Death Penalty Warranted In Penn State Case

The NCAA has invoked its so-called death penalty only five times before, and just once to a major college football program. The sanction is normally reserved for repeat offenders, but the crimes and subsequent cover-up at Penn State are so egregious that they could leave the governing body no choice.

I wanted to wait awhile before commenting on the Freeh Report which exposed an apparent cover-up at Penn State with regard to former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and his sexual abuse of young boys that may have begun as early as the 1970s.

Still mindful of the scorched-earth path most pundits chose last year when Ohio State found itself squarely in the crosshairs of particularly nasty chain of events that cost the university arguably the best football coach it has ever had and subsequently wrecked the 2011 season, I found myself strangely reluctant to pull the trigger on criticism of Penn State officials, particularly former head coach Joe Paterno.

I have tried to balance the information emanating from the Freeh Report with testimonials from the Paterno family as well as a feeling of genuine compassion for Sandusky's victims from Penn State alumni and State College residents.

Unfortunately, no measure of loyalty or compassion can erase the fact that crimes were committed – egregious, heinous crimes against defenseless young children – and those crimes were systematically (and some would say ruthlessly) covered up by a Penn State administration that included president Graham Spanier, vice president Gary Schultz, athletic director Tim Curley and Paterno.

For that reason, I believe the NCAA has no choice but to suspend the Penn State football program for a period of at least one year.

Read the rest by clicking on this link: Rea's Day Blog: July 17.

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