We at Cure for the Common Crazy prefer to keep our posts
light, humorous, and decidedly non-political. But the NCAA’s decision recently
has stirred us up, so here is our response to it. If you’d like a more
researched and in-depth article from someone who is a sports writer (and unlike
today’s blog post author, actually likes football), please read this
Recently, the NCAA has released their sanctions against Penn
State to mostly roaring public acclaim. Across Facebook and social media,
people are cheering the NCAA for their righteous punishment of an institution
that allowed Jerry Sandusky’s crimes to continue.
Yes, there are some critics who have said that the students
shouldn’t be punished—but hey, they’ve been given a lucrative out to transfer
to other scholarship granting institutions if they’re already at Penn State.
Except for those other sports whose scholarships are funded from football’s
revenues, but who really cares about crew or archery anyhow? Other than the few
students who play those sports and who depend on that scholarship to be able to
obtain an education in a down economy—but the NCAA is not thinking of them, or even talking about them.
People are angry and want justice! And the NCAA (which is
not a governing body at all, but rather is a national “club” designed to help
keep a level playing field at institutions) will deliver it with a swift and
Dear NCAA, what about non-football people whose livelihoods
depend on football? No, no, not even those students receiving scholarships in
other sports. I’m referring to the businesses that depend on football dollars
for their daily bread: the restaurants, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts,
local stores, and service companies in and around State College. Has the NCAA
thought of these people?
When my sister was a Penn State student, we never went to a
game. We were a WVU family, after all, and her decision to go to (gasp!) Penn
State was met with curiosity and disappointment. But off to Penn State she
went, and when we took her to school, we’d always stop at a diner that fell
midway between our home in southwestern PA and State College. This diner (which
I’m pretty sure was just named after the route where it was located) served two
kinds of customers: locals, and people on their way to or from Penn State.
This diner was a family business, and the people who owned
and worked in it were Penn State fans and supporters. They were friendly, their
food was delicious, and it was very inexpensive, which all of the parents of
the many college students in the restaurant appreciated.
Now, they’ll always make money at the beginning of the
semester, and fall break, and at the end of the semester when students are
coming and going. That’s what the NCAA would say. And those who fully support
their decision. But what about all those game weekends? Yes, ardent Penn State
fans will continue to go, and they’ll still stop at this diner on their way.
But it won’t be the same. And there’s no way to tell that this family business
I’ve noticed responses on social media where people have
said that students have a choice of their institution, the Penn State
administration should pay, yada, yada…I'd like to point out that in general, the people in favor of the sanctions are not Pennsylvania residents or natives. The people I'm talking about didn’t have a choice in
it; this state is their home, and they've probably been there since the Revolutionary War and can't move away even if they wanted to. The other businesses that will be affected adversely because of this
decision don’t have a choice either—are they to be additional victims of Jerry
The NCAA has overstepped their bounds. They have not thought
of the local and regional consequences of their actions. And Pennsylvania
businesses should not pay the price for someone else’s crimes. Penn State
football and the economy dependent upon it are facing a decade of mediocrity to
pay for Jerry Sandusky’s crimes.