09. November 2011 · 19 comments · Categories: 2011

imagetwitpic Via Tom VanHaaren

Obviously there are so many thoughts here as this disaster unfolds.  One is the complete lack leadership at Penn State in handling this mess properly.

But there’s still an opportunity to do the thing seemingly everyone involved in this mess had failed to do—move beyond protecting the sanctity of the football program and do the right thing.

Forfeit Saturday’s game. 

[Update:  Umm, so me and my buddy Drew are going ride a tandem bike to the next home game.  He posted this right after I posted the above:  Drew Sharp: Penn State should forfeit Saturday’s game]

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19 Comments

  1. Couldn’t agree more.

  2. how about you, like, explain yourself, rather than throw around grand statements without any reasoning?

  3. I think this is a good idea in a vacuum, but this isn’t a vacuum. Giving a free win to a team in a tight four way race for a division title (and everything that goes with it) is unfair. I don’t see what punishing Iowa, MSU, Michigan and all of the athletes at Penn State who have nothing to do with this accomplishes for the victims in this situation. Making PSU forfeit would give people some emotional satisfaction, but I don’t think it really accomplishes anything positive and definitely is a negative for a lot of innocent people.

  4. No way. There are a lot of kids that deserve to play. Paterno and McQuary gone? Yes.

  5. The bolded statement in that letter is still correct. This is not an NCAA violation. Is it a pretty terrible moral violation? Absolutely. But there’s nothing of interest for the NCAA here.

  6. Yeah, I’m not sure you really justify here why forfeiting Saturday’s game would be good for anyone.

  7. Greg - MVictors

    @hmm
    It was meant to be a pretty simple message. This thing gets worse by hour. Someone there needs to show they get it–this is way to do that

  8. Greg - MVictors

    @Jay
    @HHW
    I understand there is collateral damage by forfeiting this game. And I understand that football is more than a silly game (I’ve written 2000+ posts about Michigan football, perhaps I am the crazy one), but I think someone with some stones can demonstrate in one action that they get it. The football program is responsible for what happened. The PSU can put the football program on ice for a bit while they sort this out.

  9. Greg - MVictors

    @Bando
    Well, I posted it more because of the ‘success with honor’ line and the gent who signed it

  10. Ditto Greg. That the head coach, athletic director and school President choose to protect the football program in the face of such horrible tragedies occurring right under their noses is sickening. This is bigger than a football game and the only way the University – and the football program in particular – can demonstrate that they “get it” is by forfeiting the game.

  11. While I agree harsh action towards those in charge needs to be taken immediately – including Joe Paterno, I don’t agree that Penn State should forfeit their game.

    In this situation, the victims and their families are the #1 priorities. That being said, JoePa, leaders in the administration, McQuery, etc. should all be terminated effective immediately, but the game should be played.

    In learning from Bacon’s 3 & Out book alone – these kids put so much work into preparation each week. These players are a priority somewhere behind the victims and their families – and they shouldn’t be robbed of a game.

  12. Forfeit solves nothing. What message is being sent, and who is receiving this message? The kids that were victimized? What image is restored?

    If the state of PA wants to hold hands together and give 10 minutes of silence to the victims… it still solves nothing. What happened was horrible. Ridiculous and disgusting, and heads should roll.

    Those heads should not be the athletes, students, or alumni that had nothing to do with it. Want to do something special? Don’t allow JoePa on the field or to be introduced for the rest of the year.

    What message could mean something? Study this, fire those involved, and try to prevent it in the future. Not sure how forfeiting the game makes any connection to stepping in that direction.

    Love your work Greg… but if you’re agreeing with Drew Sharp, it should be a sign to re-think this.

    My take: in 10 years, will anyone say “well at least they took a game off so that no one that was involved could play football on that Saturday”. What we will say is “How was that guy allowed to coach the rest of the year?”.

  13. The Trustees did the right thing by firing Paterno and Spanier (assuming they have enough facts at this point to know what they are doing). McQuery should go too, if the grand jury report is accurate.

    I don’t see why the current players should be penalized. They will be regardless — they’re college careers will be damaged by this scandal.

    The team and PSU should dedicate the game to the victims. They are the important people, not Paterno.

  14. i agree. i’ve been wondering all week how they can possibly play this game saturday.

  15. I’m with Greg in his recognition that this is a “sea change” moment, and it mandates action. I’m not sure this forfeit gets us there: why not demand that PSU donate entire game proceeds to Child Abuse recognition/prevention charity?
    And re: Bando’s comment that this is not all an NCAA violation in any way. Bando has it upside down: This ought not be stated as some mere element of excuse or formal defense — it ought to be a criticism of the NCAA — why — if they continually profess (first page of Bylaws) that welfare of Student Athlete is #1 concern — are they not moving on this?
    Plus, Bando’s wrong: By Law 19 requires “above and beyond” Exemplary conduct of coaches. That, combined with the proscription against unethical behavior, gives the NCAA plenty to go on. Enough to make it show that it has an institutional conscience which cares about people, not just about suspending athletes for four games for getting free T-shirts. Right now, the NCAA (and Big Ten — Delaney, as usual, weighs in with some fluffernutter comment yesterday) are gutless profitteers.

  16. On Nov 9th I agree with you Greg, with Joe Pa unilaterally making a statement that he will coach until the season ends. On Nov 10th with the PSU Trustees taking charge and over ruling Joe Pa, I think they should play the game.

  17. Where is the healing for the young boys, many of which are now young men, and their families when they watch Penn State take to the gridiron for the last three games of the season? We dont even know how many victims there maybe, reportedly the number has already doubled from the original 8. JoePa may not be on the sidelines but the assistant coach who failed to intervene when he saw a young boy being raped by Sandusky will be on the sidelines! The scabs on the wounds these victims suffered have been ripped off this week, Penn State playing would be like rubbing salt into these wounds. The Board of Trustees has some more house cleaning to do and the entire Penn State football program ought to step back for a moment. Did kid yourself into thinking PennState will get a bowl game invite, that possibility has been punted! Now it’s time to take a knee to the field, for the remainder of this season.

  18. Victoria (LS&A 1998)

    To not forfeit the game would be disgrace. The argument that the current players are innocent, a point no one disputes, fails to consider two keep points:

    1. Almost all NCAA rule violations are punished after the offending parties have left. The players and staff already know, and by participating, accept that that is the nature of how the sport is governed. To argue otherwise, with Jim Tressel and Terrel Pryor gone, the innocent Buckeyes left on the team should never face any punishments. Same for us with the departure Rich Rodriguez and his staff. Do people really want that sort of innocence argument to effectively provide a loophole out of all institutional punishments?

    On top of that, this is a criminal conspiracy that dwarfs any NCAA violation by orders of magnitude, so worrying about the current student athletes ability to play just looks perverse.

    2. The football program is the reason for the cover-up; the reason children’s safety was neglected so monstrously. To not punish the football team just reinforces the perception of it at Penn State and throughout the nation as untouchable and predominate institution. King Football needs to be humbled a bit.

    As an almuna who cherishes having seen the 1997 team at every home game and the Rose Bowl, were this Michigan embroiled in this scandal, I would expect us to abolish the football team until some unspecified future date. Losing three games would be a light punishment for the Nittany faithful.

  19. Victoria and others who agree with this absolutely naive suggestion of a ‘solution’, all you are doing is taking the focus off of the crime itself. The players are innocent, said and done. Let them play their game, they’ve worked ridiculously hard for the opportunity to play and attend college at PSU, they don’t deserve to be punished for someone else’s actions. This entire situation is a tragedy, through and through. I don’t think anyone disagrees. If anything, a forfeit will only make the victims’ wounds worse, not the other way around. The previous suggestion of donating any proceeds of remaining games to a non-profit is an excellent one, btw.

    Victoria (LS&A 1998) :To not forfeit the game would be disgrace. The argument that the current players are innocent, a point no one disputes, fails to consider two keep points:
    1. Almost all NCAA rule violations are punished after the offending parties have left. The players and staff already know, and by participating, accept that that is the nature of how the sport is governed. To argue otherwise, with Jim Tressel and Terrel Pryor gone, the innocent Buckeyes left on the team should never face any punishments. Same for us with the departure Rich Rodriguez and his staff. Do people really want that sort of innocence argument to effectively provide a loophole out of all institutional punishments?
    On top of that, this is a criminal conspiracy that dwarfs any NCAA violation by orders of magnitude, so worrying about the current student athletes ability to play just looks perverse.
    2. The football program is the reason for the cover-up; the reason children’s safety was neglected so monstrously. To not punish the football team just reinforces the perception of it at Penn State and throughout the nation as untouchable and predominate institution. King Football needs to be humbled a bit.
    As an almuna who cherishes having seen the 1997 team at every home game and the Rose Bowl, were this Michigan embroiled in this scandal, I would expect us to abolish the football team until some unspecified future date. Losing three games would be a light punishment for the Nittany faithful.