Thursday, July 12, 2012

Thoughts on Penn State

I recommend other commentary on the Freeh Report and Deadpsin is gathering lots of tidbits, but with a clear attitude and anti-PSU perspective. I will add only two things:

1) There was nothing surprising or unexpected in here. We knew or at least strongly suspected pretty much everything in there, whether because it had leaked or because it simply makes sense. Nothing happens within a major college football program without the head coach knowing, so the idea that Paterno knew as little as he suggested has always rang false. Ditto for the university president, who must be on board to allow the insularity to develop.

2) Any program that insists it is "different" (as Penn State did for years) is fooling itself and, eventually, will be exposed. "A culture of reverence for the football program that is ingrained at all levels of the campus community." "A football program that did not fully participate in, or opted out, of some University programs." A "closed community," an "'island, where staff members lived by their own rules.'" Those words could be written about any big-time sports program at any school at which misconduct occurs. This case is different only in degree, in the extraordinary and heinous nature of the particular criminal misconduct. But the circumstances that allowed it to happen prevail (perhaps necessarily) for any big-time sports program.