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In saving Penn State’s reputation, good name lost

July 21, 2012
Salem News

The conclusions reached by investigators looking into the sex scandal at Penn State University should prompt soul searching among those involved in college and university sports throughout the nation. A 267-page report on the tragedy found that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's predation against boys could have been stopped years ago, had Penn State officials including the late Coach Joe Paterno acted against him instead of worrying about tarnishing the Nittany Lions' reputation.

Now, it is tarnished beyond repair, in a way.

Misdeeds and outright crimes by players and coaches at some colleges and universities may not be as despicable as what Sandusky did, but all too often they are covered up for the same reasons as those that motivated Penn State officials.

Perpetuating a culture that tolerates misbehavior in order to avoid casting an unflattering light on a sports program is wrong, of course. It can result in great, lasting harm.

That is something coaches and higher education administrators should remember in dealing with everything from recruiting violations to assault.

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Blaming someone else for his own failures has worked well for President Barack Obama in the past. Apparently he thinks the strategy can still work.

With three straight months of lackluster unemployment reports staring him in the face, Obama understands many voters no longer trust him to bring the economy out of the doldrums.

Some may even remember his pledge that if he couldn't bring unemployment down to acceptable levels within three years, he ought not to be re-elected. So, during his radio address last Saturday, Obama hinted at his reaction.

Referring to a $127 billion bill to repair highways and bridges, while also keeping student loan rates low, Obama said, "We've got more to do." He explained more infrastructure funding is needed from Congress, to boost employment.

Never mind that hundreds of billions of dollars in Obama "stimulus" didn't work. Clearly, the president hopes Congress will reject a new round of wasteful spending - and he can blame lawmakers for failure to provide new jobs.

Voters may have fallen for the blame-anybody-but-me trick before. They won't again.

 
 

 

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