NCAA and Penn State

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.

From Joanie:

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 grandiose decision!

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 will survive.

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 Sandusky?

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.