This has been an unforgettable college football season for all the wrong reasons.
Ohio State’s Jim Tressel resigned when it was discovered that he failed to report his players received improper benefits including severely discounted cars, tattoos, drugs and alcohol. On top of that, a Sports Illustrated investigation actually documented that Tressel defrauded children at his football camps. He rigged raffles for Ohio State memorabilia so that the best kids, the ones he wanted to recruit, would get stuff while other kids never had a chance. Shameful.
The University of Miami, it was later revealed, had hundreds of NCAA violations over a long period of time. Those of us who follow college sports weren’t really surprised by the allegations at “The U” so much as we were surprised how long and how much money had changed hands.
All of that looks like a game of patty cake compared to the mess at Penn State currently going around.
According to a grand jury reports, for more than 10 years a retired coach allegedly used his access to the Penn State facilities to lure, molest, and rape children. The school knew he showered with an 11 year old boy, alone, molesting him, in 1998. And they continued to allow him to have access to their facilities until as recently as LAST WEEK as the grand jury investigation swirled and his arrest became imminent.
Joe Paterno, the winningest coach in college football history, knew of the allegations against his former assistant. Paterno is easily the most powerful person at Penn State and arguably the most powerful person in the state. He had the power to see to it a proper investigation was done and that nothing like that ever happened again in his facilities. But, apparently, he instead chose to protect his program instead of protecting children, hiding behind a policy and passing the buck to the administration.
Of course Joe Paterno should be fired. He knowingly, for more than 10 years, allowed a man to use his relationship with the football team to allegedly rape boys. To allow it to continue is almost as despicable as the perpetrator himself.
After this year, with scandal at the highest heights of college football, maybe it might be time to shut down college football altogether? Sadly, this might just be the tip of the ice berg.
Vince Lombardi famously said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
What a lie.