FanDuel - WFBC

July 23, 2012

Too Much Penn State?: Scully has suggested that the Penn State sex abuse scandal is covered too much on SportsFilter and is now only tangentially a sports story.

posted by rcade to navel gazing at 12:08 PM - 19 comments

"...and forgotten more quickly."

This whole thing is horrible, and disgusting and sad, etc, etc, etc but I would like to suggest that for this all to be "forgotten more quickly" that this be the last thread on the front page. I get it, this is very upsetting, but it is only tangentially sport related at this point and all these threads are starting to feel like ax grinding. Perhaps those who feel the need to continue on the subject write a column about their feelings?

I agree with the more vocal of you about this topic, seriously. My family lives in western Pennsylvania, and I am far from a JoePa apologist. Some of my family members have ties to the institution as academics, and most of them care very little for college athletics. I haven't said a single word in any of these many threads. Not because I support anything the university has done or did do; in fact the opposite. But I have been avoiding SpoFi over the last few weeks because I am not interested in rehashing the subject. It is being covered elsewhere.

There are times when I am on MetaFilter and a sport-related thread pops up and it is obvious that it would be better embraced here on Sportsfilter. This topic is now one I think the opposite is true.

I watched the press conference live, and I what I am glad to have heard is that the athletes in the football program who are students (and eligible) will be able to transfer elsewhere without having to sit out for any period of time. What I wish is this was the case always, like it is for the coaches currently.

I know there are some people here who appear will only be happy when every brick of Penn State is removed and the institution closed, but that isn't going to be accomplished on a sport web site.

posted by scully at 10:10 AM on July 23

I get it, this is very upsetting, but it is only tangentially sport related at this point and all these threads are starting to feel like ax grinding.

I disagree. The story's the biggest one in the news at the moment, and ESPN is devoting constant coverage to it.

A punishment this severe against a college football program would be worthy of a post regardless of the reason, as would the removal of the statue of a sport's winningest coach no matter why it happened.

The reason this is getting so much prominence is because it could be the biggest sports story of the decade.

posted by rcade at 10:36 AM on July 23

"this be the last thread on the front page"

With much respect, scully, I don't "get" this stance. Why avoid SpoFi for a period of time or beseech the rest of the site, when you essentially have the ability to "change the channel"? Simply don't open these threads and focus on the other commentary here that you seem to value.

And claiming that this isn't relevant to a sports site reminds me of the critics saying that the NCAA shouldn't have been involved in punishment because this situation wasn't football-related. That latter sentiment is utter horseshit. The coverup was purely to maintain the perceived prestige of Paterno, the football program, and the university, with the end-goals being to keep Penn St football a desirable destination for recruits and continue to win football games. The lack of morals and the desire and ability to cover something like this up represents a "competitive advantage" because I can't fathom many other programs or universities being willing to guarantee their spot in hell, just in the hopes of not losing a couple recruits. This isn't JUST a football thing (lord, I wish it was), but it sure as hell is AT LEAST a football thing. This inability to recognize the full scope of the issue is exactly the reason the NCAA HAD to step in.

"just seems to create an untenable position for a school"

Untenable, really? Difficult, maybe. Yes, the police and prosecutors let everyone down in 1998. That doesn't eliminate Penn St. from doing what is "right". And I don't think "right" smells like granting someone who you're pretty damn sure is a child predator with a sweet retirement package and continued access to your university. Couldn't the appropriate actions taken by Penn St be conversations such as a) "Police and prosecutors, you might think you're doing Penn St a favor be sweeping this away, but please don't go soft on this guy on our account." and b) "Sandusky, we can't take criminal law into our own hands, but there is the gate leading out of this university. Walk through it, never look back, never set foot on these grounds again, and by god, if we even catch a whiff of you being up to no good ..."

Certainly not a fun situation to find yourself in as a university, but to say you can't do anything about it ... BS.

posted by littleLebowski at 10:54 AM on July 23

This whole thing is horrible, and disgusting and sad, etc, etc, etc but I would like to suggest that for this all to be "forgotten more quickly" that this be the last thread on the front page.

If you seriously want to propose this, the locker room is probably a better place for that discussion to take place. It won't happen, though and it probably shouldn't. Short of an outright ban and much more active content control than SportsFilter has ever had, you won't keep this topic off the front page. I don't care either way; I'll simply observe that other topics that you would probably consider even less sports-related have had more front page legs.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:59 AM on July 23

The reason this is getting so much prominence is because it could be the biggest sports story of the decade.

Unfortunately. It's because one of the most successful (at the time) collegiate sports programs was used as a carrot to lure potential victims to being sexually assaulted where they wouldn't have been touched otherwise. And the entire episode over the years would've been thwarted had even one person stepped forward.

It's also an emotional issue for a few people, looking at some of the posts on a lot of discussion boards, including here on SpoFi. Getting personal for a minute, as most people on SpoFi know me mostly as a one-post-per-thread troll who doesn't engage much, I myself am about to become a father for the first time (step-father really; my fiance has an 8-year-old daughter) at age 45 and for the first time I'm becoming truly aware of all the threats to children this world has to offer. Call me naive, but I can't honestly even imagine anyone with such public prominence and responsibility in a civilized society committing such heinous acts, and others who choose to look the other way because the accomplishments of a sports program are placed higher on the priority list than the welfare and safety of children. Regardless of which side of the fence you're on, everything about this story just boggles the mind.

All of what we're seeing and hearing in the news on this incident is designed to ensure something like this never happens again. If only.....

posted by NerfballPro at 11:02 AM on July 23

I was another advocate of less coverage of Sandusky here, but this is a sports story again. "Sandusky convicted" wasn't -- "Penn State hit with bowl ban and scholarship reductions" is.

posted by Etrigan at 11:37 AM on July 23

I dropped one comment on the initial thread some months back and that's about all I could stomach. That said, I think every one of these threads belongs on Spofi. Without the power granted to Paterno by sports there's no way this would have been allowed to continue (unless Paterno had power granted to him by religion I suppose).

posted by tron7 at 12:51 PM on July 23

The reason this is getting so much prominence is because it could be the biggest sports story of the decade.

This. As the story evolves it only makes sense to continue to cover it here. It is easy to simply avoid the topic if you're sick of it.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:08 PM on July 23

It appears that Penn State was the subject of five front page posts in July and one in June.

posted by rcade at 01:51 PM on July 23

rcade:

If you have access to the database, is there any way to get a tabulated list of the front page posts for the past 10 years? I'm curious which teams/people/sports get the most discussions.

posted by grum@work at 02:05 PM on July 23

What format do you need?

posted by rcade at 02:20 PM on July 23

I was another advocate of less coverage of Sandusky here, but this is a sports story again. "Sandusky convicted" wasn't -- "Penn State hit with bowl ban and scholarship reductions" is.

This I will agree with, but the problem is that it seems to inevitably turn into "BURN IN HELL JOE!"

I get that child rape is one of (if not the) most horrible crimes there is, but rcade this seems to be your #1 issue on SportsFilter, Twitter, etc. It is apparently a very important issue to you personally. And more power to you for fighting it. But other than the bowl ban/scholarships/etc/etc I personally don't see it as a sport issue. *shrug*

It appears that Penn State was the subject of five front page posts in July and one in June.

Feature request... a way to click to see "< OLDER" posts. I went to see what percentage of posts are about Penn State over those two months you mentioned (minus the huddles) but couldn't see past July 06.

Along this same line, can we add the year to the stamps, especially in the Locker Room?

I have stayed out of those other threads (changed the channel, so to speak) but it seems like each turn is a new thread and I am not so sure all of the non-sport parts of this story couldn't stay on one thread. It isn't like there are so many posts being made that they roll off the front page. I agree that my comment in that thread should have been here in the Locker Room and for that I apologise. In the future would it be okay to do something like MetaFilter does and state "Locker Room" with a link to bring a side discussion here?

posted by scully at 02:30 PM on July 23

There was a time period where we had a Barry Bonds thread every couple of days.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:30 PM on July 23

YYM, and probably a majority of that discussion was sport-related.

posted by scully at 03:03 PM on July 23

I get that child rape is one of (if not the) most horrible crimes there is, but rcade this seems to be your #1 issue on SportsFilter, Twitter, etc.

It's an important issue to me, but to put it in perspective, I've posted 150 news stories here and elsewhere the past 30 days. I post news when I think it's a big deal.

The four Penn State stories I posted on SportsFilter this month were about the release of the Freeh report, Paterno's secret $3.3 million deal, the statue tear-down and today's NCAA punishment. The only one I might have huddled, in hindsight, is the secret contract. The others are such big news I'd feel like we let Touchdown Jesus down to not have them here.

posted by rcade at 03:09 PM on July 23

In the future would it be okay to do something like MetaFilter does and state "Locker Room" with a link to bring a side discussion here?

Yes. I added the ability today for editors to move comments from the front page to a locker room topic. We should discourage metatalk outside of the locker room.

posted by rcade at 03:12 PM on July 23

In one sense I'm a little tired of this subject myself. But in another sense this entire topic has been like a train wreck; as horrible as it is, you just can't look away even if you wanted to. And I for one can't fault rcade's decision making process in the way it's been handled here on SpoFi because it's a continually-evolving story with a new wrinkle every few days. And even the various aspects of the story that don't seem to be sports related always lead back to the football program and how the scandal will impact it going forward.

There are still a number of events related to the scandal that are waiting in the wings, too: the Paterno family's "sanctioned" report that responds to Freeh's; the upcoming trials of Tim Curley and Gary Schultz; Graham Spanier's fate and possible indictments; as well as Penn St.'s civil litigation trials and then their "new" football team taking the field. I know a scant few of these sub-topics are directly sports related, but they'll bear some mention in SpoFi as they happen, I'm sure. But I think the highest concentration of events related to the scandal are now just about over. There isn't much anyone else can do to Penn St. or Joe Paterno's legacy anymore.

posted by NerfballPro at 03:40 PM on July 23

YYM, and probably a majority of that discussion was sport-related.

My comment was a response to Grum's query two comments before yours, it just so happens we posted at the same time.

I think that it is generally accepted, however, that if a topic is even only tangentially sports related, then it is fair game to be discussed here. I feel some of the most thought provoking and interesting discussions that take place on this site often occur in threads that do not necessarily have sport as their focal points.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:16 PM on July 23

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