What Do You Think of Penn State’s Punishments?
by – Mary A. LaClair
Were Penn State punishments too severe, just right or too shallow?
The question may be asked: was the judgment fair to some assumed innocent players who played hard for past victories ?
Haboring a criminal is guilt by association even if ‘the protector’ didn’t do the crime themselves. There are reasons for these laws. It could be concluded that with knowledge of the alleged incidents which they refused to confront they continued to ‘harbor a criminal’. Worse than harboring a criminal, this case permitted ongoing wrongs.
In addition to harboring a criminal, guilt by association is often a part of American justice for all. It is put there as a safeguard. If there are drugs found in a vehicle all occupants are guilty by association. Common sense says: ‘be careful of the friends you choose because you will be judged by the company you keep.’ It is always good advice ‘to keep oneself above suspicion’.
Further, law regulates there are such things as ‘accessory before the fact, accessory to the fact and accessory after the fact.’ One need not be guilty of the deed, only enabling the deed, to be considered guilty of contributing to the deed itself.
Philosophically, ‘what one permits, one approves’ and ‘silence means approval’. Sadly, this concept has been lost in much of today’s ‘too permissive’ society. Accepting everything that’s dumped on one’s doorstep is to live in a garbage heap. America seems to be accumulating a lot of random acts of garbage. Proper selection and proper de-selection must be decided upon. Even ‘no decision’ is a decision. It is a decision to continue in the present state. Lack of this sorting action may come from fear of making a false accusation – however investigation done properly is never wrong. Note the words ‘done properly’ which has no room for coercion or threats or mistreatment.
There is a delicate balance to be maintained; but we seem to have lost that balance today in favor of erroneous acceptance of everything, and the pendulum sometimes has to swing to the extreme in order to bring it back to proper balance.
I think the punishment for Penn State is quite appropriate and not overdone. All schools are on notice now that the NCAA will not tolerate the sort of things that took place at Penn State.
‘What you compromise to keep; you lose.’ Penn State Football compromised themselves for the sake of their football team …and money; it appears that they have lost a large portion of each.
Perhaps the fine could have been higher? Perhaps banned from having a football team at all ….for a period of four years? In view of that, the current punishment could be considered light?
As to the innocent players in the past… well, they need to know that it is not whether one wins or loses, but how one plays the game. The victorious players in past years had the enjoyment of playing the game – but we all need to learn that some victories do not last forever.