Penn State Scandal Proves We're Too Obsessed With Football

penn state footballAs details continue to emerge in the Penn State sex abuse scandal, and the country continues to be appalled with said details, the school and its college football program are under the microscope like never before. A new poll from USA TODAY/Gallup has found that among people following the disturbing tale of Jerry Sandusky, most are for the firing of Joe Paterno. What's more, they think the Penn State football program had become "too powerful." Although that seems like the kind of thing that should be assumed and something we all realize now, it shouldn't go without saying. 

Scandals of this magnitude only seem to occur when organizations (e.g., the Catholic church) or individuals have too much power and, by extension, can be far too insulated from the law/real-world consequences for years

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Yeah, college football programs like Penn State's are important to the players and the fans and the school. It offers everyone a source of pride, and maybe sometimes the players go on to be big shots in the NFL. That's just a fault of the sports world -- winners become celebrities, and celebrities obtain power. But, for that reason, fans have to shoulder at least some of the blame here. Because their obsession with football ultimately contributes to famous and popular sports figures obtaining a dangerous amount of power. 

It's the amount of power that creates an environment in which those on a pedestal are given the opportunity to do absolutely reprehensible things and/or be protected when they do commit disgusting acts. I'm sure a million and one thoughts crossed Mike McQueary's and Joe Paterno's minds when they considered whether or not to expose Sandusky, but one of the main things had to be that they wanted to protect the Penn State name. Prevent it from becoming tarnished and disgraced ... but also maintain the institution's power.

Sadly, by choosing inaction, they achieved exactly the opposite. Penn State may have been an empire ... but now we should realize that's not something they can be proud of. Now that their empire has fallen, we should take note that it was ultimately the football program's fatal flaw.

Do you agree that the Penn State football program had too much power?

 

Image via Caitlin Regan/Flickr

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