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Letters: Is Penn State's punishment fair?

July 25, 2012

Re "Penn State in perspective," Editorial, July 24

The Times writes, "The NCAA's action is notable for its swiftness and its severity, both of which were justified." I strongly disagree.

Why penalize current and past athletes for the deviant behavior of one individual and the failure of the late football coach Joe Paterno, trustees and administrators to take action when they learned of the abuse? Not only have innocent athletes been punished, but the penalty extends to students, alumni, Penn State supporters and all football fans.

Wiping out wins is revisionist history. Maybe NCAA executioners should reevaluate the criteria for meting out penalties that have little or nothing to do with violations that are intrinsically related to the football program.

Lenore Navarro Dowling

Los Angeles

Penn State drank the Kool-Aid that Paterno brewed for decades. It believed that the prestige of the university was intrinsically linked to the football program, that any black mark against the team would bring financial consequences to the school and that Paterno was irreplaceable.

Most of the big football schools are big because they have no competition from professional teams. As long as they win more games than they lose and occasionally get prestigious bowl invitations, the fans support them. The guy living in central Pennsylvania will not relinquish the season tickets he inherited from his grandfather because a former assistant coach was reported for sexual misconduct.

The saddest fallout is that Paterno damaged the two things he cared about passionately: the school he loved and his legacy. It was all so unnecessary.

Betty C. Duckman

Long Beach


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