To the editor:
I have read many news articles and heard many a talking head on television the past couple of weeks concerning the Freeh Report and the sanctions leveled on Penn State and their football program. There are a lot of opinions out there, and as they say, everyone has one and here is mine.
Freeh suggests that Joe Paterno lead a cover-up of Sandusky's abuse of boys for years and, for that reason, the NCAA is justified in their attempt to kill the football program at PSU.
Point No. 1 - I am not convinced that Freeh's report is accurate and nothing more than his own opinion. I have heard a lot of statements by many reporters and talking heads saying that "apparently" Joe told others to cover things up. I don't want "apparently" I want proof. Freeh says that there are emails. Let's see them. I have never seen one email or any evidence shown on any news program or sports talk show. I have heard the talking heads mention that when others have called in saying they don't believe it, the talking heads respond by saying, "Well, they are just emotionally attached to Joe and that they will have to accept the findings." Well, I don't have to accept anything without seeing proof, and I mean proof that would stand up in court.
Let me be perfectly clear. I think what Sandusky did to those boys was absolutely horrible, and no punishment that he receives will be undeserved. I simply want to see the appropriate people punished.
Point No. 2 - I hear that a lot of people are being singled out for blame in this mess, but one name is always left out and that name is (Mike) McQueary. He was the one person who was said to have actually witnessed the crime in progress and didn't stop it then and said nothing to anyone until the next day after he talked it over with his father first. Rest assured, if I had been the person to have witnessed a boy being raped in a shower, the rape would have been stopped ...
I have heard people make excuses for McQueary saying that he was just a boy. I'm sorry but 28 years old is not a boy. He was a young man and very physically capable of stopping this horrendous act that he witnessed.
Point No. 3 - As for the sanctions leveled against Penn State by the NCAA, the NCAA is way off base. Even if there was a cover-up by Paterno, and I am not agreeing that there was, what right does the NCAA have to do all that they are doing? The NCAA was established to regulate intercollegiate athletics so that no school by virtue of being wealthier could take advantage of other schools in that they could pay athletes to play for their school or recruit more players, or offer more or better incentives to players to play on sports teams only for the sake of the team when they could not handle the scholastics or maintain grades enough to graduate, etc. In other words, one wealthy school could not take advantage of other schools by, more or less, having professional athletes. The prime reason for a college to exist is to educate not produce athletes.
Just a couple months ago, the NCAA stated that they had no jurisdiction over this matter; that it was a legal matter. At that time, they were correct. Then the media went crazy and a lot of self-righteous talking heads who wanted to thump their chests and say, "Look at me, see how righteous and caring I am. I'm going to bring down vengeance and stamp out evil." All they were and are doing is being emotional instead of thinking with their brains.
I won't even get into any of the politics involved in this matter. It would take another letter, at least, to touch on all of that. At any rate, the NCAA, cowards that they are, gave in to the media pressure and reversed their position on the matter.
Point No. 4 - If all these sanctions on PSU football are supposed to punish the guilty, there has only been one trial so far. Sandusky has been found guilty and he will be punished. No one else has had a trial yet but the punishment has already started. What is wrong with this picture? Not one of these players on the Penn State football team were guilty of anything. Most of them were only toddlers or young children when Sandusky's dirty deeds were done. Besides that, I defy anyone to show me how that any "alleged cover-up" helped Penn State win one game or helped them get one recruit. Not to mention all of the fans who did nothing evil or illegal, and all of the businesses that will be hurt as a result of this event. I am sure they were not part of any cover-up.
I know that people will say that you have to think about the victims and I agree. But how does all this help the victims? I wonder how many people know that at least two of the victims have stated that they think that what is being done to Penn State is "a bunch of bull." One even said that if he knew all the trouble it would cause for Penn State's football team, he would not have even testified against Sandusky. So it looks like what the NCAA has done is causing the victims even more pain.
Point No. 5 - With all this new-found power that the NCAA has located within itself, what can't they do? Do all you chest-thumpers out there know that the man who killed and wounded all those people in Colorado was being treated by a psychiatrist at the University of Colorado? The psychiatrist claims that seven times she told her superiors at the University of Colorado that this man needed to be watched but her complaints fell on deaf ears. By the same logic that the NCAA applied to Penn State, shouldn't the NCAA be at the University of Colorado destroying their football program? After all, the victims there actually had their lives physically ended, not to mention all of those people who were wounded and their families torn apart.
It's too bad that in the case at Penn State all those supposedly highly educated, and compassionate people couldn't have used their brains to do more thinking instead of getting all emotional and jumping off the deep end into quicksand and sinking everyone and everything.
Stephen E. Sellers