| Click for the Finfacts Ireland Portal Homepage |

Finfacts Business News Centre

Home 
 
 News
 Irish
 Irish Economy
 EU Economy
 US Economy
 UK Economy
 Global Economy
 International
 Property
 Innovation
 
 Analysis/Comment
 
 Asia Economy

RSS FEED


How to use our RSS feed

Follow Finfacts on Twitter

 
Web Finfacts

See Search Box lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.

Welcome

Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and you are in its business news section.

Links

Finfacts Homepage

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Daily Rates

Irish Economy

Global Income Per Capita

Global Cost of Living

Irish Tax - Income/Corporate

Global News

Bloomberg News

CNN Money

Cnet Tech News

Newspapers

Irish Independent

Irish Times

Irish Examiner

New York Times

Financial Times

Technology News

 

Feedback

 

Content Management by interactivetools.com.

Analysis/Comment Last Updated: Nov 15, 2011 - 6:00 AM


Dr. Peter Morici: Penn State’s Stain; Big time sports harm universities
By Professor Peter Morici
Nov 15, 2011 - 3:46 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page
Linebacker Nate Stupar runs through a human tunnel made up of cheerleaders and football alumni lettermen as he is introduced for senior day Saturday, Nov. 12, at Beaver Stadium, University Park, Pennsylvania. Source: Penn State

Dr. Peter Morici: The scandal at Penn State is more than a stain on a storied college football program and patriarchic coach. It is an indictment against universities who continue the pretense that big time sports support their academic mission.

In 2002, a graduate assistant reported to Coach Joe Paterno that he witnessed Jerry Sandusky—an emeritus coach and founder of the Second Mile Foundation for disadvantaged boys - - perform anal sex on a 10 year old in the football locker room. Paterno informed Athletic Director Tim Curley and Senior Vice President with responsibility for campus police Gary Schultz. After not much was done, Paterno said nothing to the police or President Graham Spanier, even as Sandusky continued full use of university and football facilities as an emeritus faculty.

Curley and Schultz did report to Spanier that Sandusky had been “horsing around in the showers” with a young child, apparently thinking, like Paterno, passing the incident up the line, even if untruthfully reported, would absolve them from legal and moral responsibility.

The Grand Jury report implies Spanier accepted the Curley and Schultz account at face value, and he did not investigate further or call the police. Spanier’s academic background is in marriage and family counseling, and he, as much as anyone, should have seen their motives, investigated further and called the police. He did not act.

No doubt, a scandal involving Sandusky would have damaged Paterno’s legacy - - the until now unquestioned integrity of Penn State’s football program. For Spanier, a scandal would have impaired an important fund raising asset. Those are not excuses for looking the other way when confronted with such a heinous crime.

University faculty are keenly aware that students learn most from our example, and I know no decent president, coach or other faculty member who teaches it is appropriate to be silent when confronted by terrible acts.

Curly and Schultz have been indicted for lying to the grand jury and failing to report the 2002 incident to the police, but culpability should extend to Paterno and Spanier for their silence and what followed.

After the 2002 incident, Sandusky continued to have access to Penn State athletic and football facilities—which he used for his twisted purpose. By their silence and inaction, Paterno and Spanier are accomplices to subsequent crimes committed by Sandusky.

False loyalty to Penn State football reaches deep into the community and is terribly corrupting, as illustrated by the inaction of Pennsylvania law enforcement. In 1998, a mother accused Sandusky of molesting her son. To the woman, he declined to deny touching the boy’s private parts and said “I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness.”

Sandusky admitted to Department of Public Welfare and police investigators other wrongful acts, yet Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar declined to prosecute, and saw no reason to use the threat of prosecution to require Sandusky to discontinue his programs for boys.

Universities bend admissions to unbelievable contortions to recruit talented young men, and faculty are asked to make special provisions for athletes. Alumni and community leaders rationalize university sports programs permit disadvantaged youths opportunities they would not otherwise enjoy and bring in lots of cash to their alma maters - - but it is simply not worth the corrupting consequences or very profitable to the academic mission of most institutions.

Small transparent transgressions erode administration and faculty integrity. Small deeds beget bigger and more opaque sins, and eventually, morally rudderless faculty shade grades, and coaches and presidents like Paterno and Spanier do even worse. And every several years, scandals like Penn State’s emerge - - gambling, sex or otherwise.

Many of the athletes who would not otherwise be admitted get used - - they end up with no degree or a worthless diploma from a soft program. A good deal of the money raised goes back into athletic programs, donors that could be approached to contribute to academic purposes are diverted to sports, and academic programs on a net basis profit little and perhaps get penalized.

Fund raising for a major academic program at the University of Maine in the 1980s, so often potential donors told me they could not give anything or much because they supported the Black Bears NCAA Division I national championship hockey program.

If all the major universities disarmed and took the route of the Ivy League or military service academies, less money would be raised overall but more money likely would be available for academic programs.

All universities are not going to disarm, and it may be the lesser evil to admit big time programs in football and few other sports are farm systems for pro leagues.

Let 30 or so major universities have teams affiliated with their institutions and a pro franchise, but require those teams to be strictly self financing based on ticket sales and contributions from their professional team. Pay the athletes, offer them the opportunity to earn a degree over five or even six years, but don’t require them to enroll if they are not capable or are simply disinclined.

Then all the other universities could have walk on programs for genuine amateurs, and those programs, in a manner similar to the Ivies and military academies, could compete at a level that compliments a decent university education.

After all, a quality education is why young people should go to college.

Peter Morici,

Professor, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland,

College Park, MD 20742-1815,

703 549 4338 Phone

703 618 4338 Cell Phone

pmorici@rhsmith.umd.edu

http://www.smith.umd.edu/lbpp/faculty/morici.html

http://www.smith.umd.edu/faculty/pmorici/cv_pmorici.htm

Related Articles
Related Articles


© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

Top of Page

Analysis/Comment
Latest Headlines
Disastrous 44-year War on Drugs and ignoring the evidence
HSBC & Tax Evasion: France/ Belgium issued criminal charges; UK/ Ireland nothing
Analysis: Germany world's top surplus economy; UK tops deficit ranks
Facts do not always change minds - can even entrench misinformed
Finfacts changes from 2015
Facts of 2014: Guinness not Irish; 110 people own 35% of Russia's wealth
In defence of dissent and Ireland's nattering nabobs of negativism
Dreams of European Growth: France and Italy facing pre-euro economic problems
Globalization's new normal needs permanent underclass - Part 1
MH17 and Gaza: who is responsible?
Israel vs Palestine: Colonization set for major expansion
Aviva Ireland's 'fund' runs dry and life cover to die for
We wish Martin Shanahan - new IDA Ireland chief - well but...
Ireland as an Organised Hypocrisy is in lots of company
Dr Peter Morici: Friday’s US jobs report won’t alter Fed plans to raise interest rates
Own Goal: Could FIFA have picked worse World Cup hosts?
Ireland: Spin and spending will not save bewildered Coalition
Irish Government parties set for 2-year vote buying spending spree
European Parliament: Vote No. 1 for Diarmuid O'Flynn in Ireland South
Dr Peter Morici: US April jobs report may show 215,000 added in April
Dr Peter Morici: Hardly time to call Obamacare a success
Celtic Tiger RIP: Change in conservative Ireland six years after crash
Dr Peter Morici: Five things to know about the Fed’s obsession with inflation
In age of acronym/ Google, Trinity to rebrand as 'Trinity College, the University of Dublin’
Hoeness case part of ‘painful’ change for Swiss bankers
Dr Peter Morici: The Cold War was only on vacation
Dr Peter Morici: US economy drags on Obama's approval ratings; Don’t look for changes in Washington
Dr Peter Morici: Bitcoin debacle shatters the myth of virtual money
Dr Peter Morici: US Tax Reform: Eliminate the income tax and IRS altogether
Wealth threatens the simple life in Gstaad, Switzerland
Irish journalists get cash payouts over 'homophobic' defamation claim
Irish academics get lavish pension top-ups as private pensions struggle
Dr Peter Morici: Inequality is President Obama’s highest priority, but solutions are naive
The Finfacts Troika: Better times ahead and a hangover to forget?
Dr Peter Morici: Volcker Rule arrives with the hidden jewel in Dodd-Frank financial reforms
Ireland's toothless fiscal watchdog threatens to bark
Analysis: Germany's current account surplus - - Part 2
The end of western affluence?
Bono's hypocrisy on Africa, corporate tax avoidance in Ireland
France like Ireland is run for the benefit of the old