At the Guardian, Dave Zirin argues that the NCAA sanctions against Penn State are a gross abuse of power. A snippet:
What Penn State did was commit horrific violations of criminal and civil laws, and they should pay every possible price for shielding Sandusky. This is why we have a society with civil and criminal courts. Instead we have Mark Emmert inserting himself in a criminal matter and acting as judge, jury and executioner, in the style of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. As much as I can’t stand Goodell’s authoritarian, undemocratic methods, the NFL is a private corporation, and his method of punishment was collectively bargained with the NFL players association. Emmert, heading up the so-called non-profit NCAA, is intervening with his own personal judgment and cutting the budget of a public university. He has no right to do so, and every school under the auspices of the NCAA should be terrified that he believes he does.
As rotten and corrupt as big-time college sports are, Zirin may have a point. It’s certainly worth thinking about.
More to the point, in my opinion, is this: Penn State’s cover up of a serial pederast was not about football, though the worship of football made the cover-up easier.
It was about powerful persons protecting other powerful persons because they were all members of the same club. A football team, a board of directors, a religious hierachy–all clubs with their insiders who consider their fellows to be better than everyone else because, after all, they would not be insiders otherwise, now, would they?
The NCAA sanctions will encourage persons to think that the issue has somehow been dealt with, so they can enjoy their NFL and college football games, drink their beers, and buy their overpriced branded swag without thinking of the rot on the sidelines, in the locker rooms, and in front offices.
And persons will think that the NCAA sanctions somehow address the rot and avert their eyes from the the amoral corruption of rich Insiders’ Clubs throughout business, politics, religion, and, yes, sports, because