The Nittany Lyin's

PSU's conspiracy to conceal a savage molester defies both description and decency

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Penn State finally confronted the seamy underbelly of the Jerry Sandusky era this week – some 14 years and untold victims too late, and far too late to save either the university’s image or, perhaps, its vaunted football program.

After the release Thursday of a scorchingly revealing 267-page report that exposes repeated covering up of Sandusky’s rape of young boys over the years, at the highest and lowest levels of the university, we join in recommending the “death penalty” for Penn State football.

The governing body of collegiate sports, the NCAA, shouldn’t have to do it, either. Penn State itself should shutter its football operations voluntarily for an indefinite period. A good rule of thumb might be the decade or so that Penn State administrators conspired to cover this all up.

We mourn the collateral damage to wholly innocent athletes who will be affected by such a shutdown. They should be given every consideration by college football to transfer without penalty and, in every other way, have their scholarships honored.

But even the thought of seeing this school field a team anytime soon turns the stomach.

Sandusky’s unspeakable crimes were, indeed, not spoken of for years outside the ruling cabal at Penn State. President Graham Spanier, legendary head coach Joe Paterno and two other administrators did not alert authorities, tell the Board of Trustees, warn Sandusky’s potential victims, help or reach out to his actual victims, or in any way fulfill the most basic legal or moral responsibilities inherent in their positions and knowledge.

Further, even after receiving reports and eyewitness accounts of Sandusky’s savagery, they allowed Sandusky continued access to Penn State facilities where he staged his attacks.

Former FBI director Louis Freeh called the university’s negligence and active cover-ups a “callous and shocking disregard for child victims” – but likely only because he couldn’t find stronger words.

“If this isn’t the worst thing that’s ever happened in a football program ... I don’t know what is,” adds The Chronicle’s Scott Michaux.

No one loves football more than we do. But Penn State put its program above all else, including vulnerable children and the most fundamental notions of decency known to mankind.

If and when they play football again at Penn State, those helmets should be anything but white.

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/14/12 - 08:26 am
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As someone who picked up on

As someone who picked up on the seriousness early and argued against some at the Chronicle who thought Joe Pa should not be held accountable, I also know punishing the football program with the death penalty is misguided. Many of us clearly pointed out when McQueary went to Joe Pa with his revelations it was criminal not to have followed up.

However, games at Happy Valley draw about 90,000 fans and many dollars for Penn State. They are not about to give up football which is what this does to them as evidenced by the destruction of SMU's football program. The other coaches, players and alumni were not involved in the criminal behavior or criminal cover up of Joe Pa and Co. Giving them the death penalty is wrong.

If you want to get into what’s wrong with college football, you look me in the eye and tell me SEC players are real college students taking subjects like other students do. The Penn State disgusting episode has nothing to do with football.

If Penn State gets the death penalty, we had just as well stop teaching history at UGA because of the Craig's List, motel room, behavior of the crossdressing professor at UGA.

fedex227
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fedex227 07/14/12 - 12:40 am
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Penn State should get the death penalty ...
Unpublished

because as an institution, when confronted with evidence of the sexual abuse of CHILDREN, they chose to look the other way. And we should excuse this because the athletic program brings in a lot of money? Or because other universities have similar sordid pasts? Really?

Liberty wins
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Liberty wins 07/14/12 - 03:30 am
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Riverman- Your last two

Riverman-

Your last two paragraphs are disturbing. Please don't look at what happened at Penn State and then point to the SEC. Never has there been such a report of deviant moral turpitude and an issue so fraught with corruption in any football program and at any level. This criminal act was facilitated by the football program and covered up solely for the football program. There have been some behavior problems in NCAA football programs, but nothing close to the depths of this horrific long term nightmare. I feel for the of the alumni, sports program, and the innocent embarrassed by this stigma, but the NCAA will be (justifiably) compelled to throw the book, the gavel, and half the furniture at the Penn State Football Program.

OJP
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OJP 07/14/12 - 05:10 am
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@Riverman1

Arguing that the school needs the football money is essentially arguing some degree of ill gotten gain from child rape on the part of the entire school.

Shut the program down.

Fundamental_Arminian
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Fundamental_Arminian 07/14/12 - 07:03 am
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Proposed Punishment Too Broad

Shutting down Penn State's football program will hurt a lot of innocent people, especially the employees at State College, Pa.'s numerous hotels. These businesses and their employees owe their livelihood to the many fans who travel to attend the games.

