College Sports: With So Much Money Going to So Few, What Little Person Stood a Chance in the Penn State Locker Room

Posted on November 9, 2011


Perhaps now Americans can look at colleges and money and get the priorities straight again.  A small boy was raped by the Assistant Football Coach at Penn State and report of it did not involve removal of the perpetrator or garner safety for that boy and countless others after that.

The rich and the powerful on college campuses are the athletic directors and coaches.  At a time when academic departments are cutting staff and slashing programs, many athletic programs around the country are actually growing  – even in the smaller, less known sports.  The name of the game is compete to win.

No eight year-old boy was important enough to stand in the way of one of the nation’s most successful teams.  The late father of a wealthy girl who married a friend of mine had the tail of his large private plane painted with the Penn State mascot.  That is how potent the fame of that team was among its alumni.  This eastern most member of the “big ten” was raking in the money for its stellar football team.

The U.S. Department of Education said it will launch an investigation into whether Penn State failed to comply with an act requiring colleges and universities to disclose the number of reported criminal incidents on campus each year. “In addition, in certain cases, the institution must issue a timely warning if a reported crime represents a threat to the campus community,” it said in a statement.

“If these allegations of sexual abuse are true then this is a horrible tragedy for those young boys. If it turns out that some people at the school knew of the abuse and did nothing or covered it up, that makes it even worse,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. “Schools and school officials have a legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from violence and abuse.” [NY Times]

Penn State is one of our finest institutions of higher education.  What do these unholy events happening there say about us as a people – as a society – as a nation?  They are reprehensible.  As in corporate America, the responsibility should ultimately rest with the president.

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