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What to do about Penn State?

The Penn State scandal is sending shock waves throughout the sports world as well as that of any organizations where children interact with adults. Everyone is taking a good hard look at their systems and their checks and balances. Just by his statements alone, Sandusky is at least a creep and probably guilty of several heinous crimes. But more likely, he is a very sick man and a dangerous predator, who should spend the rest of his life behind bars.

I can’t believe it, but I found myself agreeing with with both Rick Santorum (long shot republican candidate for POTUS) and Sarah Palin (sexy but whacky former governor of Alaska). Santorum says that Penn State should not be allowed to participate in a bowl game. Palin says, that is not fair to the players, who obviously did nothing wrong.

They are actually both right. Penn State needs to be sanctioned for the actions of their coaching staff and college leaders. Should the NCAA grant them a bowl bid, Penn State should be forced to make zero profit from the event. Instead, every penny of revenue should go directly to a charity that deals with child abuse. Also, the children who have been identified in the Sandusky scandal should receive large, direct payments from the University. The school will bear all the expenses of travel and preparation for the game. By doing this, some good may come out of this tragedy. It was odd with 107,000 people in attendance at the game on Saturday that only around $20,000 in cash was raised on behalf of the children involved. What the hell is wrong with the people who went to this game? Confirming to me that Happy Valley is code for “strange place”.

Paterno’s life is over. He is 84 and I seriously doubt he can physically hold up under the pressure. He will be stripped of every award that was coming his way. The NCAA has already removed his name from their trophy. He will be the target of multiple civil suits. For a man who is obviously proud of his reputation, this will be too much to bear. Apparently, he switched the ownership of his home to his wife several months ago. Probably just a coincidence, but a lucky one for the Paterno family.

Last night it was reported that there is a law in Pennsylvania that Penn State has the right to withhold proprietary information and maintain a level of secrecy. Very convenient indeed. That may prevent the public from learning what really happened at Penn State and just how deep this “Conspiracy of Silence” ran. This may be the only thing that may save the institution. Because if the truth came out, I doubt that anyone would like what we learned.

Everyone’s to blame. The coaching staff, the Board of Directors of the charity, the Board of Directors of Penn State and those in charge at this previously iconic institution. It is unfortunate. But once again it proves that we as individuals and parents must be more skeptical than ever. We have to ask ourselves, why is that guy really a scout leader or coach? Especially if he doesn’t have a kid in the group. What really goes on when my daughter sleeps over her best friend’s house? We must all be careful and not take anything for granted when it comes to our kids and their interaction with adults.

We as a generation have really screwed-up. Our kids will be the first generation that is not likely to have a higher standard of living than their parents. We are likely to leave the world with crippling debt once we are gone. We have pretty much done nothing to help the environment. Finally, we have taught them that they cannot trust anybody. Quite a legacy we are leaving.

Penn State is a terrible situation. What other scandals are out there that we don’t know about? I hope this will begin a complete overhaul of the way college sports are handled in this country. There is nothing amateur about college sports. It is huge business and people are lining their pockets with the money they receive from these non-profit organizations. How can colleges keep getting funds from our government when they make tens of millions of dollars through their sports programs? How can the leaders of these supposedly not-for-profit schools earn ridiculously high salaries and live like kings? People are camping out in lower New York to protest greed on Wall Street. Is what is going on at places like Penn State any different? Isn’t it the greed of Penn State that led to this mess.
Many college sports programs lose money. They are designed to serve their students and to boost enrollment. But once it turns into a big business then corruption and other illegalities take place. The NCAA has been asleep at the wheel for decades. I hope this serves as a wake-up call to them and to our government that has looked the other way for the last 30 years.


About jimdelbalzo

As the former Senior Vice President of Promotion at Columbia Records and now founder/helmsman of the artist management company-Jim Del Balzo Entertainment, Jim has managed, consulted, and developed/executed the promotion and marketing plans for some of the planet’s most beloved musicians. He has guided the careers of artists/acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Alice In Chains, James Taylor, George Michael, Soul Asylum, and System of a Down; to name just a few. Jim also does consulting for labels and publishing companies including Columbia Records, Warner Brothers/Reprise Records, Hear Music/Starbucks, EMI Music Publishing and several other entertainment entities. Jim Del Balzo Entertainment clients include,  John Mellencamp, Elvis Costello, James Taylor, LL Cool J, Burt Bacharach, City Sleeps, Buddahead and Since October.     Jim’s highly successful career and great service to the music industry has earned him a number of accolades and awards over the years. Namely, he was voted one of the Top 25 Most Important People in Rock Music (2000) and Promotion Executive of the Year (5 times) by Album Network—from which he also received a Lifetime Achievement Award. And Clear Channel twice honored Jim with the Executive of the Year Award while Friday Morning Quarterback and Radio & Records named him Top Industry Executive 7 times combined.   Today, Jim Del Balzo takes his talent to the microphone, adding voice work to his remarkable repertoire. His promotional expertise and attuned top executive instincts-combined with his richly unique sound- delivers VO that is truly somethin’ else.   Jim Del Blazo VO.  Like nothin’ you’ve heard. Like nobody’s business.   Jim lives in Saddle River, New Jersey with his wife Mary Beth, daughters Jessica and Julia, and their two golden retrievers.


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