By Norman Moskowitz
I was disappointed, but not surprised, that the Penn State-Nebraska game as well as the rest of the season’s schedule was not canceled last Saturday. The alleged crimes and cover up were so serious that the priority should have been the continuation of the investigation of the criminal and civil aspects of this affair. The future of major college football can be decided on later.
The culture of America is continually a story of the influence of money and associated greed. We see it in politics, lobbying and legislation at all levels, sports, and in many other areas.
The purpose of a college or university is education and not in running a minor league for professional sports. Overemphasis on college sports goes back almost a hundred years. President Robert Maynard Hutchins of the University of Chicago shut down his top echelon football program, due to concern over the problems which big time college sports brought with it. Many, but not enough, of our top colleges and universities have kept control over their sports programs. Spring football practice is not allowed, full athletic scholarships are not awarded, and academic requirements are enforced. Intramural athletics, which all students are required to participate in, is more important than intercollegiate athletics.
Schools like Penn State will have to adjust to the reality of finding other ways to meet their budget requirements, rather than depending on an inappropriately large football or basketball program.
I hope that one of the results of this episode is the de-emphasis of current football programs at certain Universities.
Penn State and other Universities have excellent academic programs, and will survive the current distortion in values. The disgraced president and football coach at Penn State have made major contributions in their fields, and it is sad to see them end their careers in this manner. The problems of those who are being, and will be punished for their roles in this scandal are less than the trauma and long-term psychological lifetime stresses inflicted on the abused children.