The rapes at the school ought to be punished, but the punishment should fall on the offender and the enablers, not on the people who knew nothing about the situation.

americafirst
965
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americafirst 07/14/12 - 07:20 am
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RM1, you still just don't get

RM1, you still just don't get it, do you? It was all about football. What other reason would these otherwise highly respected administrators and coaches cover this up?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/14/12 - 08:27 am
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I Certainly Do Get It

Like I said when most were saying Joe Pa and Co shouldn't be fired, I said they were responsible and should be run out and criminal charges brought against those involved in the cover-up.

Now when everyone wants to go overboard the other way I'll once again point out the facts. This was not about cheating at football recruiting, grades or what have you. It was criminal activity by a few.

The NCAA may look into this, but they won't issue penalties. If they tried a death penalty Penn State would countersue. I have a graduate degree from Penn State and have enjoyed the environs of Happy Valley. They love their football much as we do.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/14/12 - 08:48 am
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NCAA

Getting the NCAA involved in criminal activity not involved with players or recruiting is a new concept. They are a joke anyway when we have players who are as much true students as Cam Newton was a Rhodes Scholar.

americafirst
965
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americafirst 07/14/12 - 08:56 am
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I never said the daeth

I never said the death penalty was the appropriate punishment. But this is all about the football program and it is much more serious than cheating on recruits or grades. And if PSU wants to litigate because of the punishment that the NCAA levels against them, then I say bring it on. They would not be so stupid. It would perpetuate the daily publicity and highlight each and every sorbid detail of their disgraceful and immoral protection of their hallowed program. Yes, you and other PSU alumni do love football as much as we do. But judging from your comments, I would say a little too much.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/14/12 - 09:28 am
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Actually, I'm a Clemson fan,

Actually, I'm a Clemson fan, born and raised in SC. My Penn State foray was temporary.

Interesting enough, Clemson had an assistant coach, about 10-12 years ago who was arrested for messing with underage girls. He was immediately fired. No one made a big deal out of it. Clemson did the right thing and the disgusting episode was recognized for what it was. Even the press didn't go there. Penn State should have done the same thing, I readily agree.

Jake
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Jake 07/14/12 - 11:42 am
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Concur

I concur with what Riverman and Fundamental_Arminian have said about this. Punish the perpatrators, not an entire university or town.

Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 07/14/12 - 11:44 am
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You think we're immune down here?

Your daily assault upon the intelligence of your readership suggests that maybe you, too, care more about college athletics than the actual purpose of a higher education.

Bruno
780
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Bruno 07/14/12 - 04:49 pm
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The sad thing is that **those

The sad thing is that **those who worship adults that play a child's game** will excuse this away as an "isolated" incident, or turn a blind eye towards the outcome the same as they did when it was going on. God forbid we have anything interfere with foo'baw.

**edited due to thin skinned offense takers.**

socks99
250
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socks99 07/14/12 - 05:48 pm
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Another way to view it might

Another way to view it might be as a model of the way scandal can take down a big, successful football program, and perhaps the entire University. While socks surely agrees on the gravity of the accusations, he wonders why little coverage was given to the actual trial, and why victims and their attorneys are so busily converting the allegations into financial gold?

Individuals, and not institutions ought be held responsible for their own behavior; otherwise, it is a political witch hunt not designed to punish the guilty or prevent abuse, but to convert great endowments and other financial resources into "pay dirt" for attorney's and their clients. In the case of the Catholic Church, the charge was led by a media and feminists who did not like the Church's stance on things like women in the priesthood, abortion, etc.

Perhaps it's impossible to separate the politics from the abuse accusations; it's very foolish to imagine that other institutions and associations will survive the pattern of accusations and political witch hunts.

It was partly about justice for the victims; but mostly about a financial shakedown.

Bruno
780
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Bruno 07/14/12 - 07:36 pm
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Actually when the institution

Actually when the institution as a whole turns its back on the criminal behavior and allows it to continue for years then the entire institution should be held responsible also.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 07/14/12 - 08:49 pm
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Make it count..

Make it memorial... so, that never again would Penn State or any other school or entity look away and place sports and dollars ahead of lives. And I did not make a radical switch. I saw it for what it was from Day One. A look back at the remarks is very interesting when this story first broke, both from commenters and editorials.

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