July 23, 2012

The NCAA Put On Their Big Boy Pants Today

Today Mark Emmert and the NCAA hammered Penn State. Football at Penn State won't be relevant again for at least ten years because of these penalties (Read the grisly details here). What got me here isn't that Penn State got punished. What got me today was that Mark Emmert decided to put on his big boy pants and show who is the boss. Too bad it won't prevent anything.

Let Drew Magary of Deadspin explain:
"The next great college sports scandal isn't gonna be at Penn State. It'll be at some other asshole school where the head coach still has too much power and the football program still makes too much money. There's no "stark wake-up call." The system is still fucked, and nothing the NCAA did today will do anything to change that. It only serves to extend the fucked-upness a touch longer. Among the many sick ironies of the Penn State saga is the fact that it was horrible enough to be considered by everyone a terrific anomaly. It wasn't. Sandusky's crime was, but the scandal that ensued was about concentrated power and institutional capture and all the shitty things enabled by the durable belief that the goals of big-time sports and higher education are at all reconcilable. The next great college sports scandal won't be about child rape. It'll be a different kind of awful. A school will get caught in a Bulgarian sex slave ring. A coach will turn out to be embezzling funds from AIDS babies. An AD will turn out to have ties to the Hezbollah. And whenever that new scandal happens, you can bet the NCAA will be there again, ready to put a band-aid on an amputated head." 
The great Spencer Hall of SBNation has the same take on Emmert putting on his big boy takes: 

"The NCAA can do this because they've been given the worst kind of permission. In response to a petty tyrant at the center of his own cult of personality protecting a pedophile, the organization will simply insert another petty tyranny. They will do this even though there is no fixing the unfixable, or predicting the unthinkable.
 This needs to be repeated: for everyone suggesting that football was at the core of this, for everyone suggesting for an instant that something could have predicted this, and that a precedent could be set, you literally do not understand humanity or the rare horror of something truly evil. People will sell themselves to authorities far cheaper and less impressive than a corrupt, morally bankrupt football legend. Subordinates cover for regional managers at car rental places for worse, and do so for $50,000 a year without benefits."
Basically Mark Emmert has turned himself into Roger Goodell. He has free reign to punish teams however harshly he wants. Also Emmert claims he didn't open Pandora's Box here but everyone agrees he did exactly that.

Look I'm not saying Emmert and the NCAA shouldn't have done anything to Penn State. But I agree with both Magary and Hall's takes that this does nothing but give someone more power and justify the NCAA's existence. And this isn't a good thing.

So congrats Emmert for putting on your big boy pants today. Also congrats to Jim Delany for eating at the carcass like a buzzard.

1 comment:

  1. The NCAA had to punish Penn State somehow, but it's still hollow.