To stand up for kids, should Penn State football be ended?
On the news today that Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials buried child sexual abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago to avoid bad publicity, Friday Night Lights author and sports commentator Buzz Bissinger said the university has shown it valued football over children and therefore the university should get the "death penalty" and lose the team for at least two years. Legendary FSU coach Bobby Bowden has said he thinks the statute of the late Joe Paterno on campus should be taken down. “I would. If I was Joe Paterno’s family, I would want it taken down,” he said in an interview with Tampa radio station WDAE.
In a column for the Daily Beast, Bissinger took Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly to task for blowing an opportunity after Sandusky was convicted to have "a public and moral opportunity to keep the klieg lights burning on Penn State in light of what was revealed during trial."
Kelly should have referred to the culpability of Penn State. She should have used the moment, with millions watching, to say what happens when an institution, presumably dedicated to teaching students moral responsibility, doesn’t do anything except ignore and obfuscate when the signs are everywhere that a sexual predator is lurking with impunity, so brazen he often uses the Penn State football locker room as his torture chamber. Yes, it was Jerry Sandusky who committed the crimes. Yes, he acted alone. But any Penn State alum who hasn’t figured out that he was aided and abetted by their alma mater is only furthering the disgrace. Kelly should have spoken with substance and anger and indignation Friday night. As a public servant, she should be helping to break Penn State of the football culture that ruled the school and made its own rules. In doing so, she would help break the football culture that rules too many schools.
So what do you think readers? Should Penn State football be taken away at least for a year or two as a show of support for Sandusky's victims where were sacrificed for the football program?
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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