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NCAA crackdown shouldn't stop at Penn State: BCS uses students like gladiators

The Penn State scandal isn't the only injustice to plague college football. In fact, that damaging lack of transparency is endemic. The NCAA should continue to clean house by taking control of the Bowl Championship Series, which, driven by greed, uses college players like gladiators. 

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A statue of former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno stands outside Beaver Stadium on the Penn State campus July 19 in State College, Pa. The statue has since been taken down, and the NCAA levied sanctions against Penn State after a report found officials there covered up Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse. Op-ed contributor Rodney K. Smith says: 'As the Penn State scandal shows, big-time college football is a world where money speaks louder than morality.'

Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times/AP

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The NCAA has fined Penn State $60 million, reversed its football wins from 1998 to 2011, and the statue of beloved Joe Paterno has been taken down. Former FBI director Louis J. Freeh’s investigation of Penn State’s cover-up of Jery Sandusky’s sex abuse found a “total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims” by Coach Paterno, then college president Graham Spanier, and Athletic Director Mark Sherburne. The cover-up resulted in the devastation of the lives of many young men. It also blemished the university and big-time college football.

But it isn’t the only scandal or injustice to plague the world of college football. In fact, such damaging lack of transparency is endemic. The NCAA should continue to clean house by taking control of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), which, driven by greed, uses college players like gladiators. As the Penn State scandal shows, big-time college football is a world where money speaks louder than morality.

In 2003, concerned by commercialization in college athletics, E. Gordon Gee, who currently serves as president of The Ohio State University, warned, “Nothing short of a revolution will stop what has become a crisis of conscience and integrity for colleges and universities in this country.”

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