Ed Driscoll

NCAA Lowers Boom on Penn State

“NCAA fines Penn State $60 million for actions in Sandusky scandal,” Ed Morrissey reports at Hot Air:

The NCAA lowered the boom on Penn State today, after an independent investigation concluded that the university’s highest-ranking officers failed to act when they had evidence that a football coach had molested boys.  The school must pay $60 million in fines, forfeit all of their victories from 1998 forward — about the time Penn State officials should have taken action against convicted serial child molester Jerry Sandusky — and be ineligible for bowl games for four years:

College sports’ governing body today suspended Penn State’s football team from post-season bowl play for four years and fined the university $60 million for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

The teams also must vacate all wins from 1998 through 2011.

This morning’s announcement by the NCAA stood out as much for its harshness as for the swiftness with which it came. In past scandals at the University of Southern California, Auburn and Ohio State, the association attracted criticism for its slow pace.

Yesterday, Penn State removed the statue of Joe Paterno, which it placed in front of its stadium in the wake of Paterno’s retirement in January. However, Paterno’s name will remain on the school’s library, at least for now, according to the Boston Herald:

The longtime head coach and his wife, Sue, gave $4 million to Penn State to help fund construction of the library.

Erickson, in his statement, said the facility “symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University.”

Penn State student Kaitlyn Brett, however, questioned how the university could decide to keep one and not the other.

Brett, of Johnstown, who said she did not support the removal of the statue, said “they might as well level the library.”

While Erickson said the statue became “a source of division and an obstacle to healing,” he made a strong distinction between it and the library.

“The library remains a tribute to Joe and Sue Paterno’s commitment to Penn State’s student body and academic success, and it highlights the positive impacts coach Paterno had on the university,” he said in the statement. “Thus I feel strongly that the library’s name should remain unchanged.”

Between Sandusky, Paterno, and global warming zealot Michael Mann, Penn State is a warning of how deeply flawed an institution of higher learning can become. The NCAA’s punishment for Sandusky’s heinous crimes is a good first step, but is it enough to reform such a dysfunctional environment?

Update: “Dr. Michael Mann invokes the Streisand effect” — by threatening to sue Mark Steyn!