The NCAA Revokes the Past

Paterno’s statue at Penn
was taken down not
because it was “divisive,” at the university’s new president foolishly said,
but because Paterno was morally obtuse and unworthy of the honor. So far so
good. But what should we think of the NCAA’s flabbergasting decision to erase
history–vacating 13 years of football wins? As a former Penn State
running back said, this decision means he lost every game he ever played. Why
did he ever go back for a third year after playing for two 0-12 teams?
Apparently the NCAA thinks that punishing athletes for off-field malfeasance
that had nothing to do with on-field performance is a perfect way to get back
at Paterno. Why not take the logical next step–vacating Paterno’s contracts, so
he never did coach at Penn
or maybe revoking
his death certificate so he can be attacked in person? Makes sense to me.


  • John Leo

    John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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One thought on “The NCAA Revokes the Past”

  1. Wow. Maybe I can unilaterally erase 13 years of student loan debt … especially now that I know the university sold me a bag of turnips.

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