Why Did NCAA Really Pile On Penn State?

Ann McClure's picture
Friday, January 4, 2013

Piling on is one of those things you're supposed to know when you see it.

Some of us argued that's what the NCAA did back in July, when it knee-capped Penn State's program for years to come with scholarship losses and a bowl ban, then instructed the university to fork over $60 million besides. On Wednesday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett joined the chorus with a lawsuit seeking to have the sanctions thrown out.

Essentially, he asked a federal court to make the NCAA take its foot off Penn State's neck, because the football team needs to get back to making the kind of money it did not too long ago for the school, the surrounding communities and a state that needs every job. Corbett's staff even included the phrase "pile on" on page 19 of the 43-page lawsuit, in case the judges missed the point. Cold as that sounds considering the crimes involved, it also sounds reasonable — so long as those same people honor the commitment to fight child abuse they made when the Jerry Sandusky scandal was white-hot.

Many other people, of course, thought the NCAA wasn't harsh enough. So just to be clear: No one is in favor of abusing children.

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