On Sunday night, we were told that “unprecedented” punishment would be levied against Penn State and “it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before” according to a source close to the matter. Well at 9 a.m. Monday morning, NCAA president Mark Emmert took to the podium and dished out the penalties to Penn State.
– no bowl appearances for four years
– five year probationary period
– $60 million fine, plus $13 million from the Big Ten conference bowl revenue over the next three years
– cutting scholarships over the course of four years
– vacate the wins of the program, including Joe Paterno, from 1998 to 2011.
That was the only word I could say as I watched it take place. I was in favor of the “death penalty” and shutting down the program for a year or two. While they didn’t do this, Penn State traded the death penalty for death row.
The no bowl appearances for four years doesn’t come as a surprise. It doubles what USC received in the Reggie Bush saga; Nor does the five-year probationary period.
The loss of the $60 million equals one year gross revenue of the football program. The money from the fine will be donated to victims of child abuse. The amount is high, but it is completely just. The amount can be spread out over five years and can’t be taken from non-revenue sports.
The loss of scholarships per year is crippling. The year they will end that and their bowl game ban will be 2016, the year they play Pitt again. While the two fans of the rivalry will be looking forward to back-to-back years of competition, it will be like Pitt playing Point Park instead of Penn State.
The NCAA is allowing players to transfer right away without sitting out at all. That is the best part of the punishment. Fans don’t want the current players punished and now, they have a choice to leave. The NCAA is also considering waiving the limit on other teams scholarships if they get PSU players. It will be balanced out the following year though.
For example, say a team takes two PSU transfers and have 27 initials and 87 total, you would be limited to 23 initial and 83 total next year.
The last one, Joe Paterno. There are many people wrong in this whole ordeal, but the light keeps shining back on Paterno. The all-time winningest coach is no more. His 409 wins are now 298. That takes him from first to 12th on the all-time list. While the memories that the fans, players and staff have of those wins will remain forever, players like Evan Royster, Darryl Clark, Paul Posluszny, and more officially went through their college careers without winning a single game. Paterno and the officials at Penn State pretended those rapes didn’t happen for 13 years, and while it’s not comparable, the NCAA is now pretending their program didn’t exist.
My reaction after looking at everything?
Bravo NCAA, bravo.
Some still want harsher punishments, I was one at first, but I don’t think they understand how harsh these are. This actually is worse than the “death penalty” in some people’s eyes. It is close to me. They got it right by allowing the current players to still play football at Penn State if they so choose, but also the others to transfer to a school where they can compete. Aside from doing a bit of justice to the victims, allowing the kids to play football was important.
And for those who still want harsher punishments, as I did, let it go. It’ll take Penn State well over 10 years to recover, if they ever do. Look at SMU. No matter the punishment, there would be none stiff enough to equal what happened to those kids.
Emmert said that the Freeh investigation was more thorough than an NCAA one would be, and I couldn’t agree more. The results of the report weren’t made to tarnish the image of the (former) best coach in college football. They weren’t so that Paterno couldn’t defend himself. In fact, if the NCAA wanted to do an investigation, the same things would be found. There’s not a doubt in my mind. The fact that Penn State signed off on the sanctions meaning no appeal, tells me they have no doubt either.
Bill O’Brien is the man in charge of taking over the Penn State program. When he signed on as the new coach leaving the New England Patriots, he knew the risks. He does have an out clause in his contract that he could leave if the program was suspended or the NCAA issued harsh sanctions. If O’Brien was to leave, he would have to pay back his base salary at the time of his departure. The thing that hurts O’Brien the most will be the inability to win, which is where his bonus money is tied into. A complete breakdown of his contract and the bonus money can be found HERE.
There are still things that need to be done in my mind. There needs to be an investigation on the Second Mile foundation and an investigation on Governor Tom Corbett who was attorney general at the time of Jerry Sandusky’s doings. Also, it needs to be discussed why Ron Vanderlinden and Larry Johnson are still on staff at Penn State. Guilty of knowing of any wrongdoing or not, no one and I mean no one, from the previous regime should still be on staff there.
So your new winningest coach in Division-I football history is Eddie Robinson with 408 wins at Grambling State. In the mind of many, it’ll be Paterno, but he now stands at 12th all-time in college football.
The penalties were harsh. Were they harsh enough? For me, I wanted the death penalty at first, but I think Emmert and the NCAA did a fantastic job. In the end, of course, what’s done is done and each person has their opinion on the sanctions and the whole fiasco that is Penn State. One opinion that isn’t true though, is that the football program shouldn’t be punished. Once Sandusky used the program to dangle in front of his victims, it became a football problem.