Friday, January 04, 2013

What Is It About "Putz" That Corbett Doesn't Understand?


"Not suffering fools gladly"...

"It is used to describe a person who is so passionately committed to a vital cause that he doesn’t have time for social niceties toward those idiots who stand in its way. It is used to suggest a level of social courage; a person who has the guts to tell idiots what he really thinks".

Penn State: Lessons Not Learned

If it were possible to compound the reasons for outrage over the serial child rape committed at Penn State, Gov. Tom Corbett took a brazenly misguided step in that direction Wednesday. The governor filed a federal lawsuit to force the N.C.A.A. to revoke the highly deserved sanctions imposed on the school and its powerful football program for a scandal that reached the highest levels of the university.

Governor Corbett barely mentioned the young victims in complaining that the state’s economy, its citizens, students and, of course, the all-important Pennsylvania State University football fans were being unfairly penalized for the abuse and rape of children by Jerry Sandusky, the imprisoned former assistant coach who for years used the football program as a lure for his young victims.

Surrounded by a claque of business leaders, students, politicians and athletes, Governor Corbett held a pep rally to announce the suit. He denounced the N.C.A.A. as unfairly crimping the lucrative football program — largely ignoring the core finding by a special inquiry last July that “the most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”

The inquiry found concern for the vaunted football program led to a long-running cover-up of Sandusky’s behavior by top university officials, including Joe Paterno, the disgraced football coach who died last January. The sanctions were agreed to in July by the university, which is not a party to the governor’s lawsuit. They included a $60 million fine, four years’ suspension from bowl game participation and the expunging of the university’s victory records during the Sandusky years. They were initially endorsed by Governor Corbett, a member of the Penn State board of trustees, as “part of the corrective process.” But Mr. Corbett, who is facing re-election next year, said he since concluded the N.C.A.A. violated its own rules and sought to “pile on” the university to counteract complaints that it was too often “soft” in disciplining misbehavior.

In his foolhardy lawsuit, the governor bypassed incoming state attorney general Kathleen Kane to hire an outside law firm to pursue his case in the name of the state. Ms. Kane declined to comment, but in her election campaign last year she promised to look into why it took so long for the pedophilia scandal to be investigated when Mr. Corbett previously served as attorney general.

In his complaints, the governor only confirmed the inquiry finding that the university’s obsession with football predominance helped drive the cover-up of Mr. Sandusky’s crimes. Mr. Corbett extolled football’s “economic engine” and bemoaned the “diminution in value of the Penn State educational and community experience” because it relied, he emphasized, “in part on the prominence of the Penn State football program.”

It would be hard to imagine a more shortsighted misunderstanding of the scandal that continues to shake Penn State. The university is wise to accept the sanctions, whatever the governor hopes to accomplish. The penalties have caused considerable resentment among the more avid Penn State fans, but Mr. Corbett denied politics underlies his complaint. He pictured Penn State caught in the “eye of a media storm” and left to “clean up this tragedy that was created by the few.”

 The governor should know better than anyone that the tragedy is all about the outrageous abuse of children at Penn State, not continuing the business of football for Penn State fans.