No Football for a year. I thought I’d just skip to the point and sort out the logistics and emotions of it afterward. There is a long list of penalties that Penn State was given by the NCAA, including major loss of scholarships, a $60 million fine, and forfeiting all the wins the program had since 1998 (the year Joe Paterno was allegedly told about the sexual assaults and did not do anything about it). The only penalty that is fair, and that Penn State should have imposed upon itself, was a suspension of the football program for one year, and paying all of the salaries and lost profits to ancillary companies and people who would lose money from their being no football in Happy Valley.
From the beginning, the position of almost everyone who has tried to come to the defense of Penn State has been disturbing. The question they pose is, “How do we balance the concerns of the victims of this heinous crime with the maintenance of the storied Penn State football program?”. Who cares about the Penn State football program!? From Jay Paterno, to Franco Harris and back again, their concern is keeping their football program together, and preserving the legacy that Joe Paterno started. In essence, they are telling the American people that, yes, college football is more important than fatherless preteens being anally raped by a trusted mentor old enough to be their grandfather. It’s important for me to know, unequivocally, before I see another iconic white helmet and nameless jersey on the grid iron, that they value innocence of children more than football. Right now it’s become painfully clear that it’s not the case. Too many Penn State apologists seem like they secretly hate the job that the former president, athletic director and head coach did of covering up this situation, not the fact that it ever happened.
So just “sit down somewhere” Penn State. Let me believe for a moment, that you would never condone 14 year olds getting fucked in the ass in the shower. We know that all of you are not involved. We know that 99.9% of you think the crime was heinous, and would have handled it differently. But we also know, that too many football programs in too many parts of this country hold athletes in a silly game, above the welfare of everyone else in the community. After the year of sitting on the side lines, you can have back all of JoPa’s wins in the records book. That’s a silly penalty anyway. We all know Joe Paterno coached football like no other, the same way we know Pete Rose is the greatest hitter of all time, with or without his bust in Cooperstown. You can have back your scholarships. You can compete in bowl games. But just tell me, by sitting out for a year, that you get it. That football isn’t God. Make Penn State believable.