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Jul 22 2012

Just like Lenin and Stalin!

The residents of Happy Valley have torn down Joe Paterno’s statue. I’m dismayed, though, at the student in this video whining about how it wasn’t fair. Paterno enabled child rape. The kindest thing was to keep the statue’s removal discreet, rather than having a mob strap cables to it and tear it down with trucks, followed by dragging it through the streets and tossing it in the river.

Also, the NCAA will soon be announcing strict penalties on the Penn State football program. PSU football is dead, and unfortunately, this is going to be a major hit on PSU academic programs, too. Never tie your university’s reputation to athletics, people!

96 comments

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  1. 1
    eurosid

    Football *is* a religion in the good old US of A. If you are successful enough in a football related position you are beatified.

    People don’t like to acknowledge that their saints have feet of clay.

  2. 2
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    That woman… that disgusting excuse of a person. “No offense to the victims”, my ass. What the hell does she have to move on from?! Yeah, finding out the person you hero worshiped was a child rape enabler can be tough. Life might be a tad more difficult for rape victims who could have grown up without the trauma if the arrogant asshole hadn’t considered football more important than protecting children from rape.

    And the first guy isn’t any better. He dares talk about cover up after Paterno covering up for a child rapist?!

  3. 3
    wholething

    The football program is a major revenue source for the school and the school is the major industry of State College PA. What will be the impact on the innocent employees if the NCAA puts the hammer down?

  4. 4
    Sastra

    I hope that, when they put the statue into storage, one of the construction workers whispered to it: “No.”

  5. 5
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    If the NCAA does not give Penn State football the death sentence, PSU should (in my useless opinion) end the football programme for five or ten years.* Those running Pennsylvania State University decided (some actively, some by omission) that the reputation of the football programme was more important than children being raped.

    I used to really admire Jo Paterno. His give backs to the school, often anonymously, were good. I thought the way that he ran the football programme was exemplary. He did some good things but, the one time when he had a chance to make a decision that would hurt his programme and school but would protect kids, he blew it. Big time. And the school administration enabled him. And the school needs to be punished as an institution and maybe, just maybe, the next time a similar situation comes up, the jokers in charge will realize that taking a big hit now is far better than being crushed by the cover up.

    * Those students currently at Penn State under football scholarship? Well, offer to honour the scholarship at Penn State (no longer a sports scholarship, obviously) or, for those who want to transfer to another school, assign some assistant coaches to use their network within college football to place those student athletes and PSU pay the tuition.

  6. 6
    anubisprime

    Denial!

    There was obviously something beyond unwholesome in that footballing society.
    Pretending it is a knee jerk by cowardly authorities to remove the statue of a felon a sexual predator…is indicative of a wounded ego and and a severe lack of empathy on behalf of the victims.

    Some memories of that University football environment will not be as roze tinted as the sad little soldier that whines about it being taken away.

    Denial and refusal to understand the crime that was committed, but pompous enough to declare foul play.
    What were they doing in a University…where analytical thinking is supposed to be a prime and distinct requirement.

    Or is kicking a pig skin around a field more important then human sexual abuse by those that really should have known and acted far better.

  7. 7
    coleopteron

    Well, judging from the reaction of that second bystander I have to agree with the “Football resembles religion” remark. The statue was “a place of healing”? Really? For whom?

    Not sure why “not having ALL the facts” is important either. The facts we have say Paterno participated in covering up rape. Any newly-discovered facts aren’t going to make that okay, but they could make it worse.

  8. 8
    anubisprime

    @ 6

    to remove the statue of a felon a sexual predator

    Should read…

    to remove the statue of a felon THAT ENABLED a sexual predator.

    Sorry format dumped some words…!

  9. 9
    Rip Steakface

    I inevitably feel similarly to how some varieties of True Christian ™ feel whenever football comes up. Briefly, “but that’s not how all football fans are!”

    I really like football. Fun to play (if you’re willing to risk life and limb for a game), fun to watch, and it’s one of the best-designed sports for live spectators (you can take a swig of your preferred drink and talk to your friends between plays). However, sports is way too friggin’ important in what are ostensibly academic institutions, and likewise, all athletes on a professional level are horrifically overpaid.

  10. 10
    Ace of Sevens

    If the NCAA suspends them for a year, that should be plenty. That would mean they have to start with no staff and no players and work their way up from the bottom of their conference again. It could take decades to recover if they ever did.

  11. 11
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    The NCAA gave SMU’s football programme the death sentence (five years? more?) in the late 1980s for repeated recruiting violations. This is orders of magnitude worse so, to me, anything less than the punishment SMU recieved will piss me off (not that I actually matter, you understand, but I would be angry).

  12. 12
    mythbri

    Perhaps I’m jaded by the rape culture that frequently enables and excuses sexual violence of all kinds, against all victims (Catholic Church, anyone?) – but I’m surprised at this. This is nothing more than what should be done. This “Taking Very Seriously” response is nothing more than what is appropriate in a just world, but when the response so often is to minimize and cover up, seeing anything other than that is surprising. People should not be praised for doing what they should be doing anyway, especially when it’s meant to address a previous wrong – but it’s nice to see this dealt with as if it actually IS a big deal.

  13. 13
    trent1492

    Want to here something really scummy? Climate deniers are trying to connect the pedophilia scandal to Michael Mann of Hockey Stick fame. Their reasoning? Michael Mann is an academic at Pennsylvania State University. Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky coached at the same place. Both were under investigation by the school administration. It is guilt by association.

    Football and Hockey

  14. 14
    strange gods before me ॐ

    And the school administration enabled him. And the school needs to be punished as an institution and maybe, just maybe, the next time a similar situation comes up, the jokers in charge will realize that taking a big hit now is far better than being crushed by the cover up.

    The NCAA gave SMU’s football programme the death sentence (five years? more?) in the late 1980s for repeated recruiting violations. This is orders of magnitude worse so, to me, anything less than the punishment SMU recieved will piss me off

    Well said.

  15. 15
    Barkeron

    Last time I looked schools were supposed to be about educating the next generations about the sciences and not wasting time and resources on superfluous crap like sports that don’t contribute anything of value to humanity at large.

    What do you don’t get about that, US?

  16. 16
    Jadehawk

    superfluous crap like sports that don’t contribute anything of value to humanity at large

    *rolleyes*

    it’s one thing to criticize the ridiculously disproportionate importance of sports at universities. it’s an entirely different thing to whine about how certain non-sciency, non-academic things “don’t contribute anything of value to humanity”. That’s the same rationale that gets art and music programs cancelled.

  17. 17
    nedchamplain

    Those that don’t like the statue being removed should look the other way and pretend it didn’t happen.

  18. 18
    julietdefarge

    Allow me to suggest a couple of good articles on the cost v. benefits of college sports:
    “Major-college athletics departments increased the amount of money they generate by nearly $190 million in 2011, but they increased their spending by more than $267 million, a USA TODAY Sports analysis finds.”
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/story/2012-05-15/budget-disparity-increase-college-athletics/54960698/1

    Stop Funding College Sports
    Why should taxpayers have to pay for college athletic programs?
    http://reason.com/archives/2011/10/14/stop-funding-college-sports

  19. 19
    left0ver1under

    Normally, jokes about rape and molestation are utterly tasteless and highly offensive. However, this one I saw elsewhere is dead on:

    They are not going to take down Paterno’s statue. They are just going to turn it so it looks the other way.

  20. 20
    Sili

    The NCAA gave SMU’s football programme the death sentence (five years? more?) in the late 1980s for repeated recruiting violations. This is orders of magnitude worse so, to me, anything less than the punishment SMU recieved will piss me off

    Well, you know how it is:

    Shouting racial epithets at an opponent: slap on the wrist.

    Showing up late for a game and messing up the ad schedule: €50k fine.

  21. 21
    Sili

    I hope that, when they put the statue into storage, one of the construction workers whispered to it: “No.”

    Storage?

    They plan on putting up again?

    I guess they’re right about the public memory. Give a few years and most will have forgotten.

    –o–

    I could get behind hauling it out once a year for a public shaming and throwing of eggs, though.

