When the NCAA imposed its sanctions on Penn State—which included slashing its budget, removing scholarships and erasing game wins—it acted unilaterally, as a private, unaccountable force unleashed on a public institution. The possible colluding role played by the board of trustees and Governor Tom Corbett were all but ignored, while Penn students are made to bear the brunt of the punishment.

Nation sports columnist Dave Zirin went on Democracy Now! to speak about the scandal and why the NCAA should not be wielding such unprecedented power.

—Zoë Schlanger