Penn State! Obviously everyone knows by now what transpired at Penn State University with Jerry Sandusky and the molestation of young boys. I’m not here to re-hash the disgusting details of what happened. This is just a commentary regarding the sanctions placed on Penn State University for the behavior of everyone involved in the scandal. A quick re-cap of the sanctions: $60 million fine, 4 years of bowl probation, vacating all wins dating back to 1998, a loss of scholarships starting with 10 initially and then 20 total scholarships each year for 4 years, and the ability of players to transfer this year with no penalty. Now, my take on these sanctions.
- $60 million fine – this money is going towards helping molested children. I think the NCAA has the right idea here by moving the money towards supporting victims of sexual abuse as children. I actually feel like this dollar amount should have been a little more, but we know that no amount will change what happened to those young boys.
- 4 years post season ban – No bowl games for 4 years. This will be crippling to recruiting classes for the next 4 years, which will basically diminish the product at Penn State. I believe a post season ban of 2 years would have been more fitting. On Saturdays the population boom surround Penn State football makes it the 3rd largest city in the state of Pennsylvania. The decrease in the product on the football field is going to drown the economy in the area, not just the university or football team. 4 years is too much in my opinion, when schools are getting less for paying players (USC) and taking classes for players (UNC). I am not downplaying the egregious crimes that occurred, but remember that none of the current players or coaches had anything to do with what happened, and this was not a football related incident with regards to the GAME. Punishment was necessary, but I would like to see more Civil hearings where those who turned a blind eye end up in jail rather than just punishing the football program.
- Vacating the wins from 1998 – To me, this was stupid. Again this wasn’t a FOOTBALL crime. This was a crime, but it had nothing to do with the performance on the field. Joe Pa’s record for wins is now “gone” and he is now 12th all time in NCAA history. Does this do anything to help the victims? Actually what does this accomplish? Was there any cheating going on? They definitely blew it on this one.
- Loss of scholarships – This alone would have been fitting, but coupled with the postseason ban it is crippling to the institution. I think that was the main point of all of this. I like losing scholarships but in a moderation form. I’d have preferred a loss of scholarships and lesser years on the postseason ban. Not for the football program, but for the community surrounding the university.
- Allowing players to transfer – Finally, the NCAA got the transfer ruling right. This was definitely the right move, great job.
In all honesty the main gripe regarding these sanctions is stripping wins. I feel like doing this was overboard regarding what happened. Again, none of what occurred affected game play. Wins and losses should not be stripped. I don’t like the severity of the ban but I understand it. What the “tickle monster” Sandusky did was vile and disgusting. What those around him did in looking the other way was just as bad. Punish those who let this happen and do it with big fines and jail time (or whatever you can actually do within the “law”). Erasing memories of football games doesn’t accomplish anything. Penn State will come back from this. So for all the Nittany Lion fans, fear not about your precious program, you will be back. Channel your support towards the University community and the victims of the crimes. Show your hate towards those who let these things occur. Be proud of where you went to school. It wasn’t your school that let you down, it was a few idiots who couldn’t understand right from wrong. For those wondering, no, I didn’t attend Penn State, but I support the school now.
Remember guys, YOU ARE….PENN STATE!