  22. 22
    kc9oq

    That statue was installed in 2001. I think it’s poor form to erect a statue of any living person. History needs to judge them first.

  23. 23
    Marcus Ranum

    “Torn it down” sounds so much more dramatic than “erected a barrier, brought in a forklift, and moved to long-term storage in the pit of forgetfulness”…

  24. 24
    Alverant

    Replace the statue with one that looks like (not exactly) a composite of his victims and put on the bottom the words, “Why didn’t you stop him?”

    The real problem is how college sports became a powerful force in a university. Too many students pick their college by their sports program and there’s too much pressure on professors and TAs to go easy on athletes to keep them eligible. Stop pretending that just because your college team can play a game better than another college team that somehow your education is improved.

  25. 25
    grumpyoldfart

    In the video Jeremie Thompson complains that it’s “another memory gone.” No thought (apparently) for the poor victims who will never forget.

  26. 26
    ednaz

    nedchamplain@ #17

    Exactly.

  27. 27
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Last time I looked schools were supposed to be about educating the next generations about the sciences and not wasting time and resources on superfluous crap like sports that don’t contribute anything of value to humanity at large.

    Right. The English would never claim that sport was important. Well, except that Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton (?).

  28. 28
    petermountain

    Joe Paterno must have come to the same horrifying conclusion as Lt. Colonel Nicholson in the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai” .

  29. 29
    feralboy12

    They are not going to take down Paterno’s statue. They are just going to turn it so it looks the other way.

    My suggestion was to keep the statue, just paint some blood on the hands.
    I’m not sure if I was joking.
    My local university (Oregon) has, in recent years, become something of a football power. No huge scandals yet (some sketchy payments to a phony player evaluation service, and, of course, players misbehaving here and there), but it’s probably just a matter of time. I just hope it’s nothing this disgusting.

  30. 30
    coleslaw

    However, sports is way too friggin’ important in what are ostensibly academic institutions, and likewise, all athletes on a professional level are horrifically overpaid.

    I agree. I mean I like Drew Brees, but aren’t there small countries somewhere being run on a lesser budget than his new contract?

    I know universities often use the excuse that sports programs are what attract alumni donations, but really. You universities had these alumni for four years. If in that time you couldn’t convince them that libraries and laboratories were worth donating to, maybe you don’t deserve the money.

  31. 31
    Amphiox

    Alternately, keep the statue, but add a plaque describing the whole child rape scandal and his role in it, so that every subsequent sight of the statue will become a perpetual reminder of this failure, and it will never be forgotten. And paint a scarlet “E” (for enabler) on the forehead.

    Removing the statue could easily be seen as an attempt to erase this episode from PSU’s institutional memory-ie another whitewashing.

    Or, ask the victims what they want done, and do exactly that, up to and including melting it into slag in a public ceremony.

  32. 32
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    They need to shut down all college athletics for at least five years. Maybe we should just have an appropriate taxation system that can fund universities, rather than depending on the ability of the school to put together groups of people who are really good at playing FUCKING CHILDREN’S GAMES to pay for education in America. Someone who can throw a ball good is objectively no more valuable than someone who is really awesome at Halo, yet that ball-thrower is responsible for the funding of his university? The entire world is corrupt, and we need to let it burn! Anarchy in the USA!!!

    … sorry, I started drinking early today.

  33. 33
    frankb

    grumpyoldfart #25
    Very well said.

  34. 34
    cartomancer

    How exactly did competitive sports become this big, lucrative, imbedded cult in American universities? What’s the historical and cultural background to that? I mean, people at universities elsewhere in the world have had official competitive sports fixtures since at least the nineteenth century, if not before (the Boat Race being the most famous example), but how did it get to be so much more prominent in the US, and ringed about with such vast financial significance? Was it always this way, or is it a recent thing? Does it plug right in to the general culture of US postwar corporatism, or does it have its own somewhat different dynamic?

  35. 35
    scottruplin

    I suspect the actual penalties against PSU’s football program will be miniscule – a loss of a couple of bowl games and some scholarships, but no suspension of the program. I hope to be proved wrong, but have no faith in money and power not getting most of their wishes.

