The Problem with the Mob Mentality

My Problem with the Mob Mentality


In case you’ve been in a cave or a coma for the past year, you might have missed that Penn State was caught in a cover-up of child molestation.  The shining example of the “Great Experiment” of creating a student first, athlete second football program, Joe Paterno was implicated in the Freeh Report as having a major role in the cover-up.

Once it was revealed that Joe Paterno had a major part to play in this scandal, it was hard not finding a reporter who wasn’t screaming for Penn State to get the Death Penalty, claiming that Penn State clearly violated the bylaws of the NCAA and exhibited a clear Lack of Institutional Control. In fact, you could claim that the reporters and fans had formed an angry mob, storming the gates of the NCAA begging for justice.

My only question: Why are reporters and fans so sure that justice for the Sandusky victims involves stripping Penn State of it’s football program if even for one season?

It’s as if the mob mentality has infected both reporters and fans to the point where they’re ignoring the unintended consequences of stripping Penn State football. Penn State Football is the moneymaker for the Penn State athletics, taking away football starves all other Penn State athletic programs that rely on that football money to trickle down to them.  The sports that would see the chopping block first: those fringe Title IX sports, sports that had nothing to do with the cover-up, lies or deception.

That’s one of the troubling things that about the mob mentality here, the reckless need for a pound of flesh makes the lives of students and student athletes disposable. In the mad rush to seek justice for one set of children, they’re leaving another set twisting in wind.

Author Robert Jordan once wrote that men mistake revenge for justice, that people generally lack the fortitude for true justice.  This bloodthirsty mentality of stripping Penn State of their football program doesn’t even come close to resembling justice, instead it reeks of a mob thirsty for blood and their need to find someone to punish.  I’m just hoping that at some point, sanity will take over and this bloodthirsty mob will take their pitchforks and go home, realizing their mistake.

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3 thoughts on “The Problem with the Mob Mentality

  1. Kevin Goode says:

    I agree with you that Penn State doesn’t deserve the death penalty from the NCAA. To my understanding, these aren’t matters in which the NCAA should be involved.

    As I’ve read through the highlights of the Freeh report, as I understand it most if not all of it falls into the realm of legal due process and is not an NCAA rules violation. Any move made against the Football program and you are right the trickle down it brings economically to other sports would just be retribution as opposed to justice.

    Justice is going to be served. It will just come in the form very large lawsuits. The college may find itself reeling from that form of justice far worse than any potential suspension of the football program.

    • natadedwards says:

      Kev, the reason the NCAA doesn’t even need to do anything is because the Cleary Act does more damage. Penn State is going to get a large chunk of their financial aid package stripped because they violated this act, and on top of this the lawsuits which are coming. So the football program may be dead, simply because the school won’t be able to afford it…but at the same time, I’d rather it go that route than having the NCAA take it away.

    • michael madigan says:

      IMHO, this is more of a legal issue with the NCAA CLEARLY acting outside of their chartered ability to act. I am at a loss as to why the current Penn State Board is abrogating their fiduciary duty owed to the school by accepting these crippling NCAA sanctions. There is a very clear and immediate remedy at hand. All the Board has to do is file a Declaratory Relief Judgment asking a court to review the very charter allegedly giving the NCAA its power to sanction. My legal experience tells me that a reviewing court will find these NCAA findings not within its expressed powers (even in the loosely interpreted “lack of institutional control” clause), and these sanctions will be found not within their authority and voided.

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