Jerry Sandusky’s crimes were so heinous, the only solution is to shut down Penn State’s football program. At least, that’s the growing refrain in the wake of announced penalties from the NCAA and Big 10. A google search for “‘shut down’ + ‘penn state’ + football” yields more than a million results, and almost 20,000 of those are from the 24 hours following the announcement. The broader search for “shut down penn state football” yields over 3.5 million results. The rhetoric isn’t just from one side either. From the Daily Kos to Red State, from Dana Loesch to the Washington Post there seems to be bipartisan support for tearing down Penn State’s football program.
But why stop there? Is shuttering the football program enough? Why don’t we shut down Penn State too? If shutting down their football program would teach them a lesson, imagine what they would learn from having their whole school shuttered for a year, or five. But even that might not be a harsh enough penalty. After all, the football programs themselves are the source of problem. So let’s just cut to the chase, bite the bullet, and kill NCAA football for a decade. With no football, the next Sandusky will surely be thwarted. Or will he? We had better get rid of all the other college sports too.
Of course, if athletic programs are the demons, the universities are their enablers, and we can’t allow them to escape free of punishment. If we are truly serious about keeping our kids safe, we’ll just shutter every college in the country. Yes, only then can we ensure the safety of our children. Only then can we move forward.