Sunday, May 19, 2013

Observations on Penn State 5.19

If you happen to follow my twitter you might have seen my tweet that said Sports Illustrated could go to hell with no explanation for why I was saying that. On their website SI ran a preview of a special investigative report called "Do athletics still have too much power at Penn State?" It's about changes to the medical staff of the athletic department and suggests medical care of the players was somehow compromised.

The article, full of the usual anonymous sources, probably has more to do with internal politics of the department than it does with the medical care of athletes and also quotes former players and alumni who are unhappy with some of the changes. When these same former players and alumni were unhappy with a certain coaching change SI was disgusted with them but now their outrage is used as the basis for the magazine's latest attack on Penn State.

The Penn State Athletic Department released a statement responding to the article which included this, "We provided Sports Illustrated with facts and data that demonstrate our commitment to our student-athletes and how we compare to other peer institutions. Instead, the article sensationalizes in order to insinuate lower standards and largely ignores statements from the Dean of the College of Medicine (Dr. Harold Paz)."

Here is a link to an Onward State article which compares football medical care at all the Big Ten schools. Sports Illustrated could have written an important article about the level of medical care in major college football programs or football in general but that would't have given them the attention grabbing headline for their cover.

This is the fourth time Penn State has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated since the Sandusky scandal first broke. Many at SI were loudly in favor of totally killing the Penn State football program and honestly I think some of them just can't stand that the program survived. As anybody following politics today knows even a fictitious scandal sells and sells well. This is something the Penn State community will just have to learn to live with.

The full article is titled "What Still Ails Penn State" and runs a full 8 pages in this week's issue.