How could American culture grow so corrupt as to value a game over protecting children?

Am I perhaps incorrect in my understanding of accreditation? I could care less about the football team - take them or leave them, just punish them. I thought we were talking about university (i.e. academic) accreditation. Full disclosure - busy at work and didn't read link:)

SallyNasty wrote:

Am I perhaps incorrect in my understanding of accreditation? I could care less about the football team - take them or leave them, just punish them. I thought we were talking about university (i.e. academic) accreditation. Full disclosure - busy at work and didn't read link:)

This might have spawned from my comment that people who had nothing to do with the incident will be punished regardless of form of punishment.

SallyNasty wrote:

Am I perhaps incorrect in my understanding of accreditation? I could care less about the football team - take them or leave them, just punish them. I thought we were talking about university (i.e. academic) accreditation. Full disclosure - busy at work and didn't read link:)

You are correct...it is acedemic accreditation. Or least ability to receive federal monies.

Farscry wrote:

Wait, businesses never fail because of law violations? What happened to Enron?

I don't remember the specifics. I think they went bankrupt because their business wasn't bringing in enough money, and that led to accounting fraud as they tried to protect the share price.

Funkenpants wrote:
Farscry wrote:

Wait, businesses never fail because of law violations? What happened to Enron?

I don't remember the specifics. I think they went bankrupt because their business wasn't bringing in enough money, and that led to accounting fraud as they tried to protect the share price.

I don't remember well either. If that was the case then yeah, totally different situation.

If Penn State didn't want to let down the community that depends on them, they they should have acted in a professional and legal manner in regards to Sandusky.

No one that punishes PSU for their actions are hurting that community. It was PSU's actions that led to the harm that comes to those that depended on the school.

If I run a meth lab, and the result is imprisonment and the loss off all my money, its not the state that hurt my family. And I don't get to escape punishment because it would hurt my family.

It is good to debate the appropriate punishment for PSU, but the effect on the community should not be a factor.

Jayhawker wrote:

If I run a meth lab, and the result is imprisonment and the loss off all my money, its not the state that hurt my family. And I don't get to escape punishment because it would hurt my family.

I see two problems with this analogy: 1) you are not a large state university with a mission to educate students and an existing investment in fiscal and human capital worth hundreds of millions of dollars, so blame is singular and easy to assign, and 2) your wife wouldn't be fired from her job and your kids kicked out of school because you ran a meth lab.

Funkenpants wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

If I run a meth lab, and the result is imprisonment and the loss off all my money, its not the state that hurt my family. And I don't get to escape punishment because it would hurt my family.

I see two problems with this analogy: 1) you are not a large state university with a mission to educate students and an existing investment in fiscal and human capital worth hundreds of millions of dollars, so blame is singular and easy to assign, and 2) your wife wouldn't be fired from her job and your kids kicked out of school because you ran a meth lab.

My wife is a lawyer, and I would not be surprised if she did get fired. And if my kid was at a private school, the lack of funds might mean she has to leave.

The issue isn't that I am just like a university. It's that considering the affects on the community when dolling out punishments only encourages the kind of behavior we are trying to eliminate. PSU let down their community by letting the powers that be act like idiots. When the punishments come, PSU should take the heat, not the organizations handing down the punishments.

Jayhawker wrote:

The issue isn't that I am just like a university. It's that considering the affects on the community when dolling out punishments only encourages the kind of behavior we are trying to eliminate.

How does it do that? Collective punishment doesn't work when a group doesn't engage in collective decision making. The PSU employees and local residents had no power to fire anyone, and there's no evidence that everyone knew about that. Collective punishment, to be just, requires collective guilt.

As for incentives, do you really think management at PSU cared whether the community would suffer if the scandal went public? If they are like most people, their own self-interest was far more important to them that what might happen to people they didn't know. If you want to prevent management from making bad decisions, you remove financial incentives to lie or cheat and you punish them when they violate laws. That's what worries management.

According to my Penn State friends and this article, local businesses are doing fine. In fact, businesses with ties to PSU football are doing better, as students and alumni are rallying. I don't think non-PSU people really understand, football culture is a force in Happy Valley, it dominates their economy, local politics, and law enforcement. You're talking about the athletic director haggling with the man who oversees the Penn State police department over what constitutes sexual penetration of a child, and then letting it happen 10 more times. If that statement disturbs you, good, it should, but it obviously didn't bother PSU enough to stop it. Instead people feared speaking out about it.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/...

Funkenpants wrote:

Collective punishment, to be just, requires collective guilt.

