The Instigator
smash
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
BlackVoid
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Penn State deserved the penalties the NCAA applied in response to Sandusky scandal

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
BlackVoid
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/23/2012 Category: Sports
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,028 times Debate No: 24836
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)

 

smash

Pro

Penalties:
$60M fine
Significant scholarship reduction
Four year bowl-ban
Vacation of wins from 1998-2011

Round 1 is acceptance
BlackVoid

Con

I don't think this topic needs 5 rounds, but I didn't want to let this get snatched up by someone else before my opponent responded, so I'll request here that we only do 4 rounds and just post filler in R5. Most people dont read long (5 round) debates, so it would benefit everyone. That said, I did accept anyway, so if he still wants to to 5, then so be it.

Anyway, thanks to Smash for starting what should be an interesting debate. I look forward to his R2.
Debate Round No. 1
smash

Pro

Sure, 4 rounds is great. I just didn't know, what with all the hype surrounding this and the emotions and what not, how many rounds someone would want to do. We can just fill rd 5.

Now , let's get down to business.

I am contending that these NCAA sanctions were completely necessary and justified in the case of Jerry Sandusky's Scandal. This is, without question one of the most egregious and darkest moments in the world of sports, and the NCAA had to act.I have listed three main reasons below as to why the sanctions were needed and justified.

#1: The weight of the scandal warranted swift and strong response from NCAA

The Jerry Sandusky Scandal was without question one of the most disturbing scandals ever, in sports or otherwise. Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 45 sexual abuse charges (charged with 48) from victims dating from 1998 to 2009 (possibly more going back to 70's). (1) This far outweighs the OJ murder, the SMU player paying, and even the Michael Vick dog fighting.

Now had this merely been a case about a secretive coach doing horrid things under the radar, No punishments would be needed. What makes it truly despicable was the Watergate-esque cover up that went all the way to the top. "the Freeh Report…concluded that ‘four of the most powerful people at The Pennsylvania State University,… failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade" (2) these four included Joe Paterno, the athletic director, a senior vice president, and even the president of the university were all knowingly ignoring Sandusky's child raping. (2) What happened here was a cycle of corruption that the head of the university had been in on.

After the Freeh Report came out, the NCAA had to do something. There was not only public outrage against Penn State, but the NCAA is responsible for its member institutions, and the discipline of such. For the NCAA to do nothing, there would have been terrible backlash from every direction (except from Penn State of course).The NCAA had to show some muscle in this situation. What would have happened had the NCAA taken lesser or no measures? Penn State would get a slap on the wrist and be sent free. And that would have been as outrageous as the scandal itself.

#2: A precedent had to be established

Once more, the Sandusky Scandal was big, dirty, and vile. The NCAA had the weight of this scandal on its shoulders, being as one of its member institutions did the deed. The NCAA laid down the law, and they did it for two reasons. One was stated in my first point, so I won't rehash. But the other reason was to set a precedent for how the NCAA handles this type of infraction.

An example of this goes back to 1987 in Dallas Texas, home of SMU. That year was cancelled for the slush fund established to pay off their college players. After a decade of recruiting infractions and the lack of action, the NCAA handed down its "death penalty" (3). The NCAA knew that it had to do something with a school that had broken the rules and tried to lie later. And it could not be a simple bowl ban or loss of a few scholarships. They had to bring a hammer (a BIG hammer), in order to show other schools the price of cheating.

The NCAA also set a precedent with Penn State. To every football-ruled university out there, the NCAA showed that covering up atrocities in the name of football will NOT be tolerated whatsoever. Any lighter and the message wouldn't have resonated. The NCAA exacted fair punishment on Penn State, when considering what had been done, and what needed to never happen again.

#3 There was too much "cult" in Penn State's football culture

Penn State is a football school, hands down, no question. That is not a crime, as many schools are such. (like Alabama, Ohio State, USC, etc.) Yet one terrifying aspect of this school was the cult that created this problem in the first place. Football was too powerful.

Normally, at a relatively sane school, once a non-athletic faculty member found out about the acts, it would have been reported and punitive measures taken. Yet, Penn State is no sane university. Paterno was a veritable Stalin at University Park. He had been coach since the mid 60's, and had established himself as a god of some sort. In other unrelated cases, he told the president of the university not to punish his players. Where else can a coach simply tell the head of the university what it can and cannot do? And, when it was discovered what Paterno had indeed known, who did the fans side with? Their JoePa, instead of the trail of human wreckage left behind because of him. And when his statue was rightfully torn down (It was like having a statue of Charlie Manson or Jim Jones), students lined the street chanting "We are…Penn State".

These NCAA sanctions helped to bring this university, its students, and its crazy fans back down to earth. They needed a wake up call, that this scandal was bigger than football, and these sanctions in effect torpedoed the football program. Now, the Nittany Lion nation will have to realize, with its football program out of the way, that there are more important things than football.

It also did a good job of awakening the eyes of many to Joe Paterno's legacy. Many had viewed him (myself included) as a spunky, hilarious, and even kindly old man. Yet, in the wake of this candal, it was obvious to everyone that he had a few dark secrets. Well, everyone except Penn State fans and students who cheered him on when we were discovering more and more of the cover up. The removal of the wins from Joe Paterno's name was necessary to tarnish his once Jesus-level image. While it may seem unnecessary, I would be outraged that a man who protected a child rapist from punitive action in the name of football would be celebrated as the winningest coach in college football history.

I had considered debunking a few of the common excuses against the penalties, but I need to let you make your arguments before I attack them. That would be presumptuous, arrogant, and quite frankly rude. That said, I will end my argument here and allow you to begin. Good luck, I look forward to your response.

1)http://en.wikipedia.org...
2)http://www.presnapread.com...
3)http://en.wikipedia.org...
BlackVoid

Con

Thanks for the opening argument!

For the record, I agree that Sandusky's abuses were horrible and that he and that those who didnt report him deserve punishment. The issue is whether the NCAA's sanctions against the university were warranted. They were not for the following reasons:


1. Not a punishment

Who is at fault for Sandusky's crimes? My opponent's source puts the blame on 4 specific people: Sandusky, Paterno, and 2 others related to Penn State athletics.

Sandusky himself could care less about the NCAA punishments. He has much bigger issues to worry about, such as being in prison for the rest of his life. The sanctions, which only affect Penn State football, have no affect on him - he's not involved with the program anymore.

The penalties won't affect Paterno either. He's dead.

The other 2 will also serve prison time and won't be involved in any college athletic program again, so they are also unaffected.

So who exactly is being punished here? Not the ones responsible. The NCAA sanctions have absolutely no affect on the people who are actually culpable for what happened.


2. Unfair to those not involved

So who is really harmed by the penalties? Predominantly, its the Penn State fans, players, and the Big Ten conference in general. Of course, none of those groups had anything to do at all with Sandusky's abuses. Bob Knight, one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history, agreed earlier that "The football program really had nothing to do with this" (1).

Penn State was an elite football program previously, and was a favorite to go to a major bowl game. But due to the 4 year bowl ban, not only will the players currently enrolled have their dream of playing on the big stage shattered, but any good recruits from high school won't play there either for the same reason. They're essentially going to be a garbage team for the next several years.

Which makes no sense, because the players and fans of the team (the ones who actually suffer from the above) did nothing wrong. Brent Musburger, arguably the most well known commentator in NCAA sports, agreed in saying that "I'm very disappointed in the NCAA...I thought a lot of innocent persons were caught up in this yesterday who had absolutely nothing to do with it." (2)

3. Harms non-athletics

The 60 million dollar fine seems acceptable at first glance, but is ridiculosly unnecessary. Musburger also commented that several of Sandusky's victims are already negotiating lawsuits which would cost the university hundreds of millions of dollars. Tacking 60 million onto that is beating a dead horse, and if Penn State's football revenue drops (it will), they may have to resort to cutting scholarship funding, professor wages, and other educational areas. Another example of the NCAA penalizing people who weren't involved with what happened.

Really, the NCAA had no place in doing what it did. This has nothing to do with college sports. When Michael Vick was imprisoned for dogfighting, did the NFL come down and penalize the whole Atlanta Falcons organization? No, because it was a criminal issue, not a sports-related one.


Rebuttal to opponent's case:


1. Magnitude warranted response

My opponent argues that because of the magnitude of what happened, "the NCAA had to do something". Thats fine, you can argue that they should have done "something". However, the debate is about the specific penalties that they actually dished out: the ones which don't affect the ones culpable and instead punish fans and players who weren't involved.

I also contest that any action was necessary at all. Sandusky and his associates will already be serving extensive prison time, where they will be raped more times in 1 year than the number of rapes Sandusky committed in his entire life. They already have been given their punishment. Further penalty is, as previously stated, beating a dead horse.


2. Setting a precedent

Pro argues that the punishments were necessary to deter future child abusues and cover-ups. I disagree - what should actually deter future child abuses is Sandusky being sentenced to life in prison, which the NCAA didn't and can't do. They can only fine and penalize the university, which has no deterrent effect to an individual. If someone is thinking about having sex with a child, which thought do you think is more likely:

1. "Hold on, I shouldn't do this. They might throw me in prison for the rest of my life"
2. "Hold on, I shouldn't do this. They might fine my school and not give us as many scholarships."

If you picked option 1, you believe that the threat of criminal punishment deters better than anything the NCAA can do, making their punishment unnecessary for deterrence purposes.


3. Too much "cult"

Pro argues that the sanctions reminded the fans that the scandal was bigger than football. However, the fans knew that way before the NCAA even did anything. If the fans really thought football was more important that punishing Sandusky and friends, they would have called for them to not be punished at all. No prison time, no negative publicity. Of course, nobody did that. Everyone acknowledged that Sandusky/Paterno should be punished.

There were calls for the Paterno statue to not be removed, and that his career victories shouldn't be vacated. And there's no issue with that because those have to do with Paterno's football life - not his personal life. Paterno as a coach deserves recognition for his success. Maybe his *character* wasn't that we thought it was, but taking away his legacy as a coach is ridiculous. As an example, imagine if we elected a president who immediately solved the debt crisis and repaired the entire economy in one term. But then we find out that he was a child molester. Even though we can bash his moral character, the Fed isn't going to come down and say "Oh, well because you molested some children, we declare that you get no credit for fixing the economy".



So ultimately, the NCAA should have had no involvement in this as this is a criminal issue, which is outside the NCAA's jurisdiction. More importantly, no guilty parties are affected by the penalties. 100% of those harmed are innocent bystanders.


I look forward to Pro's next round.



1. http://espn.go.com...;
2. http://espn.go.com...
Debate Round No. 2
smash

Pro

K, good job, I'm enjoying this.
Rebuttal to opponent:
1: The sanctions were never meant to punish these men. The men DIRECTLY involved have been punished and marked for life. The sanctions were for Penn State, b/c Penn State itself failed. It failed to report the crimes that went on in its own football facilities. Penn State failed to stop a child molester out of fear of bad publicity. The university, sad and as unfortunate as it is, must take responsibility for what happened in its buildings for its football team.

And the sanctions in regard to Paterno did affect him. The last and perhaps most powerful part of him left, his legacy, is obliterated for good. When people speak of Joe Paterno, they will speak of a coach who cared more about football than people. (This part was half serious half for a good laugh. Its true his legacy is damaged, but whether or not he cares, wherever he is, I don't know.)

2: I want to make it clear that I do feel sympathetic to the Penn State players, and to a lesser degree the Nittany Lion nation. (I feel less sympathy for the B10. It will function just fine with Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State, etc.) They were innocent, yet they are being punished. These players will never go to a bowl game again. These fans will live with this for the next 4 years. Yet, they were an unfortunate casualty of something bigger than themselves. They were caught in the crossfire of all this madness. But this does not mean the sanctions were unneeded.

What happened at Penn State was vile, that me and my opponent fully agree with. However, as I said, a penance had to be exacted for the magnitude of these crimes. These fans and players, through no fault of their own, were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Its a bad circumstance, but the sanctions are still necessary.

And the argument that this will destroy Penn State football is completely baseless. We have no way of determining what this team will do in four years. They could band together and be stronger than ever before. Many current players have not indicated they will leave, despite the fact they may do so without penalties(1). Plus, the current recruiting class is ranked 16th in the nation by ESPN, in spite of the sanctions(2). I have a hard time buying that Penn State will become a new Vanderbilt for the Big 10. (and as you can see by my avatar for this site, that statement took some pain to say)

3: Speculation. The university has made no comment to anything of cutting scholarships, wages, or anything else.(unless you have a source saying so, in which case do share). I am reluctant to accept this as true without some evidence showing this.

Even if it is true: The fine was equivalent to one year of the football programs revenue. The NCAA would be well within its rights to charge more, and this penalty, while harsh at first glance, is more or less an act of mercy upon Penn State. Sandusky did his dirty deeds over a period of nearly 5 years, and the cover up held out for longer. One year of football revenue to pay for the time these acts occurred is completely fair.

And as I pointed out earlier, this scandal goes deeper than football. This went to the president of the university, which qualifies as a non-athletics position. Penn State football did not screw up, Penn State University screwed up. Yes people uninvolved were hurt, but maybe the leadership of the university should have considered this before covering up child-rape. (Its ironic they hid this to avoid bad publicity.......)

My Opponent's Michael Vick analogy is flawed. The Atlanta Falcons did not discover this then hide it to save publicity. There was no cover up, and the management of the team was probably as shocked as any fan was of the events.

Rebuttal to the rebuttal of my arguments:
1: Again, these sanctions were for the university, not the foul four (nice nickname, I think). The NCAA was punishing the school, and thus had every right to punish. The NCAA had to do something, and this was the only body to which they could do anything.

2: The precedent is not so much for the Sandusky's of the world, as it is for universities in general. This sends a strong message saying "Hey, you cover this up and we find out about it, your university is going to get hit HARD." NCAA sanctions mean nothing to a child rapist, but if you work in a university, are devoted to that school, than these sanctions will give you a reminder of possible ramifications for your actions.

3: It is obvious that my opponent severely underestimates the passion which Penn State fans hold for their football. Many fans were throwing their support behind Paterno, as we were learning that he had covered up illegal sexual acts between his coach and children! They chose his side instead of that of the victims! That is definitely deserving of a cult status. Now, I am a proud fan of Vanderbilt University. I love the black and gold playing on a Saturday night, where the cool air is broken only by a sea of fans and a good hit from some football pads. Yet, I could in no way support James Franklin (HC at Vanderbilt) if he had let his coach rape a child. This is because I (hopefully) can put my football fandom in perspective. The fans at PSU didn't call for Sandusky's head because he was long gone by then. Most of them probably never knew his name. They did call for JoePa to not be punished. They were outraged when he was fired.
JoePa will still have a long legacy for himself (started PSU job in 66), plus the wins are purely official. We all know who won those games, the history books will just have an atserik next to them saying, "vacated because of NCAA sanctions".

And unfortunately the CULTure at Penn State went beyond fans. the leaders of the school kept this a secret because they were protecting the football program. It was all about football. This was all for the dear love of Penn state football.

And the statue had reasons for being removed. Like it or not, Paterno became a symbol of sexual abuse of children. Keeping it would have been an unnecessary point of contention for the university.

I do want to take a moment to say that there were (are) some very sane PSU fans. Yet there was an alarmingly high number of them who were/are not.

And I would hope if we found out a president was a child molester, we would be somewhat reluctant to picture him as a great hero.

So ultimately, the NCAA had to step in and lay down the law for a school which had grossly overstepped the bounds of morality and decency. It was forced to respond when its member institution put football ahead of humans. More importantly, it did NOT levy the death penalty, giving PSU a hope, however slight it may be. If anything is encouraging, it is the healing that has already begun. The fans and players are staying loyal and making it through. Good for them.

Con, I pass the baton. Put your game face on and then move your pawn (see what I did there ??)
NOTE: I am sorry if my feeble attempts at humor are met with distaste. I simply find debates tend to be somewhat too formal and rigid. Human beings were made to laugh. I mean no disrespect at all, I just tried to be a little lively. Nevertheless, should my opponent find my conduct improper, I will become as funny and personable as Joseph Stalin.
2nd NOTE: Is it odd you get points here for spelling when you have a spell check button at the bottom of the screen? I feel this nullifies the spelling points a bit.

1)http://www.washingtonpost.com...
2)http://insider.espn.go.com...
BlackVoid

Con

Thanks for the response!


Quick note: I'm gonna to drop the non-athletics argument after reading an article stating that PSU is barred from cutting scholarships to pay the fine. I'll focus on the main 2 arguments.


1. Not a punishment

My opponent says the entire university should be punished because "Penn State itself failed". But what is "Penn State"? There were only four people involved in this scandal. Four people do not represent an entire university. As a comparison, imagine if the CEO and 3 other officials of McDonald's commit child abuses. As a response, the government "sanctions" McDonald's by cutting the wages of all employees. Thats what happened here, and clearly doesn't make sense.

As for punishing a dead person, Paterno's legacy was already destroyed before the sanctions even came down.


2. Unfair to innocents

99.9% of people affected by the NCAA's punishment were not involved with Sandusky's abuses. My opponent agrees innocents were caught up in it. So how can you say that Penn State "deserves" the penalties when almost everyone affected by them are innocent?