  36. 36
    trent1492

    I just learned that Michael Mann is beginning legal proceedings against the National Review for trying to link him to the pedophilia scandal at PSU.

  37. 37
    marksletten

    I hold no sympathy for child abusers or their enablers nor am I a fan of college sports. I do however have an interest in skepticism, which tells me there is almost always another side to the story.

    http://www.johnziegler.com/editorials_details.asp?editorial=219

    http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2012/07/freeh-report-on-paterno-lacks-substantial-evidentiary-basis.html

    Pulling down the statue of a long-time sports legend implicated in wrongdoing seems like a good mea culpa for a college in full damage control mode; it’s a good bet people will accept that (and whatever the NCAA decides to do) and consider the matter closed. Which would be sad in my opinion, mainly because in the interest of figuring out what the fuck really happened–and more importantly who knew what when–the Freeh Report appears to’ve left a lot to be desired.

  38. 38
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    cartomancer, I think it is mostly that we don’t as a country want to pay taxes for anything, so they’ve allowed sports team revenue to replace tax dollars for funding education.

  39. 39
    DrVanNostrand

    SMU was actually only completely booted by the NCAA for 1 season. They canceled a 2nd season themselves. They also received some extra TV and bowl game bans and lost a bunch of scholarships. They never completely recovered. It doesn’t take long to ruin a football program. Although, being a much more prominent state school, Penn State may be more resilient. SMU has to compete with two nearby Texas juggernauts for recruits. In any case, I’m not optimistic the NCAA will do it, but I’m hoping for a penalty similar to SMU’s.

  40. 40
    Cipher

    Stupid shit to say in a conversation about child rape:

    there is almost always another side to the story.

  41. 41
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    SMU was actually only completely booted by the NCAA for 1 season. They canceled a 2nd season themselves.

    Sorry. Note to self: “Self, Google is your friend.”

  42. 42
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    There are a lot of sides to this story. You have the side of men who were raped as kids by Sandusky before Paterno or others knew about it. You have the side of men who were raped as kids after Paterno and others found out and decided to keep silent about it for more than a decade. There’s the side of people in various positions of authority at the university who decided to keep quiet about kids being raped in their vicinity. There’s Paterno’s side of the story. There is the rapist’s side.

    Just saying that there is always another side to the story says nothing. It’s bullshit. Especially since you gave no evidence that this side you speak of is valid.

  43. 43
    Grumps

    That woman… that disgusting excuse of a person

    Well said Beatrice..

    As she spoke my jaw just dropped wider and wider. People came and stood respectfully at the statue because they wanted to feel good about moving on!? Did she really say that! Children were raped and she’s worried that the facilitators and deniers, and a few fucking jocks are having trouble moving on from having their fucking hero shown up for the rape enabler he is… FUCK

    People rarely make me angry, but she.. well… FUCK.

  44. 44
    trent1492

    And we now it looks like a campaign is being waged. The same accusations have now appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

  45. 45
    DrVanNostrand

    Apparently Google is my friend as well. It’s being reported that Penn State will NOT get the death penalty.

  46. 46
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    The NCAA is claiming these will be unprecidented penalties. But not the death pennalty for the programme. I guess that, since SMU got hit with that, it would not be unprecedented so there is no point in doing that?

  47. 47
    andusay

    When I think of many sides to the story, I wonder about the whole truth in this. Are there some fat cats in the background who have blood on their hands yet have managed to arrange for others to take the fall? I wonder if there are a few assholes out there thinking “whew, dodged that bullet”. Some high dollar alum who called the shot. Will we ever know?

  48. 48
    jahigginbotham

    @24,29 good comments

    NCAA should take away some past wins from all time win leader JoePa. Bye-bye record for which children were sacrificed.

  49. 49
    jahigginbotham

    Donations to PSU second highest level ever I read a week or two ago.
    That warrants death penalty.

  50. 50
    Stella

    At this stage, what makes me really sad is the effect this will have on Penn State’s academic programmes and by extension the education of the students who go there. Scumbags like Paterno can pop up anywhere – this is an unfortunate fact of life – and taking necessary steps to deal with them shouldn’t have to harm innocent parties.

