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wundayatta's avatar

Do you think the Jerry Sandusky pedophile case should be a criminal matter or a football matter?

Asked by wundayatta (58525points) January 9th, 2013

The Governor of Pennsylvania is suing the NCAA, saying they have no jurisdiction over the case. Jerry Sandusky molested at least ten boys, often luring them to the Penn State men’s football locker room with the possibility of hanging out with their heroes—the football players. He would shower with them, and make them do… other things.

The Governor says this is a criminal matter. Sandusky is a criminal and anyone who helped him is a criminal, and they should be penalized in the criminal justice system.

The NCAA says this is a football matter. The Penn State football program protected Sandusky from justice in order to save the reputation of the program. Therefore, the program should be punished by the NCAA.

What’s your thinking on the matter?

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29 Answers

zensky's avatar

Criminal. Period. Period.

What’s the dif. where and how and why it was done? If a child molestor is a University professor is it an Academic matter? If the pedophile is a mechanic is it a Garage matter?

FutureMemory's avatar

The NCAA says this is a football matter. The Penn State football program protected Sandusky from justice in order to save the reputation of the program. Therefore, the program should be punished by the NCAA.

Does the NCAA have the power to sentence people to prison? No.

Complete horse shit attitude on their part. They should be ashamed.

Pachy's avatar

Criminal matter. It’s not about touchdowns, it’s about inappropriate touching and more.

Shippy's avatar

The only way it could be also a matter of Penn State football program, would be to not allow children into certain areas of their establishment. Or the general public. But of course this means any famous persons who have access to the vulnerable public. But the only safety this would ensure is that nothing happens on their premises. I do think, I could be corrected that the BBC was involved in the same situation, with Jimmy Saville? They too, I think have stopped the public entering certain of their areas.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@Shippy It is actually an even fairer comparison than that with the Jimmy Saville abuse in that from what I recall with Penn State different people knew it was happening but they let it go on and the same with the BBC. Since the Jimmy Saville thing came to light so many people have gone from saying they knew nothing and didn’t see anything to saying..well now I look back then x, y, and z wasn’t right and there is just no way that the people at the top of the BBC knew nothing about it.

Now at the BBC there is no chance you will be taken behind the scenes unless things are all official.

wundayatta's avatar

Penn State did protect Sandusky from being discovered as soon as he should have been discovered. They were protecting Joe Paterno, their famous coach, as well. So the penalty the NCAA put on Penn State is $60 million and a four year absence from the college football playoff system. This is costing Penn State a lot, and presumably is a penalty that would make any other college in the same situation be willing to bite the bullet and turn their coach over to the police as soon as possible, instead of hiding it.

If football sanctions are lifted, won’t Penn State (and any other college) learn that they can ignore pedophilia on the coaching staff with impunity? Even if the coach and the Administration get jail sentences in criminal prosecutions, won’t universities see that as easier to take than a huge monetary fine and loss of prestige and income from the playoffs?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It’s both. It’s obviously a criminal matter, and the authorities are taking and have taken actions to bring justice. The NCAA also has jurisdiction on whether or not a university’s program is allowed to participate in their league. That’s a civil issue and is contractual. If Pennsylvania State University broke NCAA rules, then they must suffer the consequences.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

How is this even a question for this league?

zenvelo's avatar

It’s not an either/or. It’s both a criminal and a football/sports matter. The NCAA has jurisdiction over the integrity of sport programs at member schools. Sandusky was permitted full access to the Penn State facilities for his Second Chance program, some of the sexual abuse took place in Penn State’s sports facilities, and the Sports Department of the School turned a blind eye and protected him. The football program was complicit by allowing the abuse to continue for years.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Definitely CRIMINAL – but it should also concern the football associations.

janbb's avatar

Why does one preclude the other? It is definitely a criminal matter and the complicity of the Penn State football team should also be punished by the NCAA.

@zenvelo Just read that you wrote the same thing.

WestRiverrat's avatar

When you join the NCAA you agree to abide by their bylaws. When you violate those bylaws you get sanctioned, or you leave the organization.

When you commit a crime in PA, you are subject to the laws of that state.

They are two different entities and like others have said not mutually exclusive.

wundayatta's avatar

The Governor is arguing that it is solely a criminal matter, and that the NCAA has no business punishing the university for what is a criminal matter.

CWOTUS's avatar

Something makes me think that you’ve misheard some of the details (I don’t know any, myself). It seems to me that the Governor of Pennsylvania might want the NCAA to relax its draconian penalties against the State University since the state itself is prosecuting the criminal case (as it should, and as only it can).

I would imagine that the University is having a hell of a time recruiting new athletes to play for a football program undergoing such severe penalties, and this will have a bad effect on university revenues. If the Governor can get the NCAA sanctions modified or lifted, then the football program may not collapse.

wundayatta's avatar

Here’s the article that explains what is going on.

