NCAA Announces Penalties Against Penn State University

Monday, July 23, 2012

This morning the NCAA announced massive penalties against Penn State University due to their handling of the child sexual abuse scandal involving the former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

The University faces a $60 million fine and a four-year post season ban. The punishment also included the loss of some scholarships and the vacating of all of the team’s victories from 1998 to 2011. The NCAA stopped short of the so-called "death penalty," forcing the University to shut down the football team for a season or more.

Russell Frank is a journalism professor at Penn State and a columnist.


Russell Frank

Produced by:

Posey Gruener

Comments [1]

Mike from Puget Sound

Jerry Sandusky, Timothy McVeigh, Ted Kaczynski, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Nidal Malik Hasan, Cho Seung-Hui, Bernie Madoff, Enron, Sub-prime mortgages, 9/11 they ALL have something in common:

1) Enforce existing law
2) They weren't born overnight
3) There were whistle blowers:

Brooksley Born (Frontline - The Warning)
Harry Markopolos (SEC - Early Warning - Madoff)
Colleen Rowley - Minneapolis, FBI Agent (9/11)

It's not enough to "enforce existing law". It's not enough to uphold the constitution (2nd Amendment). It won't be enough if EVERYONE is armed. At some point we've got to pay attention to the whistleblowers. We've got to do a better job of identifying potential wackos like the aforementioned Sandusky, McVeigh, Kaczynski, Dahmer, etc.

We've got to have a better system in place for early identification and intervention:

"My Friend Dahmer" - John Backderf

Perhaps if we stopped acting as though this were either an attempt to take away rights guaranteed by the constitution or to needlessly arm everyone, to stifle free markets or let business run rampant and paid more attention to the psychology / pathology behind these problems with an eye on resources dedicated as much to early identification and intervention as to law enforcement, maybe there'd be fewer Sanduskys, Dahmers, Bundys, Kaczynskis, Madoffs in the world. Less reason to go to war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Viet-Nam, etc.

No doubt Sandusky was a bad person who did bad things.

Who was the first to know, who did they tell, did they tell someone or did they keep it to themselves, and if they did tell someone, what was done about it?

It didn't begin at the point at which we found out about it. It began YEARS ago.

We pour our outrage into the moment of discovery, circle the wagons around potential targets (sports programs, gun control, civil / constitutional rights) point our fingers at law enforcement and ignore potential solutions which could take years (mental health, psychology, psychiatry).

Problems which have their origins in institutional dysfunction require at least SOME institutional / foundational redress.

But, that's not an easy, guaranteed, inexpensive, timely answer.

Let's pour our outrage into the moment, and the next, and the next.

Jul. 23 2012 05:06 PM

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