  51. 51
    Ingdigo Jump

    superfluous crap like sports that don’t contribute anything of value to humanity at large

    I predict you would not enjoy a society that cut out all the superfluous crap.

  52. 52
    mikefrancis

    @ #15 Barkeron:

    Last time I looked schools were supposed to be about educating the next generations about the sciences and not wasting time and resources on superfluous crap like sports that don’t contribute anything of value to humanity at large.

    What do you don’t get about that, US?

    At the vast majority of U.S. colleges and universities, intercollegiate sports are what they’re intended to be – extracurricular activities for the entertainment of students. It’s only at a hard core of schools that sports are businesses. The dependence of schools on the money and prestige that big-time sports brings to the “football factories” is what warps the academic and other functions of a school.

  53. 53
    Crissa

    …Because tearing down a statue of a dead man and hiding does wonders to reveal his failings!

    Wait, no, I’m not sure how that follows. Nor do I understand the NCAA saying they’re not going to penalize the college – day late and a dollar short, I’d say.

  54. 54
    Ingdigo Jump

    Wait, no, I’m not sure how that follows. Nor do I understand the NCAA saying they’re not going to penalize the college – day late and a dollar short, I’d say.

    You’re being stupid.

  55. 55
    Matt Penfold

    …Because tearing down a statue of a dead man and hiding does wonders to reveal his failings!

    Wait, no, I’m not sure how that follows. Nor do I understand the NCAA saying they’re not going to penalize the college – day late and a dollar short, I’d say.

    Well it does send a message that the University is not happy with his covering the rape of children. As things go removing the stature is not much of a gesture, but it was a necessary one.

  56. 56
    Crissa

    Err, the NCAA are going to…

    …Wouldn’t this just encourage franchises to just hide these things rather than investigate them, if the NCAA will penalize them later?

  57. 57
    Ingdigo Jump

    …Wouldn’t this just encourage franchises to just hide these things rather than investigate them, if the NCAA will penalize them later?

    You’re a fucking idiot

  58. 58
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    …Wouldn’t this just encourage franchises to just hide these things rather than investigate them, if the NCAA will penalize them later?

    YOu do realize that they are being penalized because they hid this for years instead of reporting the rapist?

  59. 59
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Crissa, instead of assuming that you know what’ll happen, why don’t you start by going over to http://scholar.google.com/ and doing some research. You might learn something.

  60. 60
    robro

    cartomancer

    How exactly did competitive sports become this big, lucrative, imbedded cult in American universities?

    TV + $$$$$

    The sports cult isn’t just embedded in American universities. Sports is big business in high schools, too, and deeply embedded throughout American society.

    It sort of started with radio covering pro baseball games in the 20s. When TV came along, it picked up baseball but baseball was slow and dull. TV really found a friend in action sports like football and later basketball. Plus, football and basketball, unlike baseball, were school year sports so the networks could use college games to fill out their schedule.

    That had the added advantage of the sports star story arc: follow Joe Hero through his college career to the pros. It’s July. Fall is coming…there are probably already stories about this years crop of future stars.

    What’s really tragic is that there is mounting evidence that football, and to a lesser extent other contact sports, are resulting in a lot of middle aged men with debilitating brain damage and early death, not to mention bum knees, shoulders, arms, spines, etc.

  61. 61
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Ing, to Crissa:

    You’re a fucking idiot

    In other news, water is wet.

  62. 62
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Ms. Daisy Cutter

    Yes but sometimes you find a particular shallow pool that is so exceptionally wet that it merits amazed proclamations!

  63. 63
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Correction to the moronic newspaper: Corporations such as the universities don’t get “the death penalty.” People get it. Universities get severe financial penalties that reduce their sports programs to something within the realm of sanity.

  64. 64
    Barkeron

    That’s the same rationale that gets art and music programs cancelled.

    Art (under which I include music) contributes to humanity.

    Don’t teach Guernica and Symphony No. 9 important lessons and enrich life?

    I predict you would not enjoy a society that cut out all the superfluous crap.

    That fully depends on the chosen definition of “superfluous”.

  65. 65
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I was talking about this with my sister recently.

