College

NCAA Should Remember Penn State When Punishing Baylor

NCAA Should Remember Penn State When Punishing Baylor

On July 24, 2012, NCAA president Mark Emmert announced penalties that would be levied against Penn State in the wake of a national scandal involving the football program. The unspeakable and unthinkable actions of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky were long running, covered up, and enabled by those at the university. He’s currently serving a 30 to 60 year sentence as a convicted child molester.

Fast forward to a few years and look at the ongoing scandal unfolding at Baylor. Multiple sexual assaults committed by Baylor football players during the tenure of now-former coach Art Briles. Events that were reported to Briles and others above him, including now-former president Ken Starr, and ignored. Lives of innocent victims altered forever.

Take the words Emmert used in that 2012 Penn State press conference and apply them to Baylor today.

“The Penn State case has provoked in all of us deeply powerful emotions and shaken our most fundamental confidence in many ways. “

You can apply that to Baylor.

“As we, the Executive Committee, the Division I Board and I, have examined and discussed this case, we have kept foremost in our thoughts the tragic damage that has been done to the victims and their families. “

You can apply that to Baylor.

“No matter what we do here today, there is no action we can take that will remove their pain and anguish.”

You can apply that to Baylor.

“But what we can do is impose sanctions that both reflect the magnitude of these terrible acts and that are also — and that ensure that Penn State will rebuild an athletic culture that went horribly awry. “

You can apply that to Baylor.

“Our goal is not to be just punitive but to make sure the university establishes an athletic culture and daily mindset in which football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people. “

You can apply that to Baylor.

“For the next several years now, Penn State can focus on the work of rebuilding its athletic culture not worrying about whether or not it’s going to a bowl game.”

You can apply that to Baylor.

“With the sanctions imposed today and with the new leadership, the university, we hope, indeed we intend to ensure that that will be the case.”

You can apply that to Baylor.

“In closing, let me say that this case involves tragic and tragically unnecessary circumstances.”

You can apply that to Baylor.

“One of the grave dangers stemming from our love of sports is that the sports themselves can 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 value of hero worship and winning at all costs. “

You can most certainly apply that to Baylor.

Penn State was fined $60 million with the funds to be used to establish an endowment to support programs around the nation that serve the victims of child sexual abuse and seek to prevent such abuse from happening. The Nittany Lions were banned from postseason play for four years and scholarships were drastically reduced. The NCAA vacated wins and placed Penn State on five years probation.

Some of the penalties were reduced in 2015, but a message was sent. The message that was sent to Penn State in 2012 can apply to Baylor in 2016.

 

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