After reading chapter 5 in the book Game Over by Dave Zirin, he indicated how politics played a huge role in the Penn State scandal that happened in 2011. Jerry Sandusky was the guy behind the scandal which lead to his imprisonment for child sex abuse. Sandusky was the assistant coach to Joe Paterno, who was charged as well because he knew what was going on during the time, but failed to tell anyone. Zirin indicated that Paterno didn’t tell anyone because he didn’t want to hurt the reputation of Penn State’s football program and school. Not only were these two men punished for their actions, Penn State was punished as well.
Penn State was punished harshly for the actions Paterno and Sandusky did. These punishments included a $60 million dollar fine, a 4 year ban from the postseason, and their records were wiped from 1998-2011. Was this punishment to harsh or was it just right? Many believe, including Zirin, that this punishment was way to harsh. Why did the NCAA have to punish the players/program by wiping their records, banning them from the postseason for 4 years, and fining them $60 million? These punishments impacted Penn States football program badly, as players don’t want to go there, especially without being able to play for the championship. These punishments handed down to Penn State will forever impact the program leaving them with these certain type of reputation and stigma. These punishments brought by the NCAA were to help change Penn State’s vision on academics and sports. They wanted to send a message implying that Penn State will never place football over academics.
Politics play huge roles in sports that are sometimes negative or positive, which athletes have to overcome to gain success. This is what Penn State will have to do, they will have to overcome this and build from this in order to gain success and bring back a dominant football program.
Zirin, D. (2013). Game Over: How Politics Has Turned The Sports World Upside Dow. New York, United States of America: The New Press