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Penn State, the NCAA, and disappointment

| Thursday, September 11, 2014

I am writing in regard to the NCAA reversing the sanctions levied on Penn State University. It is abhorrent that the NCAA abolished the sanctions levied on Penn State University. I understand the decision followed a positive report from former Senator George Mitchell’s organization DLA Piper; however, the NCAA’s decision has undermined justice for the victims. 

I have read the report, and while it is nice to see Penn State’s recent commitment to ethics, nothing changes the fact that Penn State as an institution allowed for rape and molestation of young men. The hurt and horror of those experiences will never go away and now the NCAA has diminished their justice. 

I have heard arguments that the sanctions were unfair to the players, that they did nothing wrong and sanctioning Penn State will only continue to hurt these players. This is false. The NCAA correctly allowed current players at the time the ability to transfer without penalty. Most of those on the original team have graduated or had the opportunity to transfer. Any student committing to Penn State the past two years would have known they would not be able to play in bowl games. 

While I understand the concept of “getting time off for good behavior,” an institution that knowingly overlooked the rape of a 10-year-old boy should not, under any circumstance, be forgiven so easily. Although Penn State’s sanctions did not even last two years, for more than 15 years Jerry Sandusky was able to prey on young men. During which time the University, from the University president down to graduate assistants, covered up the assaults. 

To close, I wish to share with you a grave statistic: one in six men are sexually abused or assaulted. According to the Center for Disease Control, it is largely believed to be an underestimate due to the social stigma men face of reporting the abuse against them. I ask you to reflect on the message sent to that one in six and what it says about the values of the NCAA. How could an institution that fostered the abuse of children be let off the hook like this? By overturning the initial ruling, the NCAA is essentially saying that justice for victims is merely temporary.

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About Jeffrey Homan

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  • Zach

    This is rich coming from a newspaper serving Notre Dame and St. Mary’s. What then, do you suppose we do to the Catholic church? They were forgiven rather easily, were they not?

    • Tidewaterhorse

      Maybe we should close down the catholic church.

  • Mike

    Perfect. What about the woman raped at ND who killed herself? What penalty should ND accept?

    • Joe

      Can you give me a link to when any players were convicted of rape 5 years ago? I don’t recall that happening.

      • Der


        No one was convicted of rape. No one was convicted of sexual assault. No one was convicted of anything at all because Notre Dame officials goofed around and took their sweet time conducting the investigation. If they had been prompt and thorough in their investigation, they would have identified that Lizzy Seeberg was sexually assaulted and that she had a previous history of mental health problems. If they did what they were supposed to do, they would have gotten her the help and/or counseling that she needed. She could still be with us if it wasn’t for the botched investigation.

  • Greg

    How many ND football players have been covered up for over the past 5 years when they raped that girl at St Mary’s??

    • Joe

      Can you give me a link to when any players were convicted of rape 5 years ago? I don’t recall that happening.

  • GW

    Sounds like Jeffrey drank the Kool Aid and accepts The Fraud Report as fact and not the speculative opinion it has been exposed to be. The NCAA reduced the sanctions using the Mitchell Report as cover. If you noticed that on the same day they decided to cave in the Corman lawsuit requiring the 60 million dollars to stay in PA. Why? Because the court already has questioned the legality of the consent decree and Emmert is concerned about discovery motions regarding communications and the decree being deemed invalid.

  • smokeybandit

    Congrats, you read the Mitchell report, which is a bunch of junior high-level book report crap.

    Try reading the Freeh Report, try to make sense of that, then you might understand why the sanctions were utter BS.

    I mean you can’t even get any of the allegations right.

  • rod


  • rod

    please get your facts straight before you write you dribble.

  • rod

    Zach, what graduate assistants helped cover up Sanduskys assaults ?

  • Jon Palmer

    The NCAA could have prevented any perceived negative message resulting from the removal of some, not all, of the sanctions. They could have stayed out of an issue that had nothing to do with the job they are supposed to do: punish teams that cheat to gain an unfair advantage over their competition; on the field, in recruiting, or academically. The only victims to have spoken on the matter were against any sanctions in the first place.
    The victims received some justice when Sandusky was put in prison until he dies. No one else has had their day in court. Remember “innocent until proven guilty” from when you were in high school? IF anyone else is found guilty of anything the courts will punish them, too.
    Your narrative that the entire university (30,000 faculty and staff, nearly 100,000 students, 24 campuses) knowingly allowed a rapist to roam the campus raping children is delusional. We are used to such garbage coming from the comment board vigilantes, many of whom have other reasons to hate on Penn State. It should be embarrassing to the editors of this publication to have allowed such accusations to be made in a column in this publication.
    By the way, every player who went to a different school took a scholarship spot that someone else didn’t get and deprived that kid of their dream of playing college football while receiving a free education. The lost scholarships were eliminated from the sum total of scholarships available nationwide. Is it fair for kids that weren’t even going to Penn State to lose their dreams?

    Sandusky did wrong. The NCAA did wrong. Two wrongs don’t make a right.