As the Penn State drama comes to some sort of closure, I can’t help but tell myself (and anyone who will listen) that this whole tragedy was made worse because of sports.
It wasn’t bad enough that someone was molesting children. But that person was shielded from consequences by the people around him. The victims were ignored. Everyone’s goal was to protect a college athletic program.
I understand college sports are big money. My family dealt with the NCAA process when the twins were being scouted. I know what money was spent for track athletes, with the understanding that there was so much more money tied up in the big sports: football and basketball.
But when did sports become more important then the people playing them? What does this say about us as a society?
The sad thing, this sports incident is only one of many. Each year there are stories of parents throwing punches at little league games, umpires being attacked, and other unruly behaviors. The message we send as a society is that we only care about the sport.
I have no idea if the NCAA sanctions are appropriate or not. I know there are people who have very passionate feelings about that. What I do think is that anyone and everyone involved in the coverup of the Penn State tragedy should be dismissed from their position. No one should still have their job when this is all over.
Most of all, I hope that the victims feel vindicated at last. I hope they feel that they matter. I want that more than anything.