Sports should never get that big

The severity of the punishment for Penn State will be debated, and so will the use and the worth of the NCAA. But the following comment by NCAA president Mark Emmert when handing out Penn State’s fines is not debatable:

“One of the grave dangers stemming from our love of sports is that the sports themselves become too big to fail indeed too big to even challenge. The result can be an erosion of academic values that are replaced by the values of hero worship and winning at all costs.”

As we all know, this is not just a college problem, it’s a society problem - from the parents who push their kids way too much at an early age to the fanatics who live and die by the teams they support. The whole Penn State story puts a light on what has to be fixed in our society.

Emmert said that the $60 million fine to Penn State was the equivalent of one year of football revenue. That is a ridiculous amount of money and shows the power football and Joe Paterno had at that school. It also shows why Paterno didn’t act swiftly enough with all the inexcusable behavior from Jerry Sandusky. Protecting that cash cow was more important than protecting those children.

No death penalty for Penn State, but the ramifications of the other penalties handed down will take the program out of any championship talks for some time and all because sports is put way too high on the agenda. Just like when University of Maryland basketball legend Len Bias died on campus after a drug overdose, a university is put on the map for athletic programs when in fact both Penn State and Maryland are known for their academic accolades as well.

I feel for the victims of Sandusky in this entire mess. I feel for the current student athletes that now have to make yet another important decision on where to play collegiate sports. Due to the wins vacated from 1998 to 2011, I now feel for former players that I know personally, like LaVar Arrington, Evan Royster and Derrick Williams, who now have no wins for their college careers. But Penn State will come back. That school is the student body and the entire community not a coach or an athletic program.

Sports are a big deal, but should never get that big. Your thoughts?

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