FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
As the Penn State child sex abuse scandal continues to grow, there are more questions about how the situation got so out of hand.
And at least part of that answer lies in the outsized influence of sports teams on college campuses around the country.
At Penn state, football is a religion; and for almost five decades, legendary coach Joe Paterno was a god.
That could be why officials looked the other way when they learned an assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky, was allegedly raping little boys.
It appears that Penn State cared more about protecting the football program than protecting the children - sort of the same way the Catholic Church responded to its own child sex abuse scandal.
Of course, big sports also means big money for these colleges. With big money comes the potential for corruption and misplaced priorities. Oftentimes, people affiliated with these sports programs develop a sense of entitlement.
As one expert tells The Boston Globe, "You're making a deal with the devil. These programs become larger than life. It has nothing to do with higher education."
What's ironic is that Penn State was a college known for running a clean football program, yet it has still managed to land itself in what is arguably one of the worst scandals to ever hit a college campus.
Some people think it's way past time to take a hard look at the role of college football or basketball teams. But others say it won't make much of a difference; that the culture is way too powerful and deeply entrenched.
Here’s my question to you: What role did the outsized influence of college sports play in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jack, Your question is an understatement! At the "Pop Warner" level, a kid who is bigger than the rest or possesses better than average coordination is identified. That starts the special treatment for life. In succession: little league, middle school, high school, college, and then NFL coaches await the arrival. The special education, training table, locker room enhancements, easy courses, medical care, and alumni with hands out make for a privileged life. And at the end the specially groomed athlete makes millions, Las Vegas betting makes billions, TV networks make multi billions all because of Pop Warner and Little League, who make nothing.
Dan in Long Island, New York:
Jack, It is the "money" sports that corrupt. There are many college sports that are enjoyed by student athletes where stadium ticket sales, t-shirt sales, corporate sponsorship, pro agents, and network executives aren't so embedded. The Penn State situation is a corporate athletics crime. Money out leveraged the truth, as it too often does.
Nancy on Facebook:
Not for nothing, this is just another male-dominated institution. It’s like the Catholic Church, where they all closed ranks and protected each other and the group, as first priority. Was it only because sports are big business? I'm not so sure.
It probably played some role, but unfortunately, what occurred is not that rare in locker rooms across the county. If you've spent much time in high school and college male locker rooms, you've likely seen, and maybe even experienced, sexual harassment, bullying and/or molestation. Actual sodomy is more rare, but even that is not unheard of. Males are even less likely to report it than females, because of the humiliation factor.
Mel in Houston:
Maybe a fractured cliché is the appropriate answer: "Money talks and common sense walks."