Randy Smith: NCAA Surrenders

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
"The NCAA has surrendered." Those words were spoken last week by Pennsylvania State Senate Majority leader Jake Corman, after college sports' governing body announced it was reinstating the 112 Penn State football wins that were vacated in 2012, as a reaction to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The result from this action allows the late coach Joe Paterno to move back on top of the all-time coaching wins list with 409 victories. I have mixed emotions about reinstating those wins, because even though Coach Paterno didn't commit  those heinous sexual acts against children himself, I do believe he was aware of them; at least to some extent. And in my humble opinion, that is almost as heinous.

We have all spent a lot of time debating the rights and wrongs of the Sandusky scandal; who knew what and when did they know it.
There is no question the actions by Coach Sandusky were the all-time worst and most disgusting actions ever committed in college football, but those actions had nothing at all to do with football. Therefore, the NCAA had no business whatsoever in jumping in and handing down sanctions. The NCAA should have let the state of Pennsylvania and Penn State University handle things themselves. Sandusky broke the law and was punished. He will never again see the outside of a prison and rightly so. The school president was fired as was the athletic director and others, including Joe Paterno, and all those firings were justified.

Usually the NCAA hands down sanctions to punish schools for breaking rules to gain an unfair advantage. There was no unfair advantage in this situation. Penn State gained nothing from the sordid actions of Jerry Sandusky, so the NCAA should have stayed out of this whole situation; at least until the state of Pennsylvania had a chance to sort things out and hand down their own punishments.    

Years ago, heads looked the other way when actions like Sandusky's were suspected. The "good ole boys" looked after each other and if looking the other way was what one had to do to avoid any knowledge of such atrocious actions, one looked the other way; especially for the good of the team.  Things thankfully aren't like that anymore. The well-being of an innocent young person is more important than any team, in any league, anywhere.

In their usual pompous way, the NCAA will settle a lawsuit with the Paterno family, yet never admitting they did any thing wrong. NCAA President mark Emmert said this week, "We are not at all admitting that we didn't have the authority to impose the penalties." Well, admit or not, the NCAA did not have that right. It was not an issue that should have involved the NCAA at all.

A few days after Coach Paterno was let go by Penn State, the school decided to remove the huge bronze statue of him from the stadium grounds. It has been in storage for the last two and a half years while all scenarios played out.  There is now a movement among former players and long-time Penn State supporters to put Paterno's statue back in it's place. I'm not sure that is a good idea. Most every person who will pass by the statue will think of the "scandal" before they think of a single one of Paterno's 409 victories. 

Here's a thought; maybe the NCAA should jump back in where it doesn't belong and help Penn State decide what to do with the statue.  

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.

His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.

He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.

In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have four grandchildren, Coleman, Boone, DellaMae and CoraLee.

To contact Randy: rsmithsports@epbfi.com

AA South Baseball Standings

Red Wolves' Cardona Named To Puerto Rico National Team Roster

UTC's Parrott Named SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Player

AA-South Standings/Results (as of games of 5/17/22) North Division Team W L PCT GB Tennessee (CHC) ... (click for more)

Red Wolves defender Nicolás Cardona was named to the Puerto Rico National Team roster on Monday evening May 16th, becoming the first active Red Wolves player to be called into National Team duty. ... (click for more)

Last weekend at the Southern Conference Softball Championship, junior hurler Brooke Parrott went 4-0 in the circle with a 1.12 ERA en route to being named the SoCon Tournament’s Most Outstanding ... (click for more)


AA South Baseball Standings

AA-South Standings/Results (as of games of 5/17/22) North Division Team W L PCT GB Tennessee (CHC) 21 13 .636 - Rocket City (LAA) 19 15 .559 2.0 Chattanooga (CIN) 18 16 ... (click for more)

Red Wolves' Cardona Named To Puerto Rico National Team Roster

Red Wolves defender Nicolás Cardona was named to the Puerto Rico National Team roster on Monday evening May 16th, becoming the first active Red Wolves player to be called into National Team duty. Cardona will report for Puerto Rico National Team camp in the Cayman Islands on June 5 for two matches in the first round of the CONCACAF Nations League. Puerto Rico will play against ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Sabrena Smedley, Joined By Matt Hullander, Challenges Results Of County Mayor Election

County Commission Chairman Sabrena Smedley has filed papers in Nashville challenging the results of the May 3 Republican primary election for county mayor. She said Matt Hullander, who finished third in the race, has agreed to sign on to her appeal. Weston Wamp was declared the winner of the primary with 14,425 votes to 14,104 for Ms. Smedley and 12,171 for Mr. Hullander. ... (click for more)

137 Acres Of Prime Land In Hixson Being Eyed By Several Groups - It's The Valleybrook Golf Course

There's 137 acres of prime land in Hixson now being eyed by several different groups - it's the Valleybrook Golf Course. Chattanooga businessman Henry Luken, who bought it at an auction nine years ago for $950,000 (plus six percent sale commission, is shopping it for $3.4 million. He said a Florida group is eyeing it along with some groups in Chattanooga, but no deal has yet ... (click for more)


We Owe A Great Debt Of Gratitude To Sheriff Jim Hammond

I nearly bit off my tongue trying to restrain myself with regard to the attacks on Sheriff Jim Hammond in recent weeks. For over 25 years I have known Jim. I know him to be a fine Christian gentleman, a patriotic American, a genuinely compassionate leader. For many years, at his church, he taught Sunday School. On behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, he taught constitutional ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Muffling The Mobs From Neighborhoods

On Monday Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill to combat bad behavior, which most laws do, but HB 1571 should have never been necessary. It bans angry mobs and profane picketers from going into neighborhoods to protest in front of somebody’s house. We’ve seen the upraised middle fingers and the insidious language spewed out of megaphones in recent weeks in front of some Supreme ... (click for more)