Editor’s note: This blog is written by Richard Anderson, Business Program Chair, Minnesota School of Business – Shakopee.
Well it had to happen, the NCAA announced unprecedented sanctions today against Penn State, including fining the school $60 million and banning it from bowl games for four years in response to the child-sexual-abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky. The sanctions also included vacating all of Penn State’s wins from 1998 to 2011 and reducing scholarships available at the university. I am not a big fan of PSU, but why punish anybody that had nothing to do with this horrific crime?
Now I know that I will get a lot of the readers up off of their seat and shout at me that I must be nuts! Apart from the last part being true, how would you like me to behave in the manner that the NCAA did. Let’s say I find one individual cheating on a test in my class. Do I punish the whole class by failing everyone because of this one cheater? According
to the NCAA, I should punish everyone who took this class during the time this cheater was attending school. This is what is nuts!
Fine the school, punish its leaders, absolutely since they participated in this crime. We
spent many hours in Business Ethics, Human Resource Law, Leadership and Management, even Finance and Economics, discussing the obligation both legally and morally on what Paterno and his superiors should have done and failed to do. I would demand to hold all of these participants to the highest standard. But why punish the athletes that weren’t even around when this happened and future athletes who don’t even go to PSU now?
I know you will argue that forcing these athletes to go elsewhere due to lack of scholarships and Bowl Games will indirectly punish the school. What a lark! Ok students here is your test question this week – are scholarships a limited and scarce resource? And if so, what happens to the economic participants when they run out? Think for a moment… RIGHT – somebody who would have gotten a scholarship at any school in the country now loses out. It may not even be at PSU! For those who haven’t taken economics, say the football player who was going to PSU on a scholarship now can’t, so
they go to U of Minnesota on a scholarship. That means someone who was going to go to Minnesota can’t, because the scholarship is not available. This poor Minnesota kid is flat out of luck. What did he or she have to do with the PSU scandal? NOTHING!!
This is what is wrong often with our Educational system (don’t get me going). We’re back in Kindergarten when we all had to put our heads down because the teacher couldn’t make a bloody decision and punish the perpetrators. Remember, “equal outcomes” is our
goal – give me a break. What a bunch of crap. In the Business world, there are no “equal outcomes” You win or lose, you compete or die.
Let’s punish those involved and leave the innocents alone!