Monday, July 23, 2012

Random Thoughts (July 23, 2012)

The NCAA got it right with its punishment of Penn State.

The school, which is paying the price for the sexual abuse committed by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and the negligence to report the abuse by a group of school leaders that included head coach Joe Paterno, did not get the "Death Penalty" which many people believed they deserved but did receive a punishment that is fitting and fair.

Penn State will pay $60-million to programs that work to prevent sexual abuse of children, be banned from playing in a bowl game for four years, lose scholarships, and have to vacate every win the football team posted from 1998 (when school leadership first learned of Sandusky's crimes) through 2011.  That part of the punishment erases 112 wins (which drops Paterno from first in the all-time coaching wins category to 12th), six bowl game victories, and two Big 10 Conference titles.  While I do believe that unfairly punishes the players that won those games and championships without knowledge of Sandusky's crimes or the cover-up that kept those crimes a secret for many years, the NCAA was right to punish Paterno and his legacy.  It is sad that those players are erased from the record books for crimes they did not commit but that is the collateral damage caused by this tragedy.

In punishing but not eliminating the school's football program, the NCAA has preserved hundreds if not thousands of jobs of people that are either directly or indirectly associated with Penn State football.  That would include coaches, stadium workers, and local businesses that rely on home games for revenue.  It also does not punish the players who came to Penn State to play football and earn an education that had nothing to do with the evil acts committed by Sandusky or the equally evil cover-up that Paterno was a part of for over a decade.

The school now begins the long journey of rebuilding it's image and reputation.  The new coach, former Patriots assistant Bill O'Brien, faces a nearly impossible task of trying to stay competitive within the penalties handed down by the NCAA while also trying to rebuild the tarnished image of what was once a model program.  O'Brien would have a tough enough journey in both replacing a legendary coach and competing against the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Nebraska on the field and on the recruiting trails without these sanctions. 

It will be interesting to not only see how O'Brien does but also how long he stays in Happy Valley.  What will be the school's expectations on the field?  How long will he have to rebuild on and off the field?  How long will O'Brien choose to stay in what seems to be a no-win situation? 


Is it time for the Red Sox to put Jon Lester on the disabled list?

He obviously needs time away from the game to get his head straight and to figure out why he has struggled and how to fix his issues.

After having a terrible first half of the season (5-6, 4.49 ERA, 1.35 WHIP in 18 starts), most people figured things could not get much worse and there was an expectation Lester would bounce back after the All-Star Game.

That has not been the case.  In two starts since the break, he is 0-2 with a 19.13 ERA and a WHIP of 3.00.

Whatever the issue is, Lester needs time off to fix it so a trip to the DL should be coming.


The choke job by Adam Scott during the closing round of the British Open yesterday not only handed the title to Ernie Els but it also probably ruined Scott's promising career.

It's going to be very difficult for Scott to forget the four bogeys he put up in the last four holes and move forward with his career. 

You don't recover easily from choking away a major championship.


Enjoy Adrian Gonzalez tonight.

No comments: