NCAA piles on the non-guilty

July 23, 2012, 4:14 pm
Share This Post

Well, that was quite a hunk of flesh the NCAA took out of Penn State. More than a pound, Id say.Then again, it took it from the people who had the least to do with the crimes of Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno or the other conspirators. The current and future players and coaches at Penn State. Thats how the NCAA defines justice shooting the survivors and onlookers.Its why all forms of NCAA justice arent really justice at all, but a feel-good back-scratch that fools some people into thinking the organization is really on top of its game.What the NCAA did have the power to do effectively, it did. The 60 million fine is what the NCAA understands and operates in pursuit of money. Of course, that money hasnt been earmarked for Sanduskys actual victims, and neither has the 13 million in bowl game shares the Big 10 is withholding from the school. Those are going to nebulous other places, stated in the one press conference as child abuse centers, and in the other to merely charities.RELATED: Ratto -- NCAA's Penn State fine misguided
But it also made clear to Bill OBrien, the current coach, and the present team that they screwed up by being the folks on site when the hammer came down. They sent their usual message, too Were gonna get someone for this, damn it, and youre the ones we can see in front of us.It is remarkable, and typically disturbing, that the NCAA chose to make this a football problem rather than an administrative one, because the NCAA is filled with administrators. Graham Spanier, the shamed former president at Penn State, was one of theirs in fact, one of the NCAAs poster children on how to do it right. Yeah, good get there, kids.In fact, and weve said it before, this was an administrative failure. An administrators crime, in fact. Joe Paterno was the football coach, but he wasnt coaching when he was in the room with Spanier and Tim Curley and Gary Schultz devising ways to keep Sanduskys terrors unpunished and out of public view. He was Spanier and Curley and Schultz an administrator.And the NCAA, which cannot punish them anyway, held a press conference in which president Mark Emmert didnt even mention their names. He got to Paterno when asked specifically about Paterno, but the other three the ones who share Paternos guilt if not his high profile they didnt get referenced.RELATED: Ratto -- Penn State and 'setting the record straight'
So Emmert did what the NCAA can do and does do pile on the non-guilty. The money taken is right up their street, though not aimed at the most deserving. The punishment to the football program is a cultural statement he will not make at all the other places where the athletic department dominates all other forms of campus life. They need the money that culture generates, so raging against it is one more practical joke they are so good at playing.What should Emmert and his happy pals have done, then? Take the money. Fine. Its what theyre good at. But pretending to be part of the solution when they benefit so greatly from the actual problem is another thing theyre good at hypocrisy.What the NCAA did was see a public relations nightmare, and react by stamping its foot on those who didnt do anything wrong. That would make three things they have down pat I guess that makes it good day, then.
RELATED: Ratto -- Enough about Joe Paterno's statue
But when Mark Emmert cant even choke out the names of the other three men who helped make this nightmare bloom in his highest expression of public indignation, you know he has remembered who he is, and how the butter gets to his bread. He got to put the boot into the blameless, and look bold and decisive doing it. That definitely makes it a good day -- by NCAA standards.Ray Ratto is a columnist for

More Team Talk