I submitted the following article to an online magazine. they don't pick-up any of my pieces these days..."too angry." Anyway...this is it:
Jan 2, 2013
Robert C Brown
Title: NCAA and the Teflon Dons
- Gov Tom Corbett’s refusal to own any wrongs found at Penn State.
Refusal to accept ownership; refusal to accept results, ramifications and responsibility. Outrage and indignation --- it all flows readily when Penn State is discussed in these post-Sandusky days of backlash. Penn State will lose ten-years of once-proud accomplishment. Trophies lifted on high since 1998 will forever be vapor.
A Governor sits in Harrisburg unwilling to accept the effective banishment from the church of the holiest of holy theaters of athletic achievement. Outrage! Its an outrage! The NCAA cannot do this to our school; to our state; to our athletes! I promise a lawsuit reversing the results of our misdeeds...that aren't ours’...oh bloody hell...what Sandusky did!
I wonder if he appreciates what such public tantrums do to the victims. Have they not already proven systemic culpability, institution inaction and cover-up to blatant shredding of their young lives? The message to the victims from Harrisburg seems rather clear however: We stood for your accusations. We allowed you to ruin our God. We even let our own courts lay a shroud of disgrace upon our perfect name. We’ve done enough for you boys of Sandusky’s showers. Enough! We say enough is enough!
Penn State has a cheerleader to this righteous plight. Governor Tom Corbett is calling the NCAA’s penalties unjust. The purple flag is not thrown. He is not asking for “official review” of the call. Rather, Tom Corbett is unwilling to accept any results and outcomes created by the severely broken flagship of Pennsylvania. He considers the steps taken by the NCAA to be a “death penalty” for the school and beyond their scope of authority. Furthermore, that “irreparable economic harm will come to the school, the commonwealth and its citizens.”
Corbett is arguing that affiliation is costing where it not “cost.” But in recent days, I’ve heard that such ties, connections and membership (aka “affiliation) lays direct cable of accountability to all. Namely: The NRA is to blame for murdering little school children...that they should pay with ultimate sanctions and penalties and dissolution. Or we hear that all of Christianity has ties to extremist hate...that ALL of Islam has its fingerprints on all acts of global terror.
If crimes that destroy children’s lives don’t have proximate ownership or “affiliation” to the very real estate where the acts occurred over several years, I have a hard time identifying any lesser-tie as affiliation at all.
None of the school shooters, from Conyers, GA, forward to Sandy Hook were NRA members, but the calls for NRA blood are loud and quite clear. Tom Corbett however must agree with the NRA in its assertions that its members are free of blame, regardless of the regulatory environment that may have allowed the slaughter in Newtown, CT...the regulatory environment that the NRA itself greatly created.
Tom Corbett and plenty of Penn State fanatics see no reason their precious halls of athletic achievement ought ever be held in the same light of culpability, however so slight, with Jerry Sandusky’s individual horrors. Even though all of Sandusky’s victims were plied by his golden-boy affiliation with Penn State, and affiliation with one of its great icons of victory, the institution ought not suffer.
The NCAA called Corbett’s wriggling of Penn State culpability “an affront to the victims” of the Penn State crimes. His objections and vows of legal-action reversal are a clear proclamation that there ought be no discernible, nor actionable affiliation between Paterno’s Victory Machine and the rape of little boys in the football showers.
These are the days of ever-changing definitions of accountability and responsibility. When accountability and responsibility part-company, any wrong seems to find only teflon assignment.