Penn State: The NCAA’s Punishments Fit Their Crimes

In this case, there really was a fate worse than death.

Penn State University was worried about facing the death penalty for its football program and what it would to their school’s future. If football was banned for a year, it would’ve devastated the school’s student body and other things that depend on the football team. I’m sure plenty of people were praying that the death penalty would not be enforced.

Instead, Penn State probably should’ve been praying FOR the death penalty after the NCAA issued its ruling on the morning of July 23, 2012.

There are five major punishments to be inflicted upon the university for the Jerry Sandusky scandal and each penalty carries its own harsh punishment.

Penn State will be banned from bowl game appearances for four years.

The NCAA targeted Penn State’s heart, which in any university’s case is, it’s wallet. Universities are always trying to get money. You could give them a printing press and they’d still ask alumni for some loose pocket change.

Bowl games draw millions of dollars from tickets, memorabilia, sponsors, TV deals, vending, and anything else that goes into the celebration of a bowl game. If they win, they get even more money and there’s that general great feeling of, “We won a bowl game!”

That feeling cannot be had for four years now. Even if Penn State went 11-0, the NCAA will say nuh-uh to the idea of Penn State going to a bowl game. From now until the end of the 2015-16 season, Penn State cannot appear.

I suspect it was four years because the NCAA wants to make it clear to new recruits that if they stay, they could waste their entire four years of eligibility by going to a school that cannot do anything at the end of the year.

A lot of people are upset. They’ll say this is punishing the players, who had nothing to do with this tragedy.

Well, that brings us to the next punishment.

All Penn State Football Players can transfer out of Penn State if they so wish and may do so immediately.

Ring! That’s the sound of every single player with a brain calling Nick Saban, Mack Brown, Bob Stoops, Mike Gundy, and every other coach from a top 25 AP team.

These players will not get punished for the sins of Joe Paterno. They will be given a chance to escape this awful situation without looking back. And they won’t lose a year of eligibility either. If parents are smart, they will start arranging the necessary paperwork with their sons.

It is a perfect punishment for Penn State. Not only do they lose the chance to play football in the bowl season, but they lose their present team as well unless some players are actually…(fill in with your word)…enough to stay at Penn State. I know I couldn’t. I may even want to quit football after knowing that something that disgusting happened in the shower room. Makes me want to take baths forever.

The present of Penn State is done for, but the future? It isn’t done, but it might as well be after the next punishment.

Penn State will forfeit scholarships over the next four years.

Scholarships are the equivalent of the carrots dangling from a stick. Athletes can’t afford to go to school by themselves. Average people can’t afford school by themselves. Even with their parents’ help, it is still a mountain to climb.

That’s why the school has the scholarships that make the bills go away. But, in order to be fair, the NCAA has a rule that says there is a limit to how many can be given per year so that one school can’t just rake in every talented player. That standard number is 25 scholarships.

For the next four years, Penn State’s number will be 15 scholarships. They will lose 10 per year to make a total of 40. Penn State already will lose their current team once the transfers start happening and then they will be weakened in their ability to replace it without 40% of their yearly scholarships.

Along with the bowl ban, this punishment will transform Penn State from being one of the most competitive football programs to one of the weakest. Players will not want to go there, so competition will not be strong. Expect Penn State to lose most of their games over the next four years.

Penn State will pay a fine of $60 million.

This isn’t a traffic ticket. 60 million bucks is a tremendous amount of money. Not to mention all the money Penn State will lose from the lawsuits it will certainly face. The money taken from them is blood money anyway. It will be given to child abuse programs to aid other victims. It is approximately one year’s worth of football revenue.

Penn State’s football record from 1998-2011 is vacated.

That’s 112 wins. 111 of them belong to Joe Paterno and six of them are bowl wins. Joe Paterno’s legacy will be further struck by this.

Joe Paterno was the all-time wins leader in college football history with 409 wins. Now, by subtracting the 111 victories, he moves down to fourth on the list. Ahead of him are: Bobby Bowden with 346, The Bear with 333, and Pop Warner with 311. Then comes Paterno with his 298 victories.

Joe Paterno also was the all-time wins leader in bowl games with 24. He loses six and is now second on the list to Bobby Bowden’s 22 with 18 bowl victories.

This is unprecedented. I’ve never seen or even heard of the NCAA vacating wins like this. USC and Reggie Bush lost a Heisman and a national championship, but that’s cupcakes compared to this.

The NCAA is basically telling the world that they don’t consider that 14-year period to even exist. Those 14 years never happened people. It isn’t exactly known yet, but I suspect that the school will remove some football trophies and accolades that happened in those 14 years.

It is completely fair because I don’t consider it valid history. Others may naively believe that those wins came regardless of Sandusky. I was talking to one person who was actually dim enough to believe that Sandusky didn’t play a huge factor in the winning.

Let me make this perfectly clear: Jerry Sandusky was a vital part of that football team.

Jerry Sandusky was the defensive coordinator from 1977-1999. He was also the linebackers coach from 1970-1999. He molded linebackers like the Pro Football Hall of Famer Jack Ham and Pro Bowlers like Lavar Arrington, Matt Millen, and Lance Mehl.

He called the defensive plays. It is Joe Paterno’s team and his playbook, but it was Sandusky calling the blitzes, the coverages, and the assignments from the sidelines. He was a great coach. He only resigned because he was investigated in 1998 and the matter was covered up.

Because Sandusky’s crimes were covered up by Paterno and his co-conspirators