So the NCAA levied a hefty penalty on Penn State University's football program last summer based on the horrible sex abuse scandal perpetrated by former assistant football Coach Jerry Sandusky. We get that.
And we even understand why Penn State's new leadership accepted the penalties levied by the NCAA based on the Louis Freeh Report. We also understand why many Penn State alumni and boosters believe Penn State should have challenged the report rather than accepting the penalties. But the university wanted to get on with its penalties, the first step in putting this ugly tragedy behind the school and the football program.
What we don't understand is why the NCAA insists on challenging legislation that would keep the $60 million Penn State fine over the scandal in the state, benefitting child abuse prevention programs throughout the state.
It seems to us the NCAA wants it both ways. The organization wants to levy historic penalties on Penn State and, by extension, Pennsylvania, for the sex abuse scandal. It wants to fine Penn State enough that it hurts. And $60 million hurts.
But then the NCAA wants the money distributed all over the place.
Didn't these actions take place at Penn State?
In the state of Pennsylvania?
And isn't Penn State the place where the NCAA said there was cultural ineptitude that allowed the transgressions to occur?
The answer is obviously yes.
So why, when it is time to disburse the funds, do they go elsewhere?
This is the sort of moral strongarming that gives the NCAA a reputation for haughtiness and arrogance and makes people less likely to pay attention and respect the organization.
The NCAA needs to drop its suit challenging the legislation and allow the $60 million to benefit the place where this horrible scandal occurred. This is where all the anguish occurred. This is where the healing is most needed.