Changes at Penn State?

Apparently Penn State might be rethinking that whole massive football program thing. According to an article by Kevin Johnson and Kelly Whiteside in USA Today:

Penn State University is reassessing the role of its football program in the wake of a child sexual abuse scandal that has led to criminal charges against a former assistant football coach and the ouster of iconic head coach Joe Paterno.

In his first extensive interview since taking office last month, Penn State President Rodney Erickson said Tuesday that he seeks to transform the university’s public face from a football factory to a “world class research institution.”

Right, one certainly hopes the school is going to do something about football. As the flagship state university of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Penn State exists to educate Pennsylvanians and perform research. The football is supposed to be incidental. The excessive importance of football at the school is almost certainly what caused the university to cover up the sexual abuse scandal.

But it’s unclear what Erickson actually intends to change about “the role of its football program.”

The new president said he will establish “a national Center for the Protection of Children to conduct research and provide treatment to victims of sexual abuse across the country.” But what about the football? Will the program get less money from the university?

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer