Penn State's Athletes Should Not Suffer for Mistakes of Administration

J.P. ScottSenior Analyst IJuly 5, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Matt McGloin #11 of the Penn State Nittany Lions stands on the field during a time out during a game against the Michigan State Spartans on November 27, 2010 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. The Spartans won 28-22. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Since day one of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State, everyone has been focused on Sandusky and Penn State University's football program. We all jumped the gun, pointing fingers at everyone from Joe Paterno to Mike McQueary. 

After we all calmed down and came to our senses, we realized we needed to be talking about the victims. We needed to focus on the kids and makes sure this type of thing doesn't happen again.

In the wake of the release of a few emails this past week, we've done it again. Everywhere you look, from TV to radio, newspapers to the blogosphere, the hot topic seems to be how the NCAA may or may not come down on Penn State with some kind of sanctions. 

One writer from the Omaha World Herald even suggested the Big Ten think about kicking Penn State out of the conference.


Let's get this straight. One man, who both during and after his tenure at Penn State, molested children, is found guilty and goes to jail. Next, we find out that there may have been a cover-up, the extent of which we do not know.

Rather than let the justice system our nation and states have in place do what they are there to do, I've heard people suggest we strip Penn State of scholarships, ban them from postseason play and even remove them from arguably the most prestigious conference in the country.

How is that, on any planet, in any language, justice?

I was at the Alamo Bowl in 1999. That week was when one of Sandusky's victims was abused while accompanying him and the team on the bowl trip to San Antonio. In 1999, the football players on the current Penn State roster were between the ages of four and 10. 

How much sense does it make to punish those kids now? How much sense does it make to prevent those kids from playing in a bowl game? 

Let's go beyond football. Penn State wrestling coach Cael Sanderson is quietly building the next great dynasty in the sport on the back of two consecutive national titles. Penn State's women's volleyball team team has won four of the past five national championships.

Do these student-athletes deserve to be banned from postseason play, have their teams lose scholarships, and be kicked out of the conference they compete in? Did they or their coaches have anything whatsoever to do with molesting children or covering it up after the fact?

Obviously, the answer is no. Why then, is it not obviously ridiculous to entertain the thought of dropping the hammer on an entire university's athletic program for the acts of a few individuals?

Again, we all need to sit back and let the legal system, not the NCAA or Big Ten, handle the entire situation. 

Before we all jerk our knees out of place reacting to anything having to due with the Sandusky case, let us not, once again, forget about the kids.