Here is the opening to my Monday column advocating the death penalty for Penn State football:

This is about that two-faced, fallen idol Joe Paterno and his monstrosity of a football program and how he and others disgraced a good university. It’s also about the so-called death penalty for Nittany Lions football — well deserved. But first I want to talk about religion.

When I want a religious experience, I go to an old, stately synagogue in downtown Oakland. Other people go to church. But more and more, people go to football games and worship at the shrine of football. Football is becoming the secular religion in our society.

To read the entire column, please click here.

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  1. Tiburon Dave

    Very Well Written…

    I take no pleasure in this but Penn State Football needs to go away for a decade.

    The Freeh report is still only a few days old and I believe the good people of Pennsylvania are still in shock.

    Pennsylvania is not a wealthy state…coal mining…light agriculture…three mile island…

    Outside of Penn State Football and to a lessor degree the Steelers, the people of Pennsylvania didn’t have much to hang on to…so they put their faith in Joe Pa…

    They believed in St. Joe…now they know the truth and it must be terrible for them…

    It’ll take a few weeks and months but sooner ot later the shock will wear off and the magnitude of the horror in their midst will settle in…the program will come down…

    I hope I’m right…

    July 15th, 2012 6:17 pm

  2. Neal

    I agree Lowell, although those kids that are on schlorships, should be able to go else where. Not fair for some of these kids that are going to make the pro’s and pedafile state takes away their lively hood.

    July 15th, 2012 6:19 pm

  3. Public animal

    Do you believe in the actual Death Penalty Lowell?
    That’s what I thought.
    That said, Penn. State needs to go away as a football program.
    Or does Lowell want death to the entire University?

    July 15th, 2012 6:55 pm

  4. CohnZohn

    Public Animal, I hope you read my column with at least minimal attention. I want the football program to get the death penalty, certainly not the university. Read it again. What do my views on the real death penalty have to do with anything? And how do you assume you know my views on the real death penalty? I keep those things private. I hope you approve.

    July 15th, 2012 7:06 pm

  5. Michael G

    PSU should impose it on themselves. That is the only way to diffuse this and to have any hope of a future resurrection. USF dumped the basketball program in 1980 after a player had assaulted a female student (there were other shennanigans like recruiting violations and the assault was the final straw). How bad is this compared to that? A factor of a 1000.

    July 15th, 2012 7:47 pm

  6. Zach

    Question: If the kids transfer, would they have to sit out a year?

    Lowell, I agree with the punishment fitting the crime; nothing is a horrendous as destroying the life of a child through molestation, rape, etc. But some of the kids playing there now are the same age of the kids who were attacked; when do we stop punishing the children? Not trying to compare attacking a child and not playing football; it just seems that we keep punishing the wrong people? As long as the kids can transfer and play right away, I am comfortable with the death penalty for Penn State football.

    More importantly, the people who knew and did nothing should face substantial jail time. They are the ones who could have stopped it and did nothing, while also benefiting from all the money produced by the football program.

    July 16th, 2012 5:36 am

  7. Dennis

    Based on your use of the religious metaphor are you implying that a few Dioceses of the Catholic Church should be given the death sentence? Pretty much the same story.

    July 16th, 2012 7:26 am

  8. CohnZohn

    Zach, Sure the players should be allowed to transfer and play right away.

    July 16th, 2012 9:03 am

  9. Joe Sanchez

    Penn State’s football team definitely needs to go away for 5 years or so…that’ll help wipe away the football institutions and traditions for the incoming freshmen in 2017.

    But what about the practical consequences of a football death penalty for the university? I’m sure football was a huge revenue generator for the university and without TV deals and alumni donations, won’t education and other sports suffer?

    July 16th, 2012 9:32 am

  10. CohnZohn

    Joe, Correct me if I’m wrong, but my impression is that football-generated money goes to football and other sports. I don’t believe that money goes to academic departments at the big universities.

    July 16th, 2012 9:36 am

  11. Stan

    It looks to me Penn States attitude is..one’s in jail,the others dead,and a few more have been fired,and that’s enough lets go on like it never happened.
    They wont drop football…and you explain to me why the NCAA has said nothing.
    Penn State is still run by the Matt Millen Rod Brooks types..they weren’t THEIR kids,so get over it.
    I must be right about those people..because that’s why this whole thing started and still hasn’t ended no matter what that University thinks.

    July 16th, 2012 11:13 am

  12. mike

    If the NCAA wants to get into the Penn State fray, it can impose the death penalty on the football program at Happy Valley simply under the context of lack of “institutional control.” Consider that the 14-year cover-up was rampant not only in the head coaches’ office but also throughout the main administrative offices from the President on down to a V.P. and then to the AD. Additionally, the players would be eligible to transfer immediately and be eligible to play without sitting out a year. Also, those who wished to stay at Penn State would have their scholarships as long as they stayed eligible academically or did not violate any other university rules or regulations which would result in loss of athletic grant-in-aid.

    Such a very sad situation, and although the university wants to remodel the facilities where these acts took place, no matter how much paint is put on those walls, it will not cover the stain and the pain through which those boys were put and for what they will suffer for the rest of their lives.

    Paterno donated millions of dollars over the years for a library, etc., but now in retrospect, how much of that money was donated because of his personal shame and guilt for burying Sandusky’s sins?

    July 16th, 2012 11:25 am

  13. Mark M

    Excellent piece. I’m convinced.

    July 16th, 2012 11:38 am

  14. Stan

    I know it was brought up on sports radio that Sandusky might have had “something” on Paterno that allowed him impunity. That’s possible,but I dont think is the reason. You only have to read some Joe Paterno quotes about Penn State players who have gotten in trouble with the law to see Paterno thought of himself as god. In 2006 he made a joke about a Penn State player raping a student. He blamed the victim as asking for it in so many words. Joe Paterno was Joe Paterno’s God.

    July 16th, 2012 12:07 pm

  15. KauaiRobert

    I’d like to see your answer to Dennis’ question regarding Catholic churches.
    Great question Dennis!

    July 16th, 2012 12:13 pm

  16. lameduck

    In my opinion, leave the students out of it. I’d ban the executive leadership of the school and its football coaches from ever being involved with a university/academics/kids again. I’d label them all as sexual predators.

    I’d remove all elements of their existence from the University, including photo’s, naming, statues etc. I’d wipe their existence from visible history. No landmarks.

    But I would let the kids play sports and let a good coach come in to build a new history. The remodeling is a great start but not enough. PSU should purge itself of all in a leadership role when the crimes were committed or covered up. They should no longer be an influence on our kids.

    July 16th, 2012 12:34 pm

  17. KauaiRobert

    Thank you!
    I couldn’t have said it any better.
    I’m with you Brah!

    July 16th, 2012 2:16 pm

  18. KauaiRobert

    Also, I’d be interested to know what the VICTIMS think about a death penalty for PSU football.
    After all, they were/are fans too.

    July 16th, 2012 2:18 pm

  19. Dennis

    lameduck, that is exactly what I said and so did James Carville, (one of Stan’s kinder, gentler, non conservative types) on This Week with George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning.

    July 16th, 2012 4:12 pm

  20. lameduck

    Sheesh Dennis,
    f i only knew. On Sunday I was in bobblehead hell..

    July 16th, 2012 7:22 pm

  21. Albert Park

    An excellent column, Lowell. My sentiments exactly.

    July 16th, 2012 11:27 pm

  22. lameduck

    I think the Governor of Pennsylvania needs to step in and clean house and settle this since it’s a public university. But of course then it should be about what action the voters of Pennsylvania want since they are elected officials…
    If I were to guess – with no information – the voters would want heads to roll but keep football and maintain the integrity of one of the nation’s top public university’s.

    July 17th, 2012 9:20 am

  23. KauaiRobert

    I’m all for punishing the guilty–not the innocent.
    Keep the program and make it good again.
    As for the statue…paint a big red asterisk on it and leave it where is.

    July 17th, 2012 11:07 am

  24. Stan

    Here’s my thought.. If this country was as great as I was taught way back in Catholic School, it was the morally superior USA?,what would happen is-without sanctions or going to court..all the schools on Penn States schedule would refuse to play them..any school contacted by Penn State would turn them down.
    IF THAT happens,I will post this is the greatest country in the world.

    July 17th, 2012 12:24 pm

  25. Dennis

    Stan, if that doesn’t happen which country would you post was the greatest in the world because of it’s higher moral standing?

    July 17th, 2012 1:50 pm

  26. Johnc

    Great article Lowell. As for that delusional artist ..he would be better served to paint horns on the image of Joe Pa.

    July 18th, 2012 1:10 am

  27. Stan

    Denmark and Costa Rica.

    July 18th, 2012 10:22 am

  28. Owkrender

    And let the Catholic Church live? Where’s the fairness?

    July 20th, 2012 11:29 am

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