It’s sad for these students, athletes, alums, and fans … even though they’re not innocent and even though they aren’t behaving particularly well as their world crumbles around them (but, honestly, who would?). Of course, even as I set a portion of the blame for all that’s happened at their feet, I also have to press the point that American universities have done a real disservice to themselves by letting their athletic departments run roughshod over them as institutions of higher education. It’s hard to sustain the central mission of a university in the face of the vast, vast sums of money that revenue-producing sports bring in. In accepting all this cash, universities become beholden to coaches, to tv contacts, to advertisers, to athletic cabals, and to major donors.
There’s a huge problem there and it’s not at all specific to Penn State. Anyone who thinks that their university doesn’t have an athletic department that’s a problem just waiting to happen is making a serious mistake.”