    She pointed out that if, when the original allegations against Sandusky had surfaced – back in the ’90s – Paterno et al had turned him over to the cops, cut him loose, and issued a statement to the effect of, “PSU does not harbor pedophiles. We are doing x,y, and z to examine our internal practices and ensure that this doesn’t happen again. We are also doing a, b, and c to reach out to and help the victims.” then (1) Paterno et al would have – rightfully – been hailed as people who did the right thing and (2) it would have been forgotten, except for a footnote in history, within four or five years.

    But instead, they covered it up, hid his crimes, and are now paying the price.

    Of course – the worst of it is that Sandusky was left free to offend and hurt more boys while PSU dithered.

  66. 66
    coleslaw

    Correction to the moronic newspaper: Corporations such as the universities don’t get “the death penalty.” People get it. Universities get severe financial penalties that reduce their sports programs to something within the realm of sanity.

    When the NCAA bans a school from playing a sport for one or more seasons, that’s called the death penalty. The term goes back a couple of decades. I don’t think you are going to convince that newspaper not to use it.

  67. 67
    Ingdigo Jump

    That fully depends on the chosen definition of “superfluous”.

    It’s the attitude that says that degrees outside of STEM and Buisness are useless. I don’t think you’d be happy in a world where everyone focused on just being productive workers bees

  68. 68
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    “Death penalty” trivializes actual death when you are talking about a sports program. How about “ban” or “de-funding” or “sanction” or “suspension”? No one recovers from a death penalty. Any one who covered up for him should be banned from taking part in professional or school sports for life.

    Any contest that this university reached the finals of, from the time they hired the child-rapist, should be awarded to the other team and the records amended.

  69. 69
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    … and I mean any part, e.g. administrator, coach, spokesmoron, or scorekeeper.

  70. 70
    DrVanNostrand

    Everyone wants to define “superfluous” as the things they don’t personally value, and then label the people that care about those things as morons. We all choose “superfluous” things to enrich our lives.

  71. 71
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Music and arts programs can be taken by the entire student body, if they so choose. Football programs benefit a tiny minority of males at the expense of physical fitness and general sports programs for all students of both sexes.

  72. 72
    coleslaw

    No one recovers from a death penalty.

    As SMU can attest.

    If a sport settles ties with an overtime period in which the team that scores first wins, it’s called “sudden death”. Are you going to argue against that, too?

  73. 73
    shockna

    Having never liked schools that overemphasize sports to begin with, this entire situation is disgusting. As other have suggested, Penn State should shut down its entire football program for the next several years; the money saved can go into other departments. I suppose this gives me an example for the awful places that putting sports credibility above all else can go.

    @ 13:

    Want to here something really scummy? Climate deniers are trying to connect the pedophilia scandal to Michael Mann of Hockey Stick fame. Their reasoning? Michael Mann is an academic at Pennsylvania State University. Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky coached at the same place. Both were under investigation by the school administration. It is guilt by association.

    That’s completely sickening on one hand, and at the same time, completely unsurprising. I imagine that if the head of the IPCC had a fifth cousin’s father who was a Wehrmacht infantryman, they’d make the entire panel out to be the reincarnation of the Nazis (Assuming they haven’t already done this, anyway).

  74. 74
    Ingdigo Jump

    Music and arts programs can be taken by the entire student body, if they so choose. Football programs benefit a tiny minority of males at the expense of physical fitness and general sports programs for all students of both sexes.

    Actually they can’t. You can’t magic yourself good at music or arts any better than you can sports. You can enjoy other people’s work though…like sports viewers do.

    However, a wonderful argument for replacing gender segregated sports with weight classes, i support that fully.

  75. 75
    DrVanNostrand

    At a school like Penn State, the football program is actually massively profitable and provides funding for a lot of other sports and programs. However, that’s only true for the large universities in the major conferences.

  76. 76
    moshiachone

    When the student being interviewed said “He feels sad…” I thought, “Wow, the students are finally getting it.” The students are finally realizing that their worship of JoePa and Penn State football should be put in the perspective of the crimes JoePa et al committed or allowed to be committed. The students have finally woken up!

