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.