When it came to the money behind Penn State and Joe Paterno, were they “Too Big to Fail?”  This term today is synonymous with powerful financial institutions, but has money started to control our institutions of higher education as well?  Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation, discussed it today with Dylan.

The NCAA, always eager to demonstrate their toughness when dealing with recruitment violations and even the hint of money in athletics, has been noticeably absent from the fallout in the Penn State scandal.  If it is their responsibility to uphold the integrity of college athletics, where have they been?

“The NCAA is nowhere on the ethics of anything,” says Zirin.  “It is not an ethical organization.  It’s all built on the basis of revenue-producing sports, particularly basketball and football.”

Which suddenly lends a little clarity to the NCAA’s radio silence on the Joe Paterno scandal.  While NCAA president Mark Emmert collects a salary of $2 million a year – along with 14 vice presidents of the organization sitting around $400,000 a year – student-athletes responsible for those salaries and the other revenue can face harsh punishments for selling their game jerseys.

So was it all about the money that Joe Paterno brought in to Penn State through his fame and image?

“Too many people had a vested interest in his legend.  And that meant cover-up.  That meant, at all costs, the fiction of Joe Paterno’s Penn State had to survive and allegations of horrible, horrible child abuse had to be hidden,” continues Zirin.

And hence we discover that the moral basement for these schools that generate a high percentage of revenue from sports – 60% at Penn State – does not really exist.  In order to protect their institution they will go to any length and sacrifice anyone that stands in their way.

Isn’t it time “Too Big to Fail” stops failing the people at every turn?  Watch the segment from today, and let us know what you think:

Did the fact that so much money is involved with Penn State football make “Too Big To Fail?”  Sound off in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.