I have written numerous times in the past several months that those involved in the cover up of the Penn State University sex scandal should be reprimanded severely.
I believe all who have been proven to be involved — i.e., former school president Graham Spanier, vice president Gary Schultz and director of athletics Tim Curley, among others — should face prison time for aiding and abetting the now convicted child rapist, Jerry Sandusky.
Nothing should be taken lightly with this situation. In layman's terms ... heads need to roll. Those who are guilty should be held accountable for their inactions — and vigorously.
However, talks of the NCAA possibly sentencing the football program with the "death penalty" isn't what I feel is the best approach for punishment. Just like with the Ohio State, USC and Miami (Fla.) programs, I don't believe the innocent should have to pay the price for the actions of others. Few others.
We have had enough innocent young people victimized already. Not one player currently on the Penn State football team was aware of the sexual abuse going on inside the facility that houses them. Not one student currently enrolled in the university was aware that a 30-year assistant was raping young boys in the basement of his home, either.
The bottom line is, as much as people want to dispute it, the scandal has nothing to do with football. I don't believe that a sports governing body like the NCAA has jurisdiction when it comes to this scandal. It is a lack of institutional control, therefore I believe the "institution" needs to be punished — not the students or athletes or new coaching staff.
Obviously there needs to be something monumental done, and expeditiously.
I thought about how we could go about reprimanding Penn State, while keeping the students and athletes from paying the price for the school's administrative sins? And doing so by displaying to the real victims, the children raped by Sandusky, that remorse and atonement is the main goal.
I first wanted to examine why those in the university's administration wanted to keep everything covered up in the first place? Was it to save face? Perhaps. Was it to keep legendary head coach Joe Paterno's name and legacy in good standing? I believe that was part of it. Was it about money they would possibly lose if the program suffered a major black eye from a scandal that involved the raping of young boys? Hmm ... Yes!
It's always about the money, people.
So, there's your punishment. Hit the school where it hurts the most — the bank. But, but, but ... I don't feel the school needs to be fined. No, no ... I think they should offer up a formidable gesture instead. A gesture of goodwill, if you will.
I believe the university should take every penny they make this season on football gameday sales — tickets, concessions, apparel, souvenirs, etc. — and donate it all to a foundation that protects children from sexual abuse.
Obviously, the NCAA wouldn't make them do it because the exploitation of young people is kind of their modus operandi, so it will have to be the university that institutes my proposal.
The board of trustees at Penn State needs to pay reparations — a bold statement that they are willing to sacrifice and protect for the good of the children.
To me, it's the absolute right thing to do.
Actually, it's the only thing to do.