Everywhere you turn, someone is condemning Penn State for their role in enabling Jerry Sandusky to rape young boys over the past decade. The criticism is justified, and you can’t really fault folks for their angry, bitter reactions.
That said, at a certain point – being irate isn’t enough. Once you get past the initial stages of being mad about what happened, it’s time to compose yourself, start thinking rationally and try to figure out a way to make things right.
Worrying about whether or not Joe Paterno’s statue should remain on Penn State’s campus is not something that helps people. It’s an irrelevant, dumb issue that serves as little more than fodder for ESPN and various talk radio hosts around America. Ten seconds wasted debating it is just that – 10 seconds wasted.
And yet, despite the fact that these trivial non-issues are obviously just a huge distraction from what everyone should really be keyed in on, nobody wants to delve into how Penn State can begin to make things right for their transgressions. Nobody except Alabama head coach, Nick Saban.
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Here is what Saban had to say on the matter recently:
“This is a very, very criminal situation that probably reflects poorly on a lot of folks,” Saban said (via the Washington Post).
“It’s probably too almost raw to really have a feeling that I can express. I think that what we all should probably be thinking a little bit more about is what do we want to be the outcome of this? Something that’s a win-win type thing, for kids in the future, the people that are there now, the players that are there now.”
Any specific thoughts, coach?
“Maybe they ought to tax all the tickets that they sell on athletics and give the proceeds to some child abuse organization. Or something like that, rather than worrying about some punishment that is really going to have no positive affect on anything.”
That idea is all sorts of brilliant. The diehard Penn State loyalists, the ones who have been defending Joe Paterno despite his evident wrongdoing, they’ll shell out any amount of money for Penn State. No tax will deter them from attending games. And this way, none of the surrounding businesses or players who had nothing to do with Sandusky get punished. (As they obviously would if the program were to be subjected to a death penalty.)
It’s a really, really good idea.
“I probably shouldn’t have said that. I’m just a regular old coach,” Saban said. “I worry about what they do on third down. A lot of times we do the same thing with players. Everybody’s always worried about what’s the punishment? The way I try to always look at it is, what’s the outcome? What outcome do we want? Sometimes I even say that to the player, what outcome do you want? Do you want to graduate from school? Do you want to play in the NFL some day? If that’s the outcome that you want, this behavior is not becoming of that. So what do we need to do to make it better?”
(Bold is mine, not WaPo's)
That’s the question everyone should be asking themselves now, not what should happen to Paterno’s statue. Then again, that question is actually valid, and valid thoughts don’t move the sports talk radio needle.
(Kudos Washington Post)