuff like that going on if Bob Knight were the coach.

Chuck said...

Ticker, that guy is a counselor huh? What a world

Phill, I think Joe Pa should be charged

Chuck said...

Sue, people were too afraid. Although he did have a bit of a problem with women staff from what I remember. Nothing sexual, just abusive

cube said...

Money, especially BIG money, makes people do bad things. That's my take on what happened at Penn State. I couldn't stomach enough money in the world to make me keep quiet over child rape, but, unfortunately, there are people who can. Shame on them.

BTW the word verification is pigard

Ticker said...

Joe Paterno and Bob Knight, both bullies to anyone who dared question them.

Chuck said...

Cube, they hid to save their career. I would find another job

Ticker, agreed

sue hanes said...

Chuck - Not to argue with the blog administrator :-) but some of us know Bob Knight's true character.

Z said...

No, I don't think it's the fans or the students in the stands who are to blame.
What they're to blame for is loving their school and their team, perhaps, and creating a situation where the game comes first...but how could they have known it would get this awful?

It's some portion of the creepy, over zealous alumni and, as you say, the administration and whoever knew about it in the sports department who are to blame the most, of course.

Fans did all wear blue shirts at their last home game in solidarity against child abuse. They are speaking out on that and I think part of the horrors of this whole thing is that, like when Clinton got into trouble and children had to learn that presidents lie and even some of the details of his sexual encounters, college kids and the nation have this awful image in their minds now of their coaches 'doing' little boys.
makes me sick.

sue hanes said...

chuck - and now I read where the NBA is having problems.

boo hoo

sports: when's the next soccer trampling of people - i want to be there

sue hanes said...

Z - Blue shirts are gonna stop child abuse?

MK said...

You have a very good point, at the end of the day it is the fans who are the real source of the money, if they decided to withdraw their support because of the raping, boozing and crap going on and the money dries up, it's almost magical how a lot of these cretins would clean up their act.

Chuck said...

Sue, his public character left a lot to be desired. A really good coach but quite a jerk

Z, I am not necessarily talking about PSU fans specifically. I mean fans, media, boosters, advertisers, etc in general. I love college sports but they are becoming a cesspool. It is also possible the fans of PSU may not be as innocent as we are led to believe. Sports Illustrated is publishing a story this week that includes inferences from area people that there has been rumors about this for years. Maybe there has been a little bit of denial or selective ignorance? Who knows?

Sue Z - Blue shirts are gonna stop child abuse?

It's a start. I think it was a way for the fans to come to grips with the scandal - and maybe the initial reaction of support for the coach.

MK, dead on. Advertisers are not going to pay for ad time on a game that no one is watching.

sue hanes said...

Chuck - How much comfort would it give you if you had been abused by a coach that was ultimatley beloved by sports fans wearing blue shirts?

sue hanes said...

Chuck - The thing is - Bob Knight was more than a good coach.

If you really know about him he had good values that he instilled in his players - and they graduated.

He just is an impatient person with a short fuse.

And ultimately polite - if you recall he did offer that old lady his chair - from across the floor.

Chuck said...

Sue, these kids are not going to be helped by any simple gesture but others may be and anything that raises awareness is beneficial. I am actually not a huge fan of the whole ribbon fad. I think more often than not it's a fashion statement and a lot of the people wearing it (or a colored shirt) don't even fully appreciate what they are wearing. In this case I tend to support the students wearing the blue shirts.