NCAA probation isn't the answer at Penn State

Berry Tramel: While the legal process deals with the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky case, some call for NCAA probation. That's not the governing body's place.
by Berry Tramel Published: July 6, 2012
Advertisement
;

photo - FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2011 file photo, Penn State coach Joe Paterno stands on the field before his team's NCAA college football game against Northwestern, in Evanston, Ill. Paterno's family is calling on the Pennsylvania attorney general and former FBI Director Louis Freeh to release all emails and records related to their investigations into the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. Family lawyer Wick Sollers' statement Monday, July 2, 2012, comes after reports of leaked emails between administrators about a graduate assistant's account in 2001 of an encounter between former defensive coordinator Sandusky and a boy in the showers. Sollers represents the family of former coach Paterno, who was fired and died in January. Sollers says it's clear someone in authority was not interested in a thorough investigation, given the leaks of selective emails. Freeh is leading the school's internal investigation. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching, File) ORG XMIT: NY121
FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2011 file photo, Penn State coach Joe Paterno stands on the field before his team's NCAA college football game against Northwestern, in Evanston, Ill. Paterno's family is calling on the Pennsylvania attorney general and former FBI Director Louis Freeh to release all emails and records related to their investigations into the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. Family lawyer Wick Sollers' statement Monday, July 2, 2012, comes after reports of leaked emails between administrators about a graduate assistant's account in 2001 of an encounter between former defensive coordinator Sandusky and a boy in the showers. Sollers represents the family of former coach Paterno, who was fired and died in January. Sollers says it's clear someone in authority was not interested in a thorough investigation, given the leaks of selective emails. Freeh is leading the school's internal investigation. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching, File) ORG XMIT: NY121

We've had the initial, harrowing reports that something was amiss in not-so-Happy Valley.

We've had Joe Paterno, the most iconic of American sporting heroes, defrocked and die.

We've had goober students chanting “We are, Penn State!”, not realizing the lost honor of their university.

We've even had Jerry Sandusky convicted of the vilest acts imaginable.

And still the hits keep coming on just how wretched is the Penn State scandal. To the point where some call for the NCAA to get involved, slap the Nittany Lions with lack of institutional control and put Penn State on probation.

The latest atrocity: emails that show Paterno swayed Penn State officials, including athletic director Tim Curley, vice president Gary Schultz and president Graham Spanier, from turning the Sandusky investigation over to police.

I'm all for anything that brings Penn State to justice. All for anything that forever slays the myth of the idyllic Nittany existence.

But not NCAA involvement.

NCAA probation trivializes Sandusky's crimes. Marginalizes Sandusky's victims. Mocks Penn State's shame.

What happened at Penn State was not lack of institutional control. What happened at Penn State was absolute institutional control.

NCAA probation is what the Southwest Conference schools deserved for all their rogue-booster violations. What OU and OSU deserved when they ran afoul of NCAA rules. What Southern Cal and Miami and North Carolina and Ohio State and Kentucky deserve for putting winning above integrity.

NCAA probation is not the answer for heinous crimes and ruined lives.

And frankly, that's not the NCAA's responsibility. The NCAA is up to its eyeballs in enforcement. Cleaning the streets is a full-time job. NCAA rules exist to keep a level playing field. To maintain competition as healthy as it can be.

Now we want the NCAA to be the moral police, too? We want the NCAA to judge the content of someone's character, when it has nothing to do with Penn State's ability to beat Purdue?

Continue reading this story on the...

NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.
by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Erasing Your Bad Memories May Soon Be Possible
  2. 2
    Supermarket Donates Ice Cube Sales To ALS, Challenges Competitors To Do The Same
  3. 3
    China is now using drones to catch “terrorists” in Xinjiang
  4. 4
    Exorcising a Phobia, One Stroke at a Time
  5. 5
    American Dream turned nightmare: 40 hour work week grows to 47-60 hours
+ show more