Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Never Happened

I don't have a strong opinion about the sanctions handed down to Penn State by the NCAA as a result of the boy-raping scandal by one of their assistant coaches, which was apparently covered-up by university officials, including famous coach Joe Paterno, in what appeared to be a pretty good impression of the Catholic Church.

"After Jesus loved the little children, did he have to go to jail?"

Obviously, I'm against boy raping and any cover-up of boy raping. I'm against rape of any kind.  I'm not afraid to come out against it publicly.  

As The Onion makes clear, it's a pretty simple call when you see something like that happening: Nation's 10-Year-Old Boys: 'If You See Someone Raping Us, Please Call The Police'

"under no circumstances is it ever okay for an adult to rape a 10-year-old boy, so you really can't go wrong by calling the police when something like that happens."

As a result of the scandal, the NCAA levied  unprecedented penalties against Penn State. They have to pay $60 million, they can't compete in bowl games for four years, and they've lost a good portion of their football scholarships.  (Also, for good measure, a statue of Joe Paterno was removed from the campus. But PSU did that on their own.)    

I don't know whether these penalties are too harsh, not harsh enough, or just right.  Again: I'm against boy rape and think anyone who had anything to do with it should be punished severely.  Whether or not that includes the entire football program is up for debate.


Here's the thing that I found weird.  One of the penalties the NCAA enacted against Penn State was that the football team's wins over the past 14 seasons (the period of time the molestation occurred) have been "vacated."  That means that 111 wins don't count anymore.

I didn't know you could do that.  Just pretend that 111 games never existed?  I understand you want to punish the program, but can you retroactively take away things that already happened?  If someone is sentenced to the death penalty, can you kill them retroactively?  Like, say that they've been dead for the past 15 years?  Does that really make it so?  If a man is convicted of rape, can you "take away" all the consensual sex he's already had?  If a banker is convicted of embezzlement, can you punish him by saying, "Your bank account was zero for the past 13 years. From now on, you were poor then."

These are rhetorical questions.  Obviously, I think "vacating" 111 wins is silly, not to mention logically impossible. They won those games.  This is not like a doping scandal in bicycling, where someone is disqualified from a race afterward for having broken the rules.  Unless you want to argue that raping boys gives you an unfair advantage in winning football games, I don't see how you can just expunge 111 games like that.  It's a wholesale denial of reality.

Once again, I'd like to reiterate my opposition to rape, molestation, sexual assault, or sexual harassment of any kind.


Sarah said...

I'm not sure why, but "Obviously, I'm against boy-raping" made me laugh. Because, obviously.

I think the point of "taking back" the wins is that Joe Paterno, even though the bastard's dead, can no longer hold the record for being the winningest coach.

Tim said...

Yeah, I get that it was to prevent Paterno from getting all those wins. I just think it's silly. It's not like he won those games on his own. Think of all the players, fans, hotdog vendors, touchdowns, scores, etc. You can't pretend those things didn't exist.

Again, I want to stress that rape is bad-- very,very bad.

Thanks for visiting.