The Holocaust never happened, slavery was non-existent in the U.S., and the NASA moon-landing was faked. There are certain groups of people who attempt to rewrite history by denying events that don’t fit their beliefs or conscience. It is a repugnant practice wrought with danger, and is unacceptable to reputable scientists, historians and journalists. More often than not, these groups operate outside acceptable normal behavior and thought processes, but this story is about one of the “than nots,” better known as the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Recently, as most of America and the world already knows, the NCAA fined Penn State $60 million dollars, stripped it of 10 scholarships, prevented its participation in any bowl games for the next 4 years, and vacated 112 wins for the sole purpose of reducing Joe Paterno from the winning-est coach in collegiate history to twelfth place. A fall from grace seemed inevitable if you ever visited Happy Valley. State College was infected by Penn State football and its head coach by an eerie and ethereal world of fanaticism. For this reason, I was never a Penn State fan nor was I fond of Joe Paterno, so I’m not a fanatical supporter of the Blue and White.
As a former football player and captain of a high school track team, I was lucky enough to participate with some fantastic athletes and teams that won a number of championships. I know the daily grind of practice, the pain that results from the hitting, the physical strain, and the mental stress needed to achieve such high goals. No one can take certain things away from you . . . not the roar of the crowd, not the shouts and cheers at the track, not the satisfaction of winning something with your own hands and feet. However, the NCAA thinks it can. Although I’m on the fence, about the other sanctions, I am appalled at the gall of this organization to dismiss 112 wins just to topple the record of Joe Paterno. The NCAA was an organization that was founded over 100 years ago to protect the players. By what authority does this group rewrite history? By what authority does it tell the players that won these games for Penn State, that they never played? Adam Taliaferro, who was severely injured in a 2000 game against Ohio, now walks with a metal plate in his neck. Perhaps the NCAA can remove that painful cumbersome device, now that Adam knows he never actually played in the game. By what authority? The NCAA exists due to the good graces of the sports teams that support it. Time for a change. No Jews were killed, no blacks enslaved, no one walked on the moon, and Taliaferro was never paralyzed.