    Then he finishes his sentence: “because they gave in to pressure instead of making their own decision.”

    YOU FUCKING IDIOT.

  77. 77
    DLC

    RE: the PSU football team penalty : Why should they penalize a group of overfed, pampered , privileged male athletes who just want to play football ?
    Oh wait. . .

  78. 78
    Stella
    Music and arts programs can be taken by the entire student body, if they so choose. Football programs benefit a tiny minority of males at the expense of physical fitness and general sports programs for all students of both sexes.

    Actually they can’t. You can’t magic yourself good at music or arts any better than you can sports. You can enjoy other people’s work though…like sports viewers do.

    Very true, but I do think the drive to make money from sports prevents students who aren’t really good at sports from participating. In music and the arts, for example, students can often enter the programmes even if they’re not all that good. They at least get to try it out and have the opportunity to develop their abilities, even though they may not be top of the class and may switch to something that suits them better. With this kind of competitive sports model though, only the best sportspeople get to participate because the high financial stakes mean only the best can be selected.

  79. 79
    Adam

    This shouldn’t be an issue, no one should be able to see this man in the same light any more. It’s ridiculous that anyone would disagree with this.

  80. 80
    jonjermey

    “I just learned that Michael Mann is beginning legal proceedings against the National Review for trying to link him to the pedophilia scandal at PSU.”

    Nobody tried to link Michael Mann with pedophilia. What they pointed out was that an administration which could not be trusted to reveal pedophilia in its football coach clearly could not be trusted to carry out an objective investigation of the methods used by an award-winning and highly lucrative star scientist.

    True, no?

  81. 81
    scrawnykayaker

    This presages a tragic decline in the quality of students at Penn State. I feel so sorry for the faculty and TAs, especially those teaching courses like Geology 101, Spanish for Non-majors and Intro to Accounting which are traditionally so popular with the cadre of top-flight intellectuals who choose their university primarily based on the record of its football team. Now the school will be nothing more than a glorified community college, filled only with students who simply want the credits.
    [/snark]

    The sad thing is that their board of regents or whatever didn’t have the humanity to shut down the football program voluntarily. I know, I went to Colorado and work at U. of Washington, and this could never happen, since too many alumni donations come from old frat-rats who don’t give a fuck about anything else. “Think of the women’s lacrosse team! Money from the football program supports them, too!” Bastards.

  82. 82
    scrawnykayaker

    “If in that time you couldn’t convince them that libraries and laboratories were worth donating to, maybe you don’t deserve the money.”

    You can’t park your Benz behind the library and get drunk in the stacks (at least not without risking arrest), so good luck with that.

  83. 83
    Bernard Bumner

    $60m fine, loss of titles between 1998-2011, and banned from competition for 4 years. That is a very strong message to university administrations. Good.

  84. 84
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    banned from post season competition for 4 years

    Fixed

    They’re just banned from Bowl games not any games.

  85. 85
    Rev. BigDumbChimp
    No one recovers from a death penalty.

    As SMU can attest.

    SMU played in a bowl game last year.

    You can recover, but it takes a very very long time.

  86. 86
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    For someone who has little understanding of these university sports programs in US : should we be happy with this or is it too little?

  87. 87
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Well, it’s a very serious group of penalties for the Penn St. football program. Which frankly, whatever. I’m glad. This will cripple their football program for years. Unfortunately this also affects all their other sports teams as well, as a loss in revenue from the football team is a loss in revenue for their vollyball, soccer, track and field etc…

    But the real thing to wait for is what sort of criminal and civil cases come about following this. That’s where it’s really going to hit them financially.

    Hopefully there will be some lengthy jail time for the big wigs who covered up.

  88. 88
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    And please no one misinterpret my comments about the other sports programs. Their issues as a result of this pale in comparison with what the victims had and have to go through. I was just making a comment on the other collateral damage from the actions of the people who should have been protecting everyone who was affected by their cover-up. Victims, students, the public, everyone. Lots of people are now affected by this disaster of people failing to live up to their responsibility and basic human decency. The victims obviously having suffered the most.

  89. 89
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Thanks for the answer, Rev. BigDumbChimp.

