Here’s the statement Joe Paterno’s family released, in response to the NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State University and their football program.
In anticipation of reading something that would 100% only anger me, I was almost pleasantly surprised after reading this statement that Paterno’s family released. Almost. Their statement was well thought out, and does make what appears to be an honest attempt to be sensitive to the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s heinous crimes.
Now having said all that, I love how Paterno’s family complains about a lack of due process, and although perhaps it’d be all daisies and roses had Paterno’s lawyers and surviving family members had more involvement with the NCAA investigation, we must remember that this isn’t a government criminal court case. It’s the NCAA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
What I find most revealing about this statement released is that the Paterno family is outraged about “the process,” but in no way, shape, or form do they outright defend Joe, and proclaim him to be innocent of any wrongdoing. And do you know why? — Because there’s no way in hell that Paterno didn’t cover up for Sandusky. And Paterno’s family knows this. Otherwise why wouldn’t they come right out and say “Joe is an innocent man! And we never even had the chance for a fair shake to clear Joe’s good name!” Why isn’t this what the family is saying? Because even they know how ridiculous they’d sound if they said this.
Penn State should live with the sanctions (Click here to read them). And I’ll give them credit for willingly accepting them (It’s more Paterno’s family who’s expressing the outrage about these sanctions).
Let us remember, it’s only football. The entire University is not being shut down. Current Penn State students are NOT being deprived of their education. And while the students and student-athletes currently attending PSU have definitely had unwanted issues to deal with, it’s nothing compared to the victims of Sandusky, the innocent children Joe Paterno (and others within the Penn St community) opted not to protect. And the football players are free to transfer to other schools. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s the football program that’s taking the hit. And well, the university will lose some profit as well perhaps. Boo hoo.
As far as the loss of wins is concerned, I suppose that’s kind of a pointless punishment. Merely seeing Paterno’s name in the record books doesn’t endorse his actions or lack there of, and if anything, seeing the name serves as a reminder and a warning for future generations.
So yeah, the football players are rightfully free agents. And while current PSU students won’t be enjoying a very good football team/bowl games for a while, in the grand scheme that stuff is just not that big a deal because even if you think the NCAA’s sanctions were too harsh, you can’t deny that they serve as a strong warning to every other institution in this country.