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Old 07-17-2012, 02:00 PM   #496
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Honestly, I'm surprised no one has vandalized the statue yet.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:26 PM   #497
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My view is that when there are wide institutional failures - an analogous case would be the banks in 2008, or the Catholic Church scandals - if there is no means of punishing the institution itself, then what you've done is sent the message that there may be a handful of individuals who are directly punished, but that there are likely many others who were complicit in the institutional failure. And when that is the case, then what incentive is there for any other similar institution to behave properly - frankly, it may be the case that having 4 or 5 people be the fall guys is still a good deal at the end of the day.
The problem here is in determining how far that culture of complicity extends and who exactly is culpable. I've said this before, but the culture of sports worship that enabled this travesty extends far, far beyond Penn State. It has enveloped the entirety of Division I sports, a great deal of the corporate world, and a significant amount of the media and fanbase as well. We're deluding ourselves if we think that Penn State is only place where such a thing is capable of happening.

I've seen the corruption and strong-arming involved with big sports first-hand in athletics department people demanding a grade change to keep an athlete eligible. Although that is an extremely minor example compared to what happened at Penn State, it shows that operating outside the boundaries of the rules is absolutely routine and cannot be remedied by coming down hard on one university. Enacting the death penalty here will only serve to make an example of Penn State, and, as evidenced by the death penalty applied to people, such a tactic does not act effectively as a deterrent.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:30 PM   #498
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I really don't know how you got that idea.

When I said that it was the University's responsibility to both institute the policies that were lacking (as described in the Freeh Report) and administer and oversee those policies, I obviously don't mean Joe Shmoe freshman student or his professor of English. It should be obvious that it means University Administration - again, to clarify even though I would assume it would be understood, this doesn't mean your average secretary who works in the administrative ranks, BUT it most certainly goes beyond just the Board of Trustees.

I guess from your posts I get the feeling that you think that the Board is the main problem aside from the direct culprits, but as I think the Freeh Report made abundantly clear, the Board was negligent largely because it operated in a University in which it was permitted to be negligent. How far up University administration do you go - well that's a question to be asked. The fact that most staffers in the football program didn't even know what the Clery Act was - is this the failing of the Board? No. Is it a failing of Paterno - yes, but again, it's an institutional question of who is ultimately responsible for the dissemination of policies and training. I'm not trying to be intentionally vague, it's more that I don't know how the University functions internally within its administration so it's hard to pinpoint the failure from the outside, but IMO, it's pretty clear that it goes beyond just the parties that you've mentioned.

My view is that when there are wide institutional failures - an analogous case would be the banks in 2008, or the Catholic Church scandals - if there is no means of punishing the institution itself, then what you've done is sent the message that there may be a handful of individuals who are directly punished, but that there are likely many others who were complicit in the institutional failure. And when that is the case, then what incentive is there for any other similar institution to behave properly - frankly, it may be the case that having 4 or 5 people be the fall guys is still a good deal at the end of the day.
Thank you for the clarification. I am home on my laptop now so I can go into some more detail about what I mean.

The Board of Trustees has taken a lot of heat from Penn State people, and some of it with cause. Their crisis management was miserable, and they clearly put entirely too much trust into Spanier by allowing him to tip-toe his way around the grand jury investigation. And they were rightly criticized for this in the Freeh Report. I definitely think they had some faults in this, and alumni have made it abundantly clear that they intend to vote every member out as soon as their terms are up. You can bank on that. The anger is real and continues.

Then you speak of the administration, so I'll give some thoughts. Spanier had a ton of power concentrated because he was one of the longest-tenured university presidents ever. He'd been there over 16 years by the time he was forced out, which is an ungodly amount of time. But the Board liked him because he was a tremendous fundraiser who built a ton of new buildings on campus, so they let him run amok a bit. Students, for the record, hated him, because he really took no stands against the massive tuition increases.

Beyond that, there are, from what I recall, less than a dozen vice presidential positions. One of the main ones is the VP of Student Affairs. The position is currently held by Damon Sims, who I can't stand because his main interest seems to be keeping student housing spread as far from campus as possible because some kid pissed in his bush once or something. Formerly, it was Vicky Triponey who, despite the hero's welcome CNN gave her, is a real bitch who simply wanted to concentrate power in the administration even more. She successfully shut down student government and attempted to shut down various media outlets. Almost every decision she made directly led to more decision making power for herself. That certainly doesn't mean she was wrong about her dealings with Paterno in 2007, it just means she is still a shitty person just the same.

The administration is too concentrated. There are not enough checks and balances. That much is clear.

But the administration is changing, and changing relatively quickly. Rod Erickson is Spanier's replacement, and he's already announced that he will retire next year, basically making him the transitional president. Dave Joyner is the athletic director and, despite his connection to the BoT, has actually seemed like he knows what he's doing. He's also probably not long for the university.

The overall point I want to make is: if this is about sending a message, about re-installing an administration that will aggressively correct the serious errors of the previous one, then I would tell you that said message has been received about as loud and clear as possible. This university is in a transitional period and desperately wants to start anew. It's far from being about trying to forget everything just to get football back in the fall. It's about trying to rebuild the image of the university by making real, permanent changes. The only way to do that is to live up the rhetoric formerly employed by the university's marketing campaigns.

It will take time. I work with a group formerly known as Paternoville, that camps out before football games in order to get the front row seats. It's mostly about the actual campout as opposed to the seats (being front row for a game against Eastern Michigan is not something one brags about). Yesterday, the group announced that it will be changing its name in order to disassociate itself from being named after any one figure. The response on Twitter, with the younger generation, was mostly positive. The response on Facebook, where most older alumni reside, was filled with negativity. It's taking them a longer time to get over the new information about Paterno. It's going to take them longer than it will take us that are here right now.

There absolutely needs to be change here, and everyone knows it. But removing football does nothing to accomplish that. We can't afford to be made an example of. SMU was in Dallas. That city and county could live on without the university to make money off of. State College and Centre County cannot. If you want the university to wean itself off of reliance on football, I'm with you 100 percent. That's all a part of the changes that will be coming. But pulling the floor out from underneath will make everything collapse.

Penn State needs to be rebuilt. But does it need to be destroyed? I say absolutely not.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:31 PM   #499
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Honestly, I'm surprised no one has vandalized the statue yet.
Because there is no one who wants to destroy the statue who lives anywhere close to it.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:37 PM   #500
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The argument that shutting down Penn State football will hurt other students is not particularly compelling to me, because there is an implicit suggestion there that punishment should not be doled out if there will be collateral damage. When you jail a guy who committed robbery, you're hurting his children, who were innocent, but our society doesn't look that far beyond the act. When you penalize a corporation for securities fraud or corruption (look into some huge fines, Siemens is a great example) and their stock tanks, that punishes the shareholders, many of whom are ordinary people who hold the stock through pension plans, mutual funds, etc. You hurt the employees who will lose their jobs because the corporation can't support to pay them anymore Do we take the position that so long as one or 2 executives are prosecuted, fines should be withheld in order to prevent collateral damage? No.

So it's a little bit strange to me that suddenly in this case we are willing to not go after a clearly problematic culture that went pretty far up in order to spare remaining students some grief. If that is the position you want to take, then there is no incentive to stop systemic abuses like this one.

I understand all that and I agree with it. I guess I just empathize too much, if that's possible, with the students-especially the ones who can see the truth about the whole thing, and about Paterno. I feel for them, that they are innocent "victims" of a different sort. To a much lesser degree, obviously-and a completely different kind of victim.

I've never forgotten this priest at my church, definitely one of the good ones. He stood up against the cardinal and for the victims, and did all the other right things. He signed the first public petition that basically condemned the cardinal. One day he said in his homily that no longer wore his collar in public outside of the church building-the implication was that he was afraid to, and ashamed to. He tried to fight, he was on the right side. Ultimately he had health problems as a result and retired. I felt sad that he had to feel that way about being a priest because of the actions of others. I know for sure that if he had known directly about any abuse cases, he would have done the right thing.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:36 PM   #501
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The problem here is in determining how far that culture of complicity extends and who exactly is culpable. I've said this before, but the culture of sports worship that enabled this travesty extends far, far beyond Penn State. It has enveloped the entirety of Division I sports, a great deal of the corporate world, and a significant amount of the media and fanbase as well. We're deluding ourselves if we think that Penn State is only place where such a thing is capable of happening.
I think it's common knowledge among even casual sports fans that Division I college sports has a long history of corrupt programs involving everything from recruiting violations and eligibility fudging to point shaving and even an attempt to cover up a murder at Baylor. But Penn State was supposed to be the exception, the shining example for all to see that a school could follow the rules and play by the book and have true student athletes who actually graduated on time, and yet they could still win and compete for national championships year after year. And Joe Paterno was supposed to be the coach who could preach honor and integrity but still land the best recruits without having to pay them under the table. I think that is why there has been such a visceral reaction to this story. If this had happened at Florida State or USC or Ohio State there certainly would have been a reaction because of the horrific details of the crimes, but I just don't think it would have been as shocking had it happened at another school. There have been rumors over the years that the Penn State football players were not clean cut All-American choir boys and the friendly local small-town police swept a lot of their rowdy behavior under the rug. And Paterno's reputation took a hit over the last decade with his refusal to retire when it was clearly past time to do so. But even so, Penn State maintained their reputation as the 'good school'. Does punishing Penn State mean that there will never be another scandal at another school? Absolutely not. But that is not a reason to not punish them for very serious transgressions.

Is it fair that by enacting punishment on the school the NCAA will be punishing players and students and fans who had nothing to do with this? No, it is not. But, as others have stated, that's what happens anytime the NCAA enacts sanctions on a school for violations. Those are the NCAA rules and every school that operates under the NCAA knows it. The argument that they shouldn't sanction Penn State because the people who broke the rules are already gone and they are being investigated for crimes is simply not tenable under current NCAA rules.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:16 PM   #502
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Is it fair that by enacting punishment on the school the NCAA will be punishing players and students and fans who had nothing to do with this? No, it is not. But, as others have stated, that's what happens anytime the NCAA enacts sanctions on a school for violations. Those are the NCAA rules and every school that operates under the NCAA knows it. The argument that they shouldn't sanction Penn State because the people who broke the rules are already gone and they are being investigated for crimes is simply not tenable under current NCAA rules.
Then maybe this is the perfect time to reevaluate and revise the NCAA's role in collegiate athletics. I don't see why the status quo needs to be accepted right now, especially pertaining to an institution like the NCAA that has hardly been a beacon of success. Some would go so far as to call it an abject failure and an embarrassment.
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:25 AM   #503
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Because there is no one who wants to destroy the statue who lives anywhere close to it.
This is probably the most telling post about the state of mind of this "community" that I've read on the entire thread.

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Old 07-20-2012, 11:46 AM   #504
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I am not saying people don't want it down, I am saying there is no one in central PA who would take to vandalism to tear it down. Calm yourself.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:19 PM   #505
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Any truth to this, Peef?

Reports: Penn State Plans To Take Down The Paterno Statue This Weekend [UPDATE]

EDIT: never mind, I suppose not:

http://deadspin.com/5927764/penn-sta...paterno-statue

They had the right idea for a second there.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:22 PM   #506
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I am not saying people don't want it down, I am saying there is no one in central PA who would take to vandalism to tear it down. Calm yourself.

But there's a few in Central PA who would take to camping out in front of it to protect it, right?

Anyways, I think "calm yourself" is a bit funny coming from someone who's written as..vehemently..as you have on this subject. But that's likely just me.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:24 PM   #507
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They had the right idea for a second there.
I loved this comment:

FreemanMcNeil 2 minutes ago
Ryan McCombie said "We did no such thing"

You would think Penn State officials would come up with a new line of defense eventually....

...
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:54 PM   #508
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But there's a few in Central PA who would take to camping out in front of it to protect it, right?

Anyways, I think "calm yourself" is a bit funny coming from someone who's written as..vehemently..as you have on this subject. But that's likely just me.
I counted three. What exactly is your point?

If you think I'm being irrational, you're sadly mistaken. My arguments make quite a bit of sense. If you want to respond to those, by all means do so.

Or you can keep standing above it all, holier-than-thou, acting as if Penn State is populated by mindless inbreds who only care about football and would prefer everyone just leave us alone and let us decide how to police ourselves when children are getting raped. Sure, go with that. I'm sure it'll make you feel more satisfied at the end of the day to think, "God, at least we're not like those people."

If that's not satisfying enough, I'm sure a snarky reply to this post will do the job just fine.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:55 PM   #509
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I don't think you have thought of the ramifications very deeply, Headache. I think you are paying them lip service and nothing more.

The death penalty is a stupid concept because it punishes everyone but the actual criminals. At least in martina's examples the actual criminals are getting charged. They already have been here.

Shutting down football would do nothing but allow all of you to pat yourself on the back and say, "Those fucks at Penn State didn't have the integrity to shut it down, but we did."

I ask again: who does the death penalty punish that did anything wrong?
Well you think wrong.

I know what shutting down football could do to the community. I also know that it could happen to the school and community as well.

I still say shut it down.

I understand how close you are to the situation, and you've made it obvious that you don't want anyone's sympathy. I also know that nothing I'm going to say is going to change your mind.

And that's fine.

You think my opinion is lip service? That I haven't thought out the ramifications of what the death penalty would do? Okay. You're wrong, but okay.

If the NCAA doesn't drop the hammer on Penn State, then the NCAA is a spineless, gutless bunch of whores... which I already know that they are.

Like has been already said... good people worked for Goldman Sachs. Good people worked for Enron. Good people work for the Catholic Church, and for Catholic schools that are being shuttered throughout the country due to shrinking enrollment and no money to operate. Good people are collateral damage to the punishment of criminals every single day. It's regrettable, but it isn't a reason to NOT punish somebody for their crimes.

The athletic institution at Penn State was DIRECTLY involved in the covering up, and enabling, of the systematic rape of dozens of children over at least a 15 year time period, if not longer. Only a fool would think that the coverup involved only the AD, the football coach, the president and the head of security... and nobody else.

If ever there was an example of an utter and complete loss of institutional control, this is it. The NCAA is in place to provide oversight on NCAA institutions. It is their job to punish problem schools. In egregious situations, that punishment includes the eliminating of programs.

I think we all agree that the Sandusky/Penn State football scandal is the single worst scandal in the history of college athletics. If they do not get the worst punishment possible, it's a joke.

Shut them down.
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:01 PM   #510
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Well you think wrong.

I know what shutting down football could do to the community. I also know that it could happen to the school and community as well.

I still say shut it down.

I understand how close you are to the situation, and you've made it obvious that you don't want anyone's sympathy. I also know that nothing I'm going to say is going to change your mind.

And that's fine.

You think my opinion is lip service? That I haven't thought out the ramifications of what the death penalty would do? Okay. You're wrong, but okay.

If the NCAA doesn't drop the hammer on Penn State, then the NCAA is a spineless, gutless bunch of whores... which I already know that they are.

Like has been already said... good people worked for Goldman Sachs. Good people worked for Enron. Good people are collateral damage to the punishment of criminals every single day. It's regrettable, but it isn't a reason to NOT punish somebody for their crimes.

The athletic institution at Penn State was DIRECTLY involved in the covering up, and enabling, of the systematic rape of dozens of children over at least a 15 year time period, if not longer. Only a fool would think that the coverup involved only the AD, the football coach, the president and the head of security... and nobody else.

If ever there was an example of an utter and complete loss of institutional control, this is it. The NCAA is in place to provide oversight on NCAA institutions. It is their job to punish problem schools. In egregious situations, that punishment includes the eliminating of programs.

I think we all agree that the Sandusky/Penn State football scandal is the single worst scandal in the history of college athletics. If they do not get the worst punishment possible, it's a joke.

Shut them down.
How many more people do you think were involved? I think that's the important question here. I don't think it was beyond more than a few people. Certainly not just those four.

I think the worst thing about the NCAA is that it only punishes players and universities, and never coaches and administrators. I want them to nail every one of the fuckers involved in this. But just the ones involved.

I don't think that's unreasonable.

The death penalty is a terrible concept. You can right the ship without it. The most important thing, after all, is making sure this never happens again, right? So, let's go about restructuring shit so that it never will. No one will accept Penn State being a secretive institution anymore.

Just because the NCAA has punished universities after the offending parties left in the past does not make it right.

The death penalty is great PR for the NCAA, making people like you satisfied with the outcome. No one is going to feel sorry for people like me who fed into a culture of football obsession that enabled child rape. But that's all it is: it's PR.

If the NCAA drops the hammer on Penn State, it's simply trying to please all the people who won't be affected. I think that is spineless and gutless.
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