    I agree, the most important part should be consequences for the uni authorities who were involved in the cover up.

  90. 90
    Bernard Bumner

    But the real thing to wait for is what sort of criminal and civil cases come about following this. That’s where it’s really going to hit them financially.

    I’ve seen some talk that the civil settlements (coupled to the loss of football revenue and prestige) could be sufficient to ruin the entire institution. I don’t know whether that could ever come to pass; they generate massive revenue, but I don’t know how much of that is (directly and indirectly) contingent on football.

    Sure enough, other innocent people will suffer because of the institutional failings at Penn State, but as much sympathy as I have for those minor victims, this was needed for justice and to help to protect others.

  91. 91
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    And just to follow up, this can be seen as a worse penalty then the so called “death penalty”. It can be argued that this is going to have farther reaching impacts on the program that what a 1 year complete ban would have had.

  92. 92
    trent1492

    @jonjermey,

    What they pointed out was that an administration which could not be trusted to reveal pedophilia in its football coach clearly could not be trusted to carry out an objective investigation of the methods used by an award-winning and highly lucrative star scientist.

    Here are the names of the people who investigated Michael Mann:

    Henry C. Foley, Ph.D.
    Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School

    Alan W. Scaroni, Ph.D.
    Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research,
    College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

    Ms. Candice A. Yekel, M.S., CIM,
    Director, Office for Research Protections
    Research Integrity Officer

    Now care to tell us which one or any had a hand in the pedophilia cover up? Can not? Then you are guilty of simply trying to link the pedophilia cover up to Michael Mann. It is guilt by association.

  93. 93
    gravityisjustatheory

    Markita Lynda—damn climate change!
    22 July 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Correction to the moronic newspaper: Corporations such as the universities don’t get “the death penalty.” People get it. Universities get severe financial penalties that reduce their sports programs to something within the realm of sanity.

    I thought corporations were people (legaly).

    Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphor

  94. 94
    dean

    And just to follow up, this can be seen as a worse penalty then the so called “death penalty”

    I disagree. The only hit to the “university” is the money: $60 million fine, which will be paid off over five years, and being unable to share in conference bowl-game take for four years, estimated at $13 million currently – it could go up. The football revenue last year alone was over $72 million, so in cash they are out roughly one year’s take, but not immediately. The monetary hit is a miniscule amount for a school with a $1.8 billion endowment, and I see it as a penalty on the athletes rather than the guilty.

    Athletic revenues will take a hit, but part of the “penalty” is that they can’t take money from non-revenue sports to make up for it, so that’s a plus for those kids. Will some of the low-hanging revenue sports take a hit? Who knows – but if so, it’s those kids, not the school, getting hammered.

    Vacating 111 (I think) victories from 1998 to 2011? PR problem. After all, the fans and the alumni “know PSU won those games on the field. Having them taken away with a pen don’t mean shit” – as our neighborhood Penn State alum told me an hour ago. (Disclaimer: My Ph.D. advisor also got his degree from there, in statistics: he has had nothing but contempt for Paterno for years and years. He (my advisor) had the gall to give a football player a failing grade and all hell came down.)

    Yes, the current players can transfer if they choose to, but forecasts had this year’s team as rather weak, and it’s not obvious there will be a large demand for them elsewhere.

    The school being told to do away with the culture of hero worship? To develop a plan to make it clear what should be done in situations like this? How is doing what they should already have in place a penalty?

    So how did this penalize the university folks who were responsible? The stain from this whole incident was already there, Paterno is already dead, the former president is now in the faculty and as far as I know is not up for any more investigation.

  95. 95
    Bart B. Van Bockstaele

    Never tie your university’s reputation to athletics, people!

    I’ve never understood that link. What exactly does athletics have to do with academic studies, except maybe for people who have their brains not in their heads but in their biceps?

  96. 96
    Nick Gotts

    The English would never claim that sport was important. Well, except that Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton (?). – Ogvorbis

    This was an outcome of Wellington’s remarkable strategic intelligence: by moving the fixture to Eton, he prevented Napoleon from even getting his troops to the battlefield – and also gained the advantage of an enthusiastic home crowd.

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