Mea Culpas Don’t Work That Way
Putting aside the fact that the NCAA and Mark Emmert had absolutely no jurisdiction at all to impart punishments related to a criminal case that did not involve a current active member of a university under its umbrella, the comedic side of this rigmarole is the way that certain national media outlets are now acting out against the 24-months-ago version of themselves; it’s almost as if they don’t think that anybody has a long-term memory. Make no mistake – ESPN was one of the main reasons why these sanctions were handed down in the first place. Indirectly, though.
The reduction of scholarships didn’t fix a problem. It didn’t right a wrong. Or wrong a right. What it did was bring attention back to the issue. And that is a good thing.
Not so much, Mark. The “decision to restore the football scholarships” is actually part of your “now I’ll play the savior role” routine.
The ESPN-led public outcry helped lead to the firing of Joe Paterno, which in turn fueled the fire that led to the expedited, pre-judiciary actions of Emmert and Ed Ray.
The entertainment, strike that, news company sent Tom Rinaldi & Friends to camp out in State College for three weeks and kept feeding incomplete information and misinformation and not-yet-known information (neither at that point nor currently) to the nation on all of its channels every 30 minutes before any judicial review had even started let alone thereafter never completed by the governing body of college athletics, which instead relied upon a report that has since been debunked by five individual, completely impartial reviewers and didn’t even bother to interview the four most important people related to the matter and not one fact had been confirmed. (That has to be one of the best run-on sentences of the year.)
By the time all others (CNN et al.) followed suit, the national pressure felt by the NCAA, which was reacting to the public outcry – which was born from and fed by the every-half-hour-on-the-half-hour segment on ESPN containing incomplete and unknown facts – was so strong that…you know the rest.
And the brain trust (it would be too kind to that group to even bother/waste time putting quotation marks around that term) of the university signed off on said report. That’s worse than any of it.
But when the scholarship reduction was announced nine days ago, ESPN couldn’t tell you fast enough how great this was for Penn State and how much its staff of senior reporters felt so strongly that this was justice for and deserved by the university.
So much more will be written about all of this – that’s a promise. But not today.