Penn State, College Sports and $candal

So … SNL did a bit with the devil during the news segment over the weekend. He was initially elated to hear that Penn State was in trouble, and posited a bunch of potential misbehavior. When filled in on ALL of the details (“kid’s charity?”), the devil resigned. The incident was just too bad – even for him.

Okay … hard to make comedy out of such tragedy, but points for an interesting approach.

Lots has been written about this, but one that caught my boss’ attention was a bit about the economy of college football. Minyanville’s post contains lots of stats about the dollars.

A few stats from her article … “the most profitable college football program in the 2009-2010 school year was at the University of Texas — raking in profits of $68,830,484. Following in second place was the football program at the University of Georgia. It garnered a profit of $52,529,885.Penn State University finished as the third most profitable program with just over $50 million.”

She continues “According to the “Nittany Lion Club 2010 Annual Report,” Penn State’s football program provided for 46% of “intercollegiate athletics revenue.” The Nittany Lion Club, which relies on support from donors and alumni and provides “grant-in-aid for Penn State student-athletes” and finances for “operational, academic, medical, individual endowment and capital project support for student-athletes,” accounted for 13% of the 2010 revenue stream with support totaling $27.7 million. Sponsorships and men’s basketball, on the other hand, accounted for just 4% and 3% of that revenue, respectively.”

And all of this is because of the attention/money that a winning team can bring into a school.

Let’s not talk about the education that some student athletes get while attending to play ball.

Let’s not talk about the other incidents wherein looking the other way is the primary management technique.

Let’s not try to figure out if the COSTS to the Penn State can ever offset the money that came in, especially as we are dealing with those hard to price out things like image, reputation and honor.

Let’s not talk about being part of a punch line that includes the Catholic church … that is a joke in which you do NOT  want to find yourself or any institution you care about.

Let’s talk about what should have happened. Let’s talk about how the situation should have been handled. Why are crimes tied to college sports so seldom treated as real world crimes, but are instead kept close within the college institution.

Penn State deserves comparisons to the Catholic church … the same patriarchy of silence and cover up exists in both.  And what that has to do with getting a ball back and forth down a field, I don’t know. But shame to all who made moving the ball a priority over everything … and we truly are talking EVERYTHING … else.

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