PSU’s history tarnished

Recent events at Penn State reveal a more complex problem.

Daily Editorial Board

College sports have lost a giant in football. One of the sport’s most revered programs in our nation’s history is now linked with ignominy; its reputation as the end all, be all in college football has been tarnished.

The postseason ban, fine and scholarship reductions sanctioned by the NCAA against Penn State are warranted given the disgusting ineptitude displayed by the football program’s leaders and administrators. The forfeiture of wins and the removal of coach Joe Paterno’s statue outside Beaver Stadium are punishments meant to wound, though they may hurt players more than they sting the guilty parties involved.

Whether these penalties were necessary or not, one idea has come out of this mess: exorbitant amounts of money, sports and college do not mix well. University presidents are losing power in athletic decisions — especially when the decision involves a decrease in funding — and sports have taken over to such a degree that values that universities include in mission statements are at risk of deteriorating. In Penn State’s case, the reputation and financial earnings of the football program were chosen to protect child molestation victims. College sports are supposed to be representative of a school’s values and commitment to promoting excellence in athletics and education. No amount of money can repair the damage that has been done at Penn State, though it was the threat of lost financial earnings that quietly fueled the flame of scandal, eventually causing a legacy to burn to the ground.

No matter how losing our beloved Gophers may be, I would prefer to know that the values I strive to live by as I obtain my degree will always be upheld by the University, on and off the field. Achievement in sports is not a substitute for a life lived with integrity.