Ever since IT reared its ugly head back in November of 2011, I have been puzzled and astonished by the attitude of the NCAA and the B1G conference. The Sandusky scandal is really none of their business and never was. It's always been a criminal matter, just like many other unfortunate criminal matters at other institutions.
So it seems obvious in hindsight that the B1G and the NCAA have been intimidated by the sheer magnitude of the media firestorm, especially when you compare with similar episodes at Syracuse or USA Swimming or even the University of Pennsylvania. There just is no comparison, no logical explanation for all the vitriol and brimstone poured forth on poor little Penn State.
But what bothers me now is not just the scapegoating of Joe Paterno or the bungling antics of the trustees or even the Freeh fiasco. It has become evident that both the conference and the NCAA have shamefully disowned Penn State to the extent that they do not want to see Penn State succeed under any circumstances.
I am immediately reminded of the Wisconsin game last year. With Penn State coming off a stunning victory in Columbus, the stage was set for a Leaders Division winner take all game. And I can just imagine Jim Delaney thinking to himself, "We can not allow Penn State to win the division or the conference. That would be an embarrassment." Wisconsin was the superior team that day, playing at home, but there were a few questionable calls that, had they gone Penn State's way, would have made the game much more interesting - for Jim Delaney.
And there you have your answer to the NCAA's "unprecedented" sanctions. Under the present lens through which the public and media view Penn State, the NCAA does not want Penn State to represent college athletics - period. So they have handicapped Penn State for the simple fear of protecting their own public image. Ironic that they are guilty of punishing the innocent to protect their "culture", isn't it?
It would be poetic then, and I look forward to seeing, Bill O'Brien, Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges open up a can of whoop ass every Saturday this fall, because they won't be representing the Conference or the NCAA, who have thrown them under the proverbial bus, they play for you and me and us. We Are !
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