The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Satisfying the masses

Matthew Moniz | Thursday, November 10, 2011

Joe Paterno’s firing is a move meant to satisfy the supposed masses of outraged citizens instead of actually curing the problems causing the outrage. In this case, he’s a figurehead, a scapegoat meant to take the fall so the institution of college sports can move on without actually doing anything about its many problems.

Such a move is typical of the NCAA and their collegiate cronies: slap sanctions on a big name every few years, and the bandwagon of moral outrage fades away while backroom dealings detrimental to the sport carry on undisturbed.

In recent years, more criticism has been levied at the current state of collegiate sports. The NCAA, panicked, has responded to this by punishing programs at a faster rate: USC, Ohio State and Miami were scrutinized in quick succession. While people in these programs did do something wrong, the NCAA does not care about solving its problems. It cares about saving face and the money that comes with that. Nab a big name, get a few years of freedom. Rinse, wash, repeat.

Don’t get me wrong: child abuse is a terrible thing. But, as I’ve heard the story reported, Paterno notified the people he was supposed to back when the incident happened. Maybe he could have done more. Maybe he should have done more. But firing one of the most respected coaches in the sport does not do anything to solve the problem of child abuse. It’s a move meant to placate the masses while giving the current system a veneer of moral righteousness, covering up their lack of any real action against the ills of both society and the system itself.

Matthew Moniz


Dillon Hall

Nov. 9