President Barack Obama has waded into college football's murky waters before, adding his name to the long list of people arguing for a playoff to replace the BCS. Mission accomplished, thanks perhaps in small part to the president.
His latest college football opinion, on whether Penn State deserved the crippling sanctions it received from the NCAA, might not be quite as universally accepted. From his comments on 97.1 in Ohio, as transcribed by Sports Radio Interviews, on whether the punishment fits the crime:
"I think it does. I have been a big admirer of Penn State football. Obviously Joe Paterno was a great football coach, but there are some things that are just more important than sports. And making sure our kids are safe is more important than sports. I think it was appropriate to send that message that we have bigger priorities here."
I've yet to understand how the NCAA's bowl and scholarship sanctions make anything about the world any safer for any children, as they don't punish anyone who actually hurt anybody. Jerry Sandusky is in jail for being a predator, and those who enabled him are all up for punishment as well. The only kids actually affected by the NCAA's ruling are Penn State players.
Is the NCAA going to deter some future predator somewhere from hurting a child? Only if that predator is worried about losing his own bowl eligibility, which doesn't seem likely. Surely the criminal justice system will do a much better job of that then the NCAA could ever hope to, and it would really be amazing if the NCAA had inflated itself to the point of hoping to stop crimes that aren't even related to college sports.
It's also troubling that the NCAA chose to bypass its own rules in order to cut to the front of the line and punish Penn State before the federal government's investigation has even concluded, setting up a power grab for the institution's chief.
While we’re here, let’s watch some of the many fine college football videos from SB Nation’s YouTube channel: