If there was ever the juxtaposition of two stories to perfectly demonstrate how utterly corrupt and devoid of integrity the NCAA is, it would be the just-released report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh on how former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was not only allowed to exist on campus while raping young boys, but largely ignored by Penn State University, along with the strange case of CalTech, which we’ll get to in a second.
The Penn State investigation is a damning report.
“The most senior officials at Penn State had shown a ‘total and consistent disregard’ for the welfare of children, had worked together to actively conceal Mr. Sandusky’s assaults, and had done so for one central reason: fear of bad publicity. That publicity, Mr. Freeh said Thursday, would have hurt the nationally ranked football program, Mr. Paterno’s reputation as a coach of high principles, the Penn State ‘brand’ and the university’s ability to raise money as one of the most respected public institutions in the country,” reports the NY Times.
Buzz Bissinger says the revelations are so bad that Penn State football should be given the death penalty for at least five years.
“The NCAA is about money, billions of it raised through tournaments and bowl games; Penn State has the second-highest profits of any football team in the country next to the University of Texas, about $50 million dollars. Excuse my English, but does the NCAA want to f—k with that? Does the school want to f—k with that?,” asks Bissinger.
Though the NCAA is conducting an investigation, nothing has happened to the program yet, and you don’t have to answer Bissinger’s question to fathom how this is all going to play out. Death Penalty? Hardly. They’ll probably give Penn State a slap on the wrist because sports and money will always trump the welfare of young kids and academics, as far as the NCAA is concerned.
So, while Penn State is merely being investigated for its institutional transgressions, conversely, the NCAA put CalTech athletics on three years probation for lacking institutional control. Yes, the same CalTech that is widely regarded as the finest academic institution on the planet.
The school allowed 30 ineligible student-athletes across 12 sports to practice or compete during four academic years. However, it turns out that CalTech student-athletes were merely shopping for classes and not technically full-time students, which made them ineligible.
“In other words, CalTech didn’t lack institutional control, they had an abundance of institutional apathy towards athletics. They didn’t have procedures in place to verify enrollment or academic standing,” points out Rob Dauster.
So, to recap: CalTech cared more about academics and having bona fide student athletes and is put on probation, while Penn State knowingly covered up a football coach’s predilection for raping young boys and let it happen for half-a-decade and is merely being investigated by the NCAA.