You read that correctly.
THE Pennsylvania State University needs to get the death penalty.
Not the football program.
Not the athletic department.
The whole university!
This isn’t about one pedophile (Jerry Sandusky) using his position to prey on children, or a legendary coach (Joe Paterno) trying to cover his legacy, or an Athletic Director who acted more like an Athletic Supporter, or even a President who swept the whole mess under the rug.
No…this is about an entire university systematically covering up what they knew to be true: one of their coaches was sexually assaulting children.
One of their coaches even caught him in the act, and PSU leaders did not bother to go to the police.
Joe Paterno–who marketed himself in terms of winning “with honor”–was an integral part of the coverup. His failures were not simply a matter of failing to make that extra phone call: he had multiple opportunities to do the right thing, and passed on every opportunity.
The football program will–and should–get a death sentence. When that happens, booster donations are going to fall like a brick, costing the university substantial revenues.
Alumni contributions will drop like a doomed paratrooper, costing the university even more revenues.
Sandusky’s victims–a large number–will have a very big lawsuit in the making. And they will–and should–win the suit.
When that happens, Penn State will enter a period of “financial exigency”. In the academic world, those are the words no one wants to hear: that means they will be slashing everything they can: from staff to faculty to entire degree programs and academic departments. Tenured professors won’t even be safe.
At that point, the people of Pennsylvania will be faced with a very large elephant in the room: will it even be worth it to continue the university as a going concern?
My answer is NO.
Forget about business models and revenue forecasts and regaining solvency. It may take 50 years for Penn State to rebuild their image. It isn’t worth it.
There are already plenty of fine colleges and universities in Pennsylvania: Bucknell University, Carnegie-Mellon, University of Pittsburgh, Lehigh University, Drexel University, Temple University, University of Pennslyvania, Kutztown University, Shippensburg State University, Millersville University, Messiah College.
The good departments–such as engineering and sciences–could easily be annexed by Carnegie-Mellon or Lehigh or Pitt, with the rest of the university dissolved.
The taxpayers don’t need the albatross of Penn State. The state is better without the university.