Penn State controversy overshadows other NCAA problems

Derek Evans and Derek Evans

By now most everyone has heard about the Penn State scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The allegations are about as bad as they get. Sandusky used his charity organization named The Second Mile to get access to children, who he then sexually abused.

Not only that, but some of the abuse occurred in the locker room at Penn State. In 2002, a graduate assistant witnessed him having sex with a boy in the showers. Instead of going straight to the authorities, he called his dad, who told him to inform head coach Joe Paterno about the incident.

The authorities were never called. They just covered up the incident and allowed Sandusky to continue to molest children. This is the worst scandal college sports have ever seen, but this is just the biggest issue of the many facing scholastic athletics.

One of the biggest problems in college football today is the bowl game system. Football is the only sport in the NCAA that does not have a playoff system to determine the National Champion. Instead, they have a myriad of bowl games and a combination of computers and human voters determine who plays in the title game.

One of the latest scandals involved John Junker, the CEO of the Fiesta Bowl. Each bowl game has a board of directors that make tons of money and have massive expense accounts just to help set up one football game a year.

One of those expenses was $1,241 spent at a strip club. Junker actually tried to explain to investigators why it was an acceptable expense. The Fiesta Bowl also managed to pay over $30,000 for his 50th birthday party. The only reason why the bowl system continues to exist is because of money.

These schools and bowl directors make millions of dollars off of kids who are playing for free, and some of that money is paying for strip club visits and birthday parties. There is corruption abound, from recruiting violations to not reporting sexual abuse.

The student athletes do get a free education, but many of them are encouraged to take the bare minimum of credits so they can focus on football. Scholarships are renewed yearly; there are no four-year guarantees. If a coach recruits a better player, they are completely within their right to cut another player on scholarship.

I have never seen an institution and the people involved in it make so much money off of people doing something for free. What happened at Penn State is despicable; from the act itself to the cover-up, but for now it is just overshadowing the rest of the corruption in college sports.