You’re not helping v.11

Sometimes even the guy who initially got it no longer gets it. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett decided to sue the NCAA over the sanction the sports organization placed on Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky fallout:

Now, Corbett has sued the N.C.A.A. on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania, alleging that it was “overreaching and unlawful” in how it punished the university, and that it broke antitrust laws and harmed residents in the process.

“These sanctions did not punish Sandusky, nor did they punish the others who have been criminally charged,” Corbett said Wednesday at a news conference in State College, Pa. “Rather, they punished the past, the present, the local businesses and the citizens of Pennsylvania.”

The lawsuit, a straightforward challenge to the N.C.A.A.’s authority, asks a federal court to throw out all of the penalties against Penn State’s football program, including a $60 million fine, the vacating of a decade’s worth of victories, and a four-year ban on postseason play. However, some legal experts, including ones who have litigated against the N.C.A.A. on antitrust matters, said the governor would probably face difficulty in building a successful case, considering that the university accepted the penalties when they were announced in July.

Technically, Corbett has a point. The sanctions against Penn State do not directly affect the people actually responsible for what Sandusky did. However, the sanctions do affect the legacy those people left behind. Penn State, like many sports institutions, had a policy of turning a blind eye when it came to its high-profile sports figures because of the money and fame those people brought to the schools. Those schools have little incentive to change their ways, even with a major scandal. There may be an immediate turn around, but eventually things will go back to the way they were.

Leveling stiff sanctions that directly affect the school for an extended period of time may have a greater impact. It may make people in power change not just their policies, but also the way they see such acts. It may make them less likely to let things slide because they will face real consequences if they do.

Yes, Corbett is right that the sanctions could affect the local economy. He is right that the impact may be long-lasting. Yet what the boys Sandusky abused suffered while almost a dozen adults knew or suspected something and did nothing has a far greater reach. Penn State can recover. After a while, this will be a thin memory. Those boys, now young men, may recover, but what they suffered is not something they will forget.

But what makes Corbett’s lawsuit so odd is that he is the same man who in 2009, as the then acting attorney general, began investigating allegations against Sandusky. Of all the people who should understand, it should be Corbett. This lawsuit is a ridiculous waste of time and money. The article notes that Corbett is up for re-election next year, and one hopes that he did not file this suit in a bid to keep his job.

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10 thoughts on “You’re not helping v.11

  1. Ironic that part of the suit alleges the NCAA broke anti-trust laws, considering the sports industry is the only American business EXEMPT from anti-trust legislation.

  2. It seemed like part of it was about where the money was going. $60 million for child abuse work is quite a lot, and I’ve heard nothing about what might be done with that. I fear it will go to the “leading organizations” who have helped create the invisibility around male victims for more of the same. Their child abuse conference agenda had no mention at all of male population issues until a lot of lobbying got a few minutes for it. So until I see what would be done with that money, it’s not clear this is a “bad thing”.

  3. I believe any lawsuit should be thrown out because the allegations of the alleged “abused” were never proven to me sufficiently back in the trial. I believe the motive of all the defendants is money and nothing but money. I believe if any of those “kids” ever had access to a telephone of any sort and failed to call the police back then, then I don’t buy their stories. Not that I like Sandusky, I just don’t believe the prosecutors proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

  4. Most NCAA sanctions are absolutely worthless. The only menaingful sanction in this case is the $60M. Since Penn State is a publically funded institutioin, Corbett is correct in that the NCAA is punishing the taxpayers of the state. Regardless of what the NCAA does with the money, the state’s taxpayers are the ones left footing the bill. Given the state of public education, not only in Pennsylvania, but throughout the nation, $60M could go a long ways towards educating thousands of people. In addition, Corbett is also correct, the sanctions do nothing to punish those involved. The NCAA is only punishing the children and the taxpayers of the state of Pennsylvania.

    Although, in a bit of irony, the NCAA has also punished themselves. In its zeal to punish both Penn State and Ohio State (for other infractions committed by coaches and players no longer at the University), the Big Ten was represented in this year’s Rose bowl by a team that lost 5 games (Wisconsin 8-5) and certainly not one of the best teams in the Big Ten (instead of 12-0 Ohio State). This had to hurt TV ratings and may have cost the NCAA money.

    The NCAA’s system of punishing infractions doesn’t work because the the players, coaches, and administrators who commit those infractions know they can simply move on and leave the university to pick up the pieces. You state that the scools have little incentive to change their ways, but how can a school know is going to violate the rules, commit crimes, or otherwise embarass the schools. Often it is the schools that ask coaches and administrators to resign (or fire them), revoke scholarships, and take other actions. Penn State was somewhat different in that it was the highest level administrators that were involved, not just the athletic department. But who is being punished? Not Sandusky and not any of the administrators involved.

  5. Allan, your suspicions are right on. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) has already been given 1.7 million. They were the ones shamelessly exploiting the Sandusky tragedy within days after the story broke. They literally collected buckets of cash at the next home game. Check out the video on the home page of their webpage. They’re getting all sorts of money, and all on top of what they already get from Uncle Sam.

    They also contend that three percent of men were molested, that according to a VAWA study. Which means 3% of all that cash and NCAA sanction money will go to help men and boys.

    And for that they’ll hire Jackson Katz to go to schools and badger boys about the patriarchy, male privilege and rape culture.

  6. Looks like people protecting their jobs and organization and ideology, and ignoring boys being raped. Just like Penn State actually. It’s hard for people to see, and harder still to oppose but sadly, the sexual violence organizations aren’t any different sometimes.

    Some CASA groups seem to be open to male victims being involved. But here though, I was increasingly attacked until a former head of the rape center accused me and all the male survivors in a support group of being perpetrators. They openly discussed how we should be put in the same treatment programs as convicted sex offenders. I became really afraid of them and what they might do. They seemed very much like perpetrators themselves. I could feel how people began to withdraw, and become suspicious. It’s the power of the false accusation. There’s really no defense against it when it’s so covert and secret. There’s no denying it, because of course, offenders deny offending. And they wonder why men won’t come forward and get…. “help”.

    It’s amazing how the dynamics begin to recapitulate abuse. The silence, shame and secrets all over again.

  7. Really creepy story Allan. What does CASA stand for? Those groups as well PCAR, are all the more reason why we need to establish a White House Council for Men and Boys.

    Jan Corey, one of the boy’s mothers called the police in 1998. Sandusky all but admitted to the assalt while police listened in. No one can figure out why the DA didn’t pursue the case. Then he mysteriously disappeared and the hardrive from his laptop was smashed and thrown in the river.

    You really believe Sandusky is innocent? Even Paterno knew he was.

  8. Yes, Rev, very creepy, and nobody wants to hear about it. Like, victim #1 was attacked and run out of his school. I’ll bet that story was repeated dozens of times with Sandusky victims that we will never hear from. I had a similar less severe experience in high school myself.

    I believe all the US states have a (state) “CASA” (Coalition against sexual assault) bringing together all the various city regional etc groups involved.

    Yes, White House Council for Men and Boys, that’s perhaps a good idea, again depending … and we need for men and boys to start caring more about themselves and each other, forming a culture of positive maleness/masculinity. Male disposability runs very deep. Women can’t do that for men, and feminist identified men are, in my experience, very indifferent or hostile to other men, in some manner or another. Seems to blow up every attempt at male solidarity.

  9. CASA is “Centres Against Sexual Assault”. It’s the actual name of the state funded network in Victoria, Australia. I’m not certain if that’s the network to which Allan refers. If it is I want to know which outlet. They WILL be hearing from me.

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