Key members in the Penn State Football program were deemed to have hid critical facts in the case of convicted child sex abuser and former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, including President Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley, vice president Gary Schultz and former head coach Joe Paterno.
“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State,” said Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI who was hired by university trustees to look into what has become one of sports’ biggest scandals. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”
After looking into the matter for over eight months, Freeh’s firm concluded their findings with a 267-page report that concluded that the aforementioned former leaders at Penn State “failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade.”
Even with Sandusky’s guilty finding and the passing of Paterno, things do not expect to get any easier for Penn State over the next handful of years, as this is something that is not going to go away, and neither should anyone expect it to due to the violent nature of the crimes hidden.
In college football terms, this is the cover ups of all cover ups, and should be disciplined accordingly by the NCAA.
With that being said, should the Penn State Football program receive the death penalty allowed by the NCAA to essentially place the program and everything it entails on suspension for an indeterminate amount of time?
It has happened for far less crimes, such as recruiting, gambling, fraud, improper financial assistance and other violations that were nowhere near as despicable as what Penn State covered up with Sandusky. People were up in arms over the University of Miami Football team and what had gone down with players receiving cash benefits and improper swag for playing for the Hurricanes. Since it happened with many players, there were many people who wanted Miami to receive a one year death penalty, thus basically cancelling the football team for that entire upcoming season.
So, if those people wanted Miami to receive a one year death penalty for financial and recruiting violations, then what should these same folks be asking for Penn State?
A sentence of a death penalty is the harshest sanction that the NCAA can hand down to punish a program. The penalty bans that program from competing in its sport for up to two years, and, in essence, forces the university to start over and build from scratch.
People will be torn on this debate, but they should not be because of the crimes committed and covered up. The only thing people can argue why Penn State should not receive the death penalty is because the crimes had nothing to do with football players or anything on the field.
Although in my opinion, that argument should be thrown out the window due to the violent nature of what took place, what was then discovered, and ultimately what was covered up for so many years, making matters infinitely worse.
What Penn State did was far worse than what any other school or program did who received a death penalty sentence. The NCAA needs to make an example out of them and slap them with a death penalty for at least two or three years, although five years would be far more fitting.