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Letters: Punishment at Penn State

A statue of former Penn State head football

A statue of former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno was taken down after a report that he and other officials hushed up child sex abuse allegations. (July 19, 2012) Credit: AP

With the removal of Joe Paterno's statue from Penn State and the imposition of penalties on the university and its athletic department, many ask why students should be punished for incidents in which they had no control or no involvement ["Penn State deserved more," Editorial, July 24].

I believe the punishments and prosecutions did not go far enough. In particular, there is evidence that Pennsylvania's former attorney general, Gov. Tom Corbett, had knowledge of the scandal for years. Corbett began the investigation but turned it over to acting Attorney General William H. Ryan Jr. in January 2011, when Corbett took the oath as governor.

When assault on children is involved, there simply is no excuse. Corbett's delays were purely political. Why not pursue this case? Penn State and its football program, run by Joe Paterno, were so revered in Pennsylvania that the investigation and prosecution of anyone involved with that program would have been political suicide.

Corbett needs to be removed from office. Unfortunately, there is still sufficient reverence for Penn State football that this will never happen. Until it does, there can be no justice for those who were assaulted by Jerry Sandusky.

Leonard Cohen, Wantagh
 

Had Paterno's statue not been taken down, perhaps a fitting inscription would have been, "Self-interest makes cowards of us all."

Paterno was not a bad man who did good things, but a good man who did a bad thing.

Bob Hoffman, Jericho
 

The NCAA took away 111 wins from the Penn State football program. The punishment did not consider the kids who played their hearts out for these wins.

I hope that the NCAA will pay them perhaps $1,000 per player, per game. The kids did not cause this problem, so why are they punished? The NCAA must make them whole.

Cliff Woodrick, Moriches
 

The Penn State scandal became about football because it appears that the former leadership feared reprisals to its program. Not to say their actions were in any way appropriate, but let's face it, the NCAA is big business, with its TV contracts and sponsorships. Scandal creates a loss in revenue.

The very sad part is that the crimes were not about sports at all. A sick, perverted man used his position as a former coach and head of a children's charity to abuse boys. Time and again, we learn of sexual predators positioning themselves within organizations where they have influence on children.

Those being punished by the NCAA are just another group of innocent victims: every student at Penn State, past and current players, scholarship candidates, and residents of State College whose livelihoods rely on football weekends.

An educational institution did not protect children. I am not sure what the correct punishment is, but certainly hurting more innocent victims is not the solution.

Mary Lownes, Amagansett

Editor's note: The writer is a 1982 Penn State University graduate.

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