There's no question to what has been the biggest sports news over the last couple of weeks.
However, there are plenty of questions surrounding all the scandal and epic events that have occurred at Penn State in the wake of Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse.
Sure there are the questions that were answered by the Louis Free Report and all the how's and why's of such a horrific event. But there are now those questions beyond the initial reaction to the traumatic and disgusting actions of the former Penn State coach.
Monday, the NCAA handed down sanctions to the College Park school stating they were fined $60 restricted on scholarships and stripped of victories from 1998-2011.
Those sanctions bring about the biggest question to me - Why?
Why there needed to be punishment is crystal clear. No one should be allowed to go about doing what the vile Sandusky did without serious, serious repercussions. So he got what was coming to him. But also no one should turn a blind eye when people are in need, especially children. So Penn State should be punished.
But my question is why by the NCAA?
Sure the administration of the football program, including the highest-of-high Penn State personalities, Joe Paterno, falls into the realm of athletics. But the group didn't allow a player to practice against their rules, they didn't pay a player to play a game and they didn't cheat to acquire all those wins.
They acted illegally and immorally and didn't affect the outcome of a several games; they affected the outcome of several lives.
So why did the NCAA need to get involved? I think the message is out to other programs, that they shouldn't act humanely. Hopefully other schools hire people on how they act as decent human beings, not how they affect the win column.
So, no they didn't have to set an example.
I think they got involved in order to say they are involved.
But that brings up another question. When will we learn that sports and life can be separated?
What happened at Penn State was due to a sick person. But it was also due to a culture that puts sports on such a high pedestal. The Penn State administration was worried about its football program. The Free report shows that Paterno already had at least a glimmer of an idea what was going on, and then chose not to report his star defensive coordinator.
As the abuse continued to occur, it not only was Sandusky's fault but also Paterno and Penn State. They let it happen so that their great football careers could continue. Sports became so big to the point that they thought it surpassed morality.
Why then would the NCAA say that their business, sports, was bigger than the law (civil courts) and inflict punishment first?
That's what helped continue the Sandusky atrociousness.
We need to realize that sports aren't the end-all, be-all. The courts should certainly bring it to Sandusky and those who allowed him to continue.
Let the higher levels of our society (yes the law is higher than sports) handle punishments of crime.
Don't get me wrong, the crime was so horrible, punishments should be given from any and everywhere.
But I'm afraid the question of whether sports has become so big as to let such things happen is only perpetuated by this and not answered in a way that satisfies at least this writer: no, sports aren't above the law, and more importantly, not above what is right and wrong.