Here’s my prediction of what will happen as a result of the exposure of the profound corruption at the heart of the Penn State football program and indeed the whole university leadership: absolutely nothing. The NCAA won’t shut down Penn State football. The NCAA will itself continue to be a bloated and corrupt bureaucracy, and will neither undertake voluntary reforms nor be reformed by any external power. University administrators across the country will continue to be as deferential to football coaches as they ever have been, because they know that if they slacken in their reverence they will be fired. Congress will pass no new laws to control college atheltics; it will address neither the pervasive corruption of the whole system nor the medical hazards specific to football, because Congressmen are subject to the same pressures, in this regard, as university administrators. A few people will seek to use existing laws to hold universities accountable; they will experience some minor successes, but the legal system will ensure that no grievous harm comes to the collegiate sports enterprise as we now know it.
Americans love college football with a great passion, and will not be deprived of it. It is among their chief of our circuses. Anyone who tries to end or even limit the corruption endemic to the system will be ignored, if they are small and weak, or, if they possess authority, will be deprived of power. For the foreseeable future, the Penn State disaster will be completely inconsequential, except that the best football players won’t want to play there and the team will slowly decline in success and prestige. Also, some of the former administrators will be convicted of crimes, though plea bargains will almost surely keep them from doing time. All else will remain as it is now.
You heard it here first.