Uberwench's avatar

I agree with everyone who has said that the two are not mutually exclusive. The NCAA has the authority to penalize the Penn State football program, but the program is not a person who can stand trial. All those who are people who can stand trial and who had a hand in the systematic molestation of children should face criminal charges. Neither the NCAA nor the state should interfere with the other’s jurisdiction here. But I think @CWOTUS is reading the story right. The NCAA isn’t trying to interfere with the state, the state is trying to interfere with the NCAA. It’s the governor who is pretending it has to be one or the other, and he’s wrong.

filmfann's avatar

It’s both. No denying it is criminal, but the NCAA should also be able to smack down the program that helped Sandusky.

hearkat's avatar

Both. The sexual abuse was a criminal act by Sandusky.
Covering it up and failing to protect children was a criminal act by the Penn State football program and the university administration.

ETpro's avatar

I think that it’s a criminal matter and a football matter. If raping children is a football matter, then it is time to outlaw football. If not prosecuting rape happens because football is too popular to touch, then the prosecutor is criminaly negligent in failing to protect innocent children—which is his job.

This governor was the State Attorney General, the chief prosecutor that sat on the case for so long because it was football, and football’s politically popular in PA. He knew prosecuting Sandusky would threaten his political aspirations for higher office, so he let kids go on getting butt-fucked so he could get ahead.

I further think Gov. Tom Corbett, whose failures in office had him at a low ebb in popularity that threatened a second term, is making a political move with his lawsuit. He calculates that in Football loving Pennsylvania, this will boost his approval. And finally, I think that his failures as Attorney General and now Governor, along with the transparency of the self serving nature of this lawsuit, are obvious enough that his opponent will use the facts against him to great effect.

Let the games begin.

ucme's avatar

I recall a few years ago a scottish footballer received a custodial sentence for headbutting another player on the field. At the time this was seen as extremely harsh given that the governing bodies in football would normally deal with such a matter, lenghty ban & a hefty fine being the usual course of action.
I thought it was a just punishment, why the hell should sportsmen get away with assault simply because of the arena in which they ply their trade?
In the particular case of Sandusky, given that his crime is far worse than common assault, my view remains unchanged, obviously.

tedd's avatar

Where were all these people that are on my side, that this isn’t a football matter at all, when I was debating til I was blue in the face about this crap over the summer? lol

Anyways, the Governor is widely believed to be doing two things. One, scoring political points with a large portion of his constituency. Two, asking for the world, so that in negotiations he can end up getting a guarantee from the NCAA that the entirety of the 60 million dollar fine applied to PSU is spent on charities in Pennsylvania rather than charities nationwide. The money came right out of Pennsylvania’s economy, so not a terrible move if true.

tedd's avatar

I would like to point out to the people who believe the school should have been punished, that the “program” was not complicit in this act at all. The “program” has fluid membership, and none of the handful of people who were once inside the program and were complicit with the crimes, is present in the program anymore.

The NCAA punished the innocent, and several of Sandusky’s victims have come out in vehement opposition to the penalties levied by the NCAA.

janbb's avatar

@tedd I would say that the ongoing management of the program was certainly complicent even though individual players were not.

tedd's avatar

@janbb And the management has been entirely replaced, and those people involved are all in jail or awaiting trial. The NCAA sanctions will harm the people who had any part in the crimes, in exactly no way. They will however punish countless fans, players, students, and even Sandusky’s victims in a variety of ways.

The NCAA punishing PSU for the crimes of Sandusky and company is like the IRS auditing me because my uncle got a DUI.

janbb's avatar

@tedd If that’s true and I don’t doubt that you are right, then I agree with you.

tedd's avatar

@janbb The complicit PSU officials were the university president (Graham Spanier), the AD (Tim Curley), SR VP (Gary Shultz), and Paterno himself.

Spanier: Forced to resign from PSU in November of 2011, currently awaiting trial on 8 criminal charges.

Curley: In November 2011 was placed on indefinite suspension. As of last October PSU confirmed they will not renew his contract. Currently awaiting trial on 5 criminal charges.

Schultz: Forced to retire from PSU in November 2011. Currently awaiting trial on 5 criminal charges.

Paterno: Dead, currently residing 6 feet underground. His last 10 years of coaching records, as well as various honors and awards given to him, have been stripped.

And lastly about the victims, here’s a quote from the lawyer of victim #4 (the star witness against Sandusky)... Victim No. 4 was very disappointed when he learned of the NCAA sanctions several months ago. He was particularly upset the sanctions were so broad that they impacted people who had absolutely nothing to do with the abuse or the failure to properly report the abuse. The NCAA acted as if it were the victim in this tragedy, and failed to even take the pulse of the real victims before imposing its will.

Uberwench's avatar

@tedd And people who assault others with their fists might not have any of the same cells in their hands by the time they get convicted. They’re still guilty, though.

tedd's avatar

@Uberwench That is the worst comparison I think I’ve ever heard in my life.

Uberwench's avatar

@tedd Then you can’t have heard many comparisons, and the ones you’ve heard must have been damn good. An institution doesn’t stop being liable for something just by firing those responsible because the institution is legally its own entity. So if the program would have been liable when those responsible were employed there, then it is responsible now for the past wrongdoings done in its name and on its authority.

Without this sort of protection, institutions would be able to get off scot free for anything just with a round of firings. Not only would that encourage scapegoating, it would make institutional failure impossible to address. Delivery truck crashes into a bridge? Fire the driver. “Sorry! Our company is no longer liable for any damages, even though we were the ones who judged the driver competent in the first place!”

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