The community being slathering football fans and, either directly or indirectly, profiting from the football team gives them collective guilt. If they weren't such rabid fans who turned the Penn State football program into such an essential part of the university and its finances, the university wouldn't have felt the pressure to overlook the sexual assaults and sweep everything under the rug.

No, guilt implies control over an outcome. If you want to punish fans for being such strong supporters, all you have to do is kill the football program. You don't kill the university.

Funkenpants wrote:

No, guilt implies control over an outcome. If you want to punish fans for being such strong supporters, all you have to do is kill the football program. You don't kill the university.

Control over an outcome? No. Guilt implies some level of responsibility for a bad thing.

Being such rabid fans made them guilty of everything that the football program did because without their monetary and political support the football program could have never gone off the rails so badly. It's a tenuous guilt, but the abuse could have never happened without the football program being so popular and profitable.

Obviously the university should be dismantled. In addition, the state should be kicked out of the union because the Governor failed to act when he was attorney general.

Everyone could have done more. All members of the human race should feel ashamed.

The piling on is over the top.

OG_slinger wrote:

Control over an outcome? No. Guilt implies some level of responsibility for a bad thing.

How do you have responsibility for an event without having any control over the outcome? If you want to say they have a tenuous responsibility merely by being fans, I think you're stretching it, but okay. How does that justify removing the accreditation of the entire university?

Funkenpants wrote:

How do you have responsibility for an event without having any control over the outcome?

I said some level of responsibility, not absolute responsibility. Them being fans contributed to the entire scandal because they set up the dynamic that made the university afraid of mucking with the football program.

Funkenpants wrote:

If you want to say they have a tenuous responsibility merely by being fans, I think you're stretching it, but okay. How does that in anyway justify removing the accreditation of the entire university?

I was raised Catholic. We're all about guilt for everything.

How does that justify de-accrediting the university? Read the Freeh report. There were numerous cover-ups and terrible failures of management and oversight that can all be traced back to the desire to protect the football program. That doesn't say much about Penn State's management, BoD, policies and procedures, and more.

And that's what the state agency pointed out: Penn State's internal controls were so horrible that they allowed a child molester to thrive for years so why should they believe the university when it relies on those same horrible internal controls to make sure it is follows the state's education guidelines.

OG_slinger wrote:

And that's what the state agency pointed out: Penn State's internal controls were so horrible that they allowed a child molester to thrive for years so why should they believe the university when it relies on those same horrible internal controls to make sure it is follows the state's education guidelines.

The Freeh report showed no evidence that any student had failed to receive a college education or that professors or academic departments are engaged in any misconduct. It showed a very small group of people making terrible, and possibly criminal, decisions regarding public safety of non-students on the campus. PSU will supply MSACS with documentation showing the new internal controls they no doubt have created, and life will go on. As I said above, MSACS is not going to come through on a mission to destroy a large state university. Too much collateral damage.

Talking about responsbility and prevention of future scandals, here's an interesting op-ed that looks at one of the key problems behind the scandal - the cult of the college football coach. Right now, coaches at top football schools have almost as much power as the president, and far more prestige. Compare this with the NFL, where coaches are certainly important but where the owners are still very much in control. The op-ed recommends as a precautionary measure to reduce that power by paying coaches at most the same amount as the highest paid professor.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...

Could the NCAA change this power structure? You bet it could. It could require that coaches be paid no more than, say, the highest paid professor at the university. (Suppress your gasps, please. I know it sounds un-American.) Wouldn’t that lead the best college coaches to go pro? Yes, it probably would -- and that would be a good thing. In the corporate world of the National Football League and the National Basketball Association, the coach is just one important employee in the organization -- and not the most important or the highest paid.

The consequence is that few professional coaches are surrounded by the cult of personality that we know so well from college sports. (Quick, how many current NFL coaches can you name other than your home team’s?) Those professional coaches who do have a cult either profess a philosophy of Zen minimalism, a la Phil Jackson, late of the Los Angeles Lakers, or are so fanatically competitive that they are hated and loved in equal parts, like Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots.

Make no mistake about it: The cult of the coach is the problem. It is heartwarming that, in the U.S., the title “coach” has some of the same honorific qualities as “pastor,” “doctor” or “president.” But the most famous and prominent college coaches cannot be expected to behave responsibly when their institutional power is essentially absolute. When the university president is an unknown compared with his or her coach, is paid far less and doesn’t enjoy the same charismatic authority in the eyes of the alumni, there is no realistic way for the president to supervise that coach or his (and it is almost always his) program. The corruption of the incorruptible Paterno is a story of the absence of any structural check on his authority.

Funkenpants wrote:

The Freeh report showed no evidence that any student had failed to receive a college education or that professors or academic departments are engaged in any misconduct. It showed a very small group of people making terrible, and possibly criminal, decisions regarding public safety of non-students on the campus.

It's not about whether the academic departments engaged in misconduct. It's about the fact that the Freeh report showed that Penn State effectively has no credible internal management control. The heads of the football program and the heads of the university conspired to hide a child molester and no one caught it. Not the Board of Directors, not any other senior manager, no one.

Penn State's entire management structure cannot be trusted right now. The Freeh report recommended sweeping changing, tons of internal training, and the replacement of lots of personnel. Until that happens--and is verified--Penn State can't be trusted further than it can be thrown.

That's what's being focused. If Penn State doesn't have any internal control system that can be trusted how can the Middle States Commission on Higher Education be sure it's standards are being followed? The powers that be can simply lie about it and hide it from the BoD like they did with Sandusky.

I agree that's the focus. It's what everyone expected to happen. I looked over Freeh's recommendations, and what I saw matched what you usually see in the wake of scandals. Reorganization, training, some firings. Standard stuff. Had Freeh recommended the football program be eliminated or loss of accreditation that would have surprised everyone.

You're going to see the same sort of thing with MSACS. A bit of public saber rattling and some meetings with PSU's board and management. PSU will assure them that they are making the necessary changes. Some documents will be submitted periodically over the next couple of years to show compliance. MSACS will be happy and PSU will be happy and PSU football fans will be happy because they're still going to be playing football in Happy Valley.

That university is corrupt as f*ck, and nuking it from orbit would be absolutely appropriate.

Malor wrote:

That university is corrupt as f*ck, and nuking it from orbit would be absolutely appropriate.

By that logic, let's nuke Afghanistan. And Iran. And China. And the United States. And...sh*t, just nuke the whole damn world. Except Australia and New Zealand; as a combined area they're pretty non-corrupt.

Jesus Christ...

Malor wrote:

That university is corrupt as f*ck, and nuking it from orbit would be absolutely appropriate.

I'd be okay with nuking the art history department. Those people are obsessed with pictures of naked young boys.

IMAGE(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_RwooCpYJAMo/TMAfaYFOHQI/AAAAAAAAAGQ/QFTh-G_MFtc/s1600/raphael-sistine-cherub.jpg)

I have an answer to the OP. It's provided by way of example by Ivan Mansel.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8332890/college-football-penn-state-nittany-lions-all-access

Penn State is now a human interest story. The players and coach, I mean. You know, the real victims. What a fluff piece. What a bunch of nonsense. I know sports adds meaning to life and heals wounds, but this kind of stuff drives me crazy.

Want to know how America lost perspective on football. Here you go. I understand that it might be moving and healing, in the sense of having normalcy in life, to have your team take the field after a school shooting, 9/11, or say your entire football team dying in a plane crash (Marshall). This isn't that, though. This is a team "maligned" by sanctions that were much softer than they could have been and media coverage that's been appropriate.

Yeah, there's no way that team didn't know what was going on. They're perps, not victims.

DSGamer wrote:

I have an answer to the OP. It's provided by way of example by Ivan Mansel.

http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/8332890/college-football-penn-state-nittany-lions-all-access

Penn State is now a human interest story. The players and coach, I mean. You know, the real victims. What a fluff piece. What a bunch of nonsense. I know sports adds meaning to life and heals wounds, but this kind of stuff drives me crazy.

Want to know how America lost perspective on football. Here you go. I understand that it might be moving and healing, in the sense of having normalcy in life, to have your team take the field after a school shooting, 9/11, or say your entire football team dying in a plane crash (Marshall). This isn't that, though. This is a team "maligned" by sanctions that were much softer than they could have been and media coverage that's been appropriate.

Well, what other kind of story do you expect from a sports website?

Malor wrote:

Yeah, there's no way that team didn't know what was going on. They're perps, not victims.

I hope that some of you get to experience what the Penn State employees and students have gone through over the past few months. It might change your perspective a little.

Malor wrote:

Yeah, there's no way that team didn't know what was going on. They're perps, not victims.

Wait, so you are saying that every single football player on every single Penn State team since the abuse started knew about it?

mudbunny wrote:
Malor wrote:

Yeah, there's no way that team didn't know what was going on. They're perps, not victims.

Wait, so you are saying that every single football player on every single Penn State team since the abuse started knew about it?

You're talking to the guy who said earlier in this thread that everyone calling for due process to be followed was tantamount to a child molester themselves, and has yet to recant or apologize for that statement.

So yes, by his logic everyone associated with Penn state in any way is guilty. "Nuke the site from orbit" doesn't leave much room for nuance.

And of course every member of that team is likewise guilty until proven innocent.