Monday, 23 July 2012

NCAA PSU sanctions

I'm no defender of PSU or Joe Paterno, but the  "vacating of wins" announced in the NCAA's penalty to PSU over the Sandusky child abuse doesn't make much sense to me. I'm glad they've pulled down Paterno's statue and I wouldn't have minded if they'd simply shut down the program (of course, I wouldn't mind if they'd just shut down all Div. 1 athletics), but unless there's reason to think that the misdeeds contributed to the PSU victories in some meaningful way, I don't understand how we can reasonably try to claim that those wins didn't occur. Does the guy who now has the record for most football wins think that this somehow proves he actually coached more football wins than Paterno did? He presumably is a better human being than Paterno was, but seems to me that the "number of wins" metric still records what it always seemed to recorder regardless of what we know about Paterno's willingness to cover up child abuse. "Number of wins" is, to my mind, a simple metric, not a reward that the NCAA can somehow grant and retract.