Pro argues that a "penance" had to be paid. Does Sandusky getting life in prison and Paterno's legacy being tarnished not qualify?

ESPN's Mitt sherman analyzed 4 other schools who received a significant scholarship penalty (like Penn State). In the season following the ban, 4 of 5 schools had significantly less wins than the previous season, and the stretch lasted for multiple years (1). Tim Keown acnowledged that the penalties were literally, designed to make Penn State a losing program (2). So I disagree with my opponent - PSU will undoubtably be a poor big 10 team for quite some time, which is unfair given that the players and fans of the team were not culpable for Sandusky's crimes.




Pro case:

1. Magnitude warranted response

My opponent argues that the sanctions were "for the university" and not just the "Foul Four". Problem is, the Foul Four were the only people involved in the scandal. Why punish an entire university for the actions of 4 of its members?

Pro doesn't contest that Sandusky and friends are getting their proper punishment through prison time. If the ones actually responsible for the child abuses are being punished accordingly, then its nonsensical to levy punishments against anyone else. To repeat what was said earlier: 99% of people affected by the sanctions had nothing to do with the scandal.


2. Setting a precedent

Pro says that the punishment sends a message to all universities to not cover up similar abuses like Penn State did. However, my opponent drops that criminal punishments are a better deterrent than NCAA punishments. Not reporting or covering up sexual abuses is illegal according to US law (3,4). In other words, there are already deterrents in place to prevent cover ups. The threat of NCAA sanction is unnecessary.


3. Too much "cult"

My opponent has no response to the President analogy, which illustrates the difference between tarnishing Paterno's legacy as a person and their legacy as a coach.

Paterno's personal character has been destroyed and rightfully so. But his football life is a completely seperate issue. This is why PSU fans are justified in wanting to keep their accrued victories. Pro thinks they shouldn't think of Paterno as a hero, but he is...on the football field. Off the field, he is guilty of aiding and abetting a sexual abuser. But as before, one's professional career and off-field actions are seperate. To repeat the earlier analogy: if Mitt Romney wins the presidency and fixes the economy, then turns out to be a child molester, he still deserves credit for fixing the economy. Likewise, Joe Paterno deserves credit for his record number of victories.


Good luck to Smash in his final round. (P.S. humor is cool)


1. http://espn.go.com...
2. http://espn.go.com...
3. http://criminal.findlaw.com...
4. http://www.net-temps.com...;
Debate Round No. 3
smash

Pro

No prob bob, thanks for your response!

I do want to make one point. I found your points 1 and 2 to be slightly redundant. Saying the guilty weren't punished could imply that the innocent were punished. For the sake of my typing hands and time, I will combine both of your points into one.

1: Not a punishment/unfair to innocents

My assertion that Penn State itself failed refers to the fact that the entire university must bear the punishment of the sins of a few. This falls loosely under the term "collective responsibility", the idea being that those who did not actively commit or plan the crime are still responsible for it when connected to those who did. The fact is that these events occurred on Penn State property by Penn State employees. Penn State is culpable for its employees actions on its property. And to address the McDonald's analogy, let us remember that Penn State is first a school and then a football team. The NCAA did not penalize the student body or professors, but rather the football team, which falls under NCAA jurisdiction as a member institution. The monetary fine is equivalent to a year's football revenue, and knowing Penn State fans, they will continue to support their team financially. If a McDonald's manager assaulted children in its facilities, and the events were covered up by the owner and CEO's of McDonald's, the government would not cut the wages of all employees. There is a different dynamic between McDonald's and the government than there is between the NCAA and Penn State. The NCAA has direct control over Penn State and is within its right to punish its member institutions.

Penn State also has the right to appeal these sanctions (6), however they have chosen not to. Penn state has accepted responsibility for the actions. I would assume, if a school thought the sanctions were thoroughly unjust, it would appeal such grievances.

The fact of the matter is that this is an unfortunate situation. I will be clear that there was no solution to this in which everyone would have be pleased. If the NCAA had remained motionless in this crisis, then there would have been massive public outcry about the school being let off after all that happened. The weight of what happened required response, and unfortunately those not involved were punished.

And to return to the future of Penn States team, I found con's source to be quite illuminating. Among the teams listed in Sherman's article (4) were Miami, who 6 years after their sanctions hit won the national championship after firing Butch Davis (1), and USC which received sanctions after Reggie Bush's controversy arose, and now many consider them to be a national championship team, after two years of scholarship reduction. During these two years, the team had top 15 recruiting classes (2) (3). These teams were able to rebound relatively quickly due to the fact that these teams were so popular. USC and Miami are football schools through and through. Penn State is also in this category. Players grow up dreaming to play for Penn State, and they still may. As my previous argument showed, Penn State still ranks highly in recruiting (5). What will most likely devastate the team the most is the loss of Joe Paterno. (which was not a result of NCAA sanctions, but rather of nature). The article also referred to SMU, but let it be remembered that SMU received the death penalty for what it did, and Penn State did not. SMU had barely any tradition before the 1980's, which was when it received the sanctions.

Rebuttal to the rebuttal of the first rebuttal of my arguments:
1: Magnitude requires penance

I have addressed this already. The crimes occurred on Penn State property and were perpetrated by Penn state employees. I will not say this again.

2: Precedent

The point of this precedent is to say that universities will be much more attentive and alert to any kind of similar incident. Universities, for instance, may install cameras in school facilities or require that all reports of illegal activity be sent to several faculty members instead of one person. Purely speculative I know, but the point is that these sanctions could inspire a heightened awareness of actions by school employees. Jail time will deter a single man from covering illicit activity. The sanctions will deter an entire university.

3: Cult
I am dropping this argument. Paterno was a great football coach. However, I cannot in good conscience respect him because of his actions. While he won a national championship, he did knowingly allow children to be abused sexually. It is the same way I would refuse to respect Mitt Romney should my opponent's analogy be applied.

However, in its place I will add a new argument.
3 (revised): It could have been a lot worse.

When this point is made, I feel the need to get the elephant out of the room quickly. Penn State did not receive the death penalty. While many articles suggest these sanctions were worse than said penalty, I would say this is more rhetoric and hype than logic. Penn State will still play come fall. Fans will still fill Beaver Stadium. The death penalty would not allow these major occurrences.

There can be no mention of the death penalty without SMU. SMU also lost the ability to give ANY scholarships (4) for a long period of time, something that Penn State will not have to deal with. PSU did lose scholarships, but they are not banned from offering them. SMU also lost TV privileges, which Penn State did not lose, meaning it will still have that added revenue. (7)

The NCAA could have come down harder, but it didn't. It applied heavy, but controlled force on Penn State. Also worthy to be noted, the NCAA is not pocketing the fine. It is going to a fund to help abused children, a very worthy placement for 60 million dollars.

The NCAA had to do something, and something big. They are responsible for their member institutions the same way a parent is responsible for a child. Sometimes, when a child crosses the line, they need disciplining. Penn State is responsible for what goes on its campus and football facilities

I now rest my case, and will let con finish the debate. Good Luck.

1) http://en.wikipedia.org...
2) http://insider.espn.go.com...
3) http://insider.espn.go.com...
4)http://espn.go.com...
5)http://insider.espn.go.com...
6) http://www.ncaa.org...
7) http://blog.pennlive.com...
8) http://sports.yahoo.com...
BlackVoid

Con

Thanks to Smash for the debate, its been interesting. This is the last round as agreed. We should both write filler in R5.


1. Not a punishment/unfair to innocents

Pro really is arguing that "the entire university must bear the punishment of the sins of a few." Well, that is unjust prima facie. He argues that because the crime happened on Penn State property, the whole university should be punished. This makes no sense - when Sueng-Hui Cho killed 32 people at Virginia Tech, they didnt punish the whole university just because thats where the shooting happened.

Pro says only the football team was punished, which first is unjust because the players had nothing to do with the scandal, but secondly, that affects the students and fans of the team as well. This is evidences by my opponent admitting that PSU is a football school. As such, penalizing that affects everyone in the school. My opponent concedes that 99% of people affected by the NCAA's sanctions are innocent, he only tries to justify it, which is obviously impossible.

PSU didnt appeal the sanctions because doing so would only bring more negative publicty/attention to the university. They also probably weren't going to win.

As for PSU being a poor football team for a good while, my opponent cherry picks the exceptions to the rule (USC, Miami). Every other school listed struggled mightily after being penalized.


1. Magnitude warranted response

My opponent groups with with my C1. So go there.


2. Setting a precedent

My opponent throughout this debate has failed to prove that the NCAA's sanctions, uniquely, will be responsible for deterring future abuses. There are 2 much more effective deterrents: 1. The fact that child rape and not reporting child rapes are illegal, and 2. media coverage of the scandal (not the NCAA's punishments) encourages awareness of such.

Incidentally, my opponent agrees that cover ups being illegal will deter an individual from committing one, but he says that the NCAA's sanctions will deter an entire university. Problem is, a university is comprised of individuals.

The NCAA's penalties pale incomparison to already-existing criminal deterrents and are thus unnecessary for that purpose.


3. Cult

Pro drops it.

My opponent says he's adding a new argument in the last round, but unwritten debate rules state that doing so is illegitimate and that new arguments in the last round should be discarded. I'll quickly respond anyway since I have space: the debate is about whether PSU deserved the punishment they were given. Saying that their punishment could have been worse isn't really an argument since its not topical to the penalty that was actually dished out.


Debate summary:

There were only 4 people involved in the Sandusky scandal, and none of them are affected by the NCAA's punishment whatsoever because they're in jail or dead. So the guilty aren't punished by them. The only people affected are the PSU football players and fans, who are innocent. Conclusion: the sanctions are unjust as they completely and utterly fail to carry out any sense of justice.
Debate Round No. 4
smash

Pro

Ok, we promised to just fill round 5 earlier. so.....

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BlackVoid

Con

Alright then.
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Damn! Missed the voting deadline. I read the second round in detail and skimmed through the 3rd and 4th. This was a complete washout in favor of Con. Now Pro argued well but his position was undefendable. Con won as soon as he pointed out that the people who are responsible should be punished and not the university.

The topic was biased against pro so I don't really blame him. I too made such a mistake on one of my recent debates: gave the contender too easy a resolution to defend. Not to say that BlackVoid had it too easy - he did well enough to negate the resolution by the 2nd round and that is rare.

I guess Pro could have argued morality and taken his example of "football culture" a bit further but no such connections were made.

Yeah, if I could vote, I'd give 0:3 to BlackVoid.
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 5 years ago
HonestDiscussioner
I was really the only one that voted?
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 5 years ago
HonestDiscussioner
RFD

I noticed no significant spelling or grammar errors by either party, so tie there. Saw no significant differences in sources, so tie there. Each person conducted themselves well enough and adhered to rules, so again tied.

That leaves the arguments. I think Pro shot himself in the foot when he said: "Now had this merely been a case about a secretive coach doing horrid things under the radar, No punishments would be needed."

This would seem to imply that actions occurring under the radar at a university aren't really the universities fault, but he later contradicts himself that it is the Universities fault despite the fact that it was a few individuals flying under the radar of the majority of the University. In this sense, Pro refutes himself.

Con was not without his own contributions to my decision though. I think he clearly showed that the sanctions do nothing but punish innocent people who did nothing wrong. Pro's only response to that was that the NCAA had to send a message\set a precedent, that they needed to do this to deter others. Con refutes this by pointing to it being a prima facie unjust response.

This by itself results in the win for Con, but I'd like to put my two cents in as well. The idea that you can punish innocent people to the end of creating a deterrent for actual crimes is ludicrous. Imagine if we punished a man's family for his actions. That would certainly act as a deterrent, but clearly it would not be ethical to do so.

Whenever something terrible happens to a group of innocent individuals, the answer is never to punish a different group of innocent individuals. Doing so does not solve the problem, it only breeds resentment and creates a cycle of pain.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Yeah, same here. Good job
Posted by smash 5 years ago
smash
A debate. (add to end of last comment.
Posted by smash 5 years ago
smash
Great job to my opponent, it was a fun debate and I was glad I could to engage in such.
Posted by smash 5 years ago
smash
BTW on rd 4, the 8th source was in reference to the donation of the 60 million dollars. sorry, It was either EARLY in the morning when I wrote this or LATE at night and I was typing like a madman on meth. I hope the debate gods will excuse such trespass.........
Posted by smash 5 years ago
smash
especially child molesters. Prisoners HATE them with passion. Sandusky will get killed within the year....
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
Lol, its true! Rapists are the ones most abused in prison.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
"Sandusky and his associates will already be serving extensive prison time, where they will be raped more times in 1 year than the number of rapes Sandusky committed in his entire life.

LOL
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by HonestDiscussioner 5 years ago
HonestDiscussioner
smashBlackVoidTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I should point out that I may be biased since I am a Penn State Alumnus. Despite that, I believe my decision is justified. Justification (RFD) will be in the comments section.