Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Z_CNHI News Service

September 26, 2013

Reducing sanctions against Penn State was right call

The NCAA finally got something right when it reduced the death-like sanctions against Penn State University. Although there was no admission from President Mark Emmert, who meted out the institution-crippling penalties in 2012, a reasonable person should easily recognize that two wrongs don’t make a right and the NCAA had mistakenly donned the cloak of judge, jury and executioner against the Nittany Lions in the investigation process.

Former coach Jerry Sandusky is a horrible person who did unthinkable things to children. Just as bad, people holding the most responsible positions on the State College campus were aware of horrific deeds done by a key university employee and covered up his actions because they feared if made public, they might stain Penn State’s renowned reputation. Yet they did nothing.

As dastardly as they were, as reprehensible as anything to come to light on a college campus, this wasn’t a simple athletic infraction. It was a crime against humanity committed by Sandusky – a violent offense – that belonged in the criminal justice system.  The same for the so-called “Penn State Three” – former school president Graham Spanier, ex-athletic director Tim Curley and former senior vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz – who are now fighting for their futures in court, where they face perjury charges.

Emmert must come from a culture that says there is nothing bigger than sports, a case where our institutions of higher education are merely centers for high-stakes athletic competition that determines and shapes a university’s identification and prestige. Otherwise, why would he try to rule supreme in a matter that was way outside his court of jurisdiction?

The NCAA attacked the investigation in a heavy-handed way. In the end, Penn State was given a choice:  Either accept the most draconian sanctions ever handed down or understand it would be given the “death penalty,” which would have shut down the school’s football program. There would be no “due process” in the case and the damaging investigation in the Freeh Report could not be questioned.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 11, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teens trading naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 10, 2014

  • 297px-Starbucks_Corporation_Logo_2011.svg.png Why Starbucks won't recycle your paper coffee cup

    When you drop that used white paper cup into the bin next to the door at a Starbucks, have you done your part to save the planet? Starbucks has long hoped that you would think so. After all, there's no better way to attract an affluent, eco-conscious clientele than to convince customers that your disposable product is "renewable."

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don't blame voters for low turnout

    Suppose nobody votes this year. On Nov. 4 the doors to the polling places are thrown open, and there isn't anyone in line. No absentee ballots are filed. No one litigates, charging either fraud or discrimination, because there weren't any voters.
    It won't happen. But if it did, pundits and activists would surely blame public apathy for such a catastrophe. I'd name a different culprit: the major parties, their candidates and their acolytes in the news media.

    April 4, 2014

  • Sex, movies and the desperate attempt to shock audiences

    For the past year or two, it seems, movies have become obsessed with sex, continually upping the ante on tone, subject matter and explicitness - and "50 Shades of Grey" hasn't even come out yet.

    April 4, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Voters beware of oligarchs and bogeymen

    Scaring voters to distract them from issues is a tired - and bipartisan - ploy sure to be in heavy rotation this campaign season.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo