Sunday, July 15, 2012

If they only came out sooner...

This morning, I'm watching my favorite sports program "ESPN Sports Reporters," and the top story this morning was about the Penn State scandal. It's very sad that Joe Pa and others kept their mouths closed in 1998 about allegations of child abuse because they wanted to keep the reputation of the football program and the university. Well, how's that working out for you now?

If they would have said something, it could have saved 8 kids that we know about. Eight kids. Penn State football brings in more than $65 million a year, so that's $8 million per kid. Was it worth it Penn State? Your brand and reputation has been forever tarnished.

What if you said something in 1998? You would have had some people shocked, upset, and hurt the image of your program, but you could have been in front of the story. You could have said that you found out there were these incidents, and we are taking corrective action to ensure that this doesn't happen again. Done. As a football fan and citizen, I would have been sad that it had happened, but as a university, you looked past the money and power of one of the prestigious football programs, to save young kids. Sure, your brand would have been tarnished a bit, but not this bad.

The question now is how to punish the program. That's open to debate because the people who were responsible for keeping this under wraps are gone. However, we shouldn't punish the football players who didn't know what is happening. Should they take the statue down--yes. Move it to another place in town. It will be a constant reminder for students, the community, and the press that this man kept his mouth quiet when he first found out.

One of the things I mentioned during an event a few months ago about crisis communication is this: Just because you don't put out a press release, bad or damaging news will still come out. So, be prepared for it. It's always better to be proactive than reactive. You can add Penn State to the list with Susan G. Komen and others.  


At 7:44 AM, Blogger Asad Khan said...

I absolutely agree with you Sabrina! If the University, and more importantly, Joe Pa has stood up and said something years ago they would have done the right thing, the smart thing, and avoided the rest of this thing.

It's a shame Paterno's legacy will be trashed but the school needs a break from football to set itself on the right direction. The riots, the whole nastyness of protecting the program, and the general feel of Penn State football is proof enough to me that major action against the team should be taken. I'm talking four to five years of zero football.

Another interesting point to consider is if it is within the NCAA's boundaries to step in and take action.....great post Sabs!

At 9:21 AM, Blogger Sabykid said...

It definitely is a shame! Not sure if the football program should be punished for this and the players suffer because of administration's lack of reporting, etc. It should come from their pocket book and proceeds from the football program should go to the victims families and programs, not to the university. Thanks so much for commenting Asad!!


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