Sometimes in the morning my car radio will be on a local station from the night before and I’ll get a bit of Michael Gallagher’s morning show before switching. I tell you this simply to explain why I would have heard Gallagher.
On this morning’s show Gallagher was calling for the NCAA to give Penn what is often termed the death penalty, effectively ending one or more of their sports programs for some period.
What Sandusky did was awful and he certainly deserves punishment. Based on what we know so far, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, Joe Paterno, Mike McQueary, and others who were aware of the incident and did nothing, or worse, covered for Sandusky, deserve punishment.
But the death penalty? No way. First, this would penalize dozens of completely innocent students and staff who had nothing to do with this incident. Second, it would likely have the exact opposite effect of what we want. Instead of encouraging people to do the right thing, this would likely cause more cover-ups. Student athletes and staff would be afraid to report incidents for fear of their program being killed. Entire athletic departments would become hush zones where nobody would talk. That’s not what we want. People who are guilty should shoulder the penalty for their actions, innocent people should not be put in a situation where choosing to do the right thing unnecessarily punishes them.
And those Penn fans. I can understand people being unhappy about Paterno’s firing on Wednesday. But protesting? Really? Do Penn State fans and students not have a clue of the likely harm done to a number of young guys by Sandusky? And that Paterno likely played a role in allowing these kids to be raped? Is winning a football game or having Paterno as coach more important than a kid being raped? Even one? And we’re talking about eight or more.
Penn State fans have achieved the status of the most disgusting fans in college sports.