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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Penn State Should Not Go to a Bowl Game, Charity Donations or Not

It’s amazing how much the conversation about Penn State football has changed in the sports realm. In many senses, Penn State has been spared by the Syracuse allegations concerning Bernie Fine, which became the new hot scandal.

What’s disappointing is how the Penn State discussion topics in the sports world have shifted as if nothing happened. Instead of talking about Jerry Sandusky, the two questions concerning the program are 1) who will be the next head coach and 2) which bowl game will they go to.

First off, if it’s proven that the coaches, administrators, and law enforcement and/or government officials covered up child sexual abuse crimes to protect the Penn State football program, then the school should receive a lifetime ban from playing football. If you think that’s unfair, then you’re in denial about how deep this cover-up may run.

Secondly, given what’s at stake, Penn State should not be rewarded with a bowl game. They really should have had their season canceled once the allegations became public. By pressing forward, the country has once again proven that nothing is more important than playing football. For as much as we talked about morals and doing the right thing the week the grand jury presentment was released, we all suddenly forgot all that because we did not want to lose football games. That was the wrong mentality.

It’s not too late to make the right decision.

Why should a city and school, whose coaches, administrators, law enforcement and government officials may have covered up child sexual abuse crimes to protect the football program, be rewarded with a bowl game? Give me one good reason why. The whole area needs to be taught a lesson, as do all fans across the country, that playing football every Saturday is not more important than having a proper moral code.

What’s so embarrassing is that Penn State is now bragging that they’re going to donate $1.5 million in bowl revenue to sex-crime advocacy organizations. First off, if you want to donate money to a charity because you care about the cause, then donate the money. You don’t need a bowl game to do so. Secondly, do they really think this is a good public relations move? Is that really supposed to impress us?

The Second Mile was a charity whose mission sounded great. It was an organization that aimed to help disadvantaged young boys. It turned out to be a front for an alleged child molester to attract his victims.

Throwing cash to some charity does not make you a generous person who cares about a cause. And donating $1.5 million to some charities most of us are unfamiliar with means very little. If Penn State cared so much about fighting child sex abuse, or doing the moral thing, they would make the correct public statement by declining any bowl bids and explaining their reason for doing so.

It’s time to finally start doing the right thing.



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