Penn State Gets Hammered By The NCAA

It’s not golf, but as a college football fan, I find this fascinating: The NCAA has levied serious sanctions against the Penn State football program. They include:

  • $60 million fine that will fund an endowment for programs for sexual abuse victims.

  • A ban on participation in post-season football bowl games for four years.

  • Scholarships are reduced from 25 to 15 for four years.

  • Vacating all the football team’s wins for 1998-2011.  It was in 1998 that word of Sandusky’s activities first reached University officials.

    Rumors have it that separate Big 10 sanctions will follow. I vote for the Big 10 schools to take Penn State football off their schedules for a year or two. There surely are some puppy schools willing to schedule a payday by filling in Penn State’s spot on the Big 10 schedules.

    Given the deliberate coverup of the crimes, I also hope Pennsylvania prosecutors go after any University official who knew but did not report to police. Not reporting is a conspiracy to perpetrate further child abuse.

    With the wins vacated, Grambling’s Eddie Robinson again moves to the most wins for a Division 1 program. Bobby Bowden is second. Paterno falls to twelfth.

    I wonder what new ground the NCAA has broken with this ruling. Punishments for schools generally reflect their attempt to gain a competitive advantage. I think Penn State could probably challenge this in court, saying that the NCAA has stepped outside its legal boundaries. But that would create a whole new public relations problem. Imagine the headlines: Penn State Fights Punishment For Child Abuse Coverup.

    There is, however, an argument that a competitive advantage was gained. Jerry Sandusky is acknowledged as a superb defensive coach. By keeping him on, in spite of knowledge of his crimes, the football program was gaining an advantage.

    They’re better off taking their medicine and hoping that fifteen or twenty years from now, people have forgotten.

    Finally, as with all NCAA sanctions, I feel sorry for the players, current and past, who had nothing to do with the crime. With the four year ban, all of the current players will be able to transfer without loss of time. But how many spots are out there waiting for them?

    Worse, the players from 1998 on have had their accomplishments officially taken from them. They will not be able to see their team listed as the winner of this game or that bowl. There’s no way to compensate them for that.

  • 3 thoughts on “Penn State Gets Hammered By The NCAA”

    1. Supposedly PSU will not challenge.  NCAA said that this was crafted as a consent decree and that PSU has already signed it.  That would indicate to me that it is a done deal.  Further, it does seem the current trustees and president want to take the lumps and get through this as quickly as possible. 

      I don’t think that the Big 10 will expel PSU for a temporary period.  I hope not.  I don’t know about UM, but OSU already has enough chump schools on the schedule, we don’t need to pick up another Kent or Bowling Green.  This does change the balance of the Leaders vs Legends division.  For 2012, the Leaders division only has 4 schools which can compete post-season (OSU is out for this year). 

      The 13 year wipe of wins is more than I thought they would do.  I thought it would be 2-3 seasons, or maybe back to 2001.  That would restore record wins to Robinson and record winning seasons record to Bear Bryant.  But by going back to 1998, they push Paterno under 300, which while there is a logic to the date, it also is a round number, and pushes him far enough down the list that when you look at the records, you don’t have this criminal and the collective memory of what he did near the top of the list.

    2. Two possible updates to this post:

      1) The main “Big 10” penalty is that Penn State won’t get “shared conference bowl revenues” for the next four years. That’s a total of $13 million that they won’t be getting. That money will be donated to childrens charities in Big10 country.

      2) Penn St. has agreed to the NCAA’s punishment, and I assume, to the Big10’s as well.

    3. BTW- as for the current players not being involved – well normally with the length of time the NCAA takes, that is usually the case anyway. 
      -Which tattooed trinket seller is still at Ohio State for this season when they will serve the postseason ban?  And Ohio State is on the second coaching staff since Tressel as well?  Only Gene Smith survives as AD which he should have been gone too IMO. 
      -At University of Memphis, their basketball program received their punishment for something the Calipari was involved with, and Calipari fled town before sanctions were handed down.  New coach and no players from the scandal were the ones left to pay the price.  (In fact that cheating scumbag Calipari fled two programs to escape sanctions.  Get ready Kentucky.)

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