The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 23, 2012

PSU grad: 'NCAA overstepping bounds'

SELINSGROVE — Valley residents asked about the impending NCAA sanctions against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal said the association has no place in passing judgment.

“I think the NCAA is overstepping their bounds,” said Derek Fisher, of Selinsgrove, when asked at BJ’s Steak & Rib House.

A 2005 Penn State graduate, Fisher said the child molestation charges that have embroiled his alma mater are a criminal matter, not one that deals with the violation of any athletic rules.

“In no way should it call for any major penalties,” he said. “It’s a legal matter, not a football matter.”

Penn State is more than a coach and a football team, he said. “I’m still going to support my alma mater … I’m never going to be ashamed of my education or affiliation with the school, or to be a fan.”

Some felt it was unfair to penalize the university’s football players, who had nothing to do with the sexual abuse scandal that led to the conviction of Sandusky and the departure of legendary coach Joe Paterno.

“I fail to understand what the kids playing today had to do with this,” said a Selinsgrove resident who wished to remain anonymous. “I don’t want to minimize the nasty situation, but it had nothing to do with the students,” he said. “I think a lot of people want to see Penn State punished because they beat their favorite college team.”

“It’s absurd to punish the players,” agreed Sue Jeirles, of Selinsgrove. She emphasized, though, that “the situation is unresolved as to who didn’t do their part to report the abuse of the children.”

Bill Ineman, of Youngstown, Ohio, said the controversy reminded him of last year’s controversy at Ohio State, when players were caught selling memorabilia in exchange for discounts on tattoos. Ultimately, though, “there’s no comparison” between the two situations, he said, because they are such different situations.

“It’s sad. It’s a great university,” Ineman said of Penn State. “I’d hate to see the kids suffer for those adult problems.”

He said he always respected Paterno, and he regrets that he’s not here today to defend himself. He made a wrong decision, said Ineman, but everybody makes wrong decisions.

 

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