Penn State and Sportsworld

The Star ran pictures of shock as students listened to the hard judgement of the NCAA over the Joe Paterno affair.$60 million dollar fine and kicked out of competition for four years, a cut in number of scholarships they could offer

Jerry Sandusky was a former member of Paterno’s coaching staff,who sexually abuses  was found guilty in June of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years sometimes on campus. The revelations were either concealed  or bypassed by officials.

Joe Paterno was a legendary coach who only retired in his mid 80s. But Joe Paterno was caught in Sportsworld, that parallel universe which exists in the USA.

To many Joe was a decent guy who demanded much from his athletes, but nobody remembers Joe challenging any of social ills of our age. Joe  had a sweet deal. He produced winning teams, made a huge salary—over $1 million a year with everything in. A football coach at a university. That salary plus the adulation put Joe to sleep as a moral agent. And he was one of the “good ones.”

That is Sportsworld where coaches make more than presidents of academic institutions, where alumni pony up millions to help recruit teen age gladiators and tell Joe Paterno how great he was.

And now Joe’s statue has been removed from the campus. Sic transit gloria mundi.

That is part of the sickness of America. People are supposed to care if Penn beats Ohio State.They may or may not vote but boy do they support  their football teams.

In OHIO there are over 50 universities. Can you imagine the education you get in these places And the role that sport plays?

And it filters down to high schools where thousands flock on Friday night to see the inherent cruelty of teen agers maiming others.

Sportsworld—part of the reason Americans are not in the streets  demanding the heads of the banksters.Trvial pursuits.

Sportsworld—the bible would call it idolatry.

Don’t expect Penn State to be a wake up call. The sickness is too deep



  1. 1
    wmgrace Says:

    The fall of Joe Paterno is an incredible story. There is a bit of everything here; fame, fortune, sports glory, incalculable sorrow, devastating betrayal of the most vulnerable by the most acclaimed, a sports giant of epic proportions who falls from grace in the most shocking and dishonourable way. Not to forget the other participants, the entire school, the education system and the very culture of America, which are also implicated in the crime.

    The reference to idolatry is fitting. At Penn State, God was totally eclipsed by the importance of wins and losses. Children were sacraficed on the altar of the sportsworld. As if we needed to be shocked any further, the story also reveals a malaise in America which is almost too deep to comprehend and absorb – which is why I think most people will see this as more of an isolated incident involving Penn State and believe it can be dealt with quickly, without a lot of collateral damage to surrounding institutions and beliefs.

  2. 2

    Right on brother Ted!

  3. 3
    theobloke Says:

    The $60 million that Penn State got fined should have gone to the victims for their benefit, not to the coffers of the NCAA football. Bret Musberger nailed this one: focus should be on the victims not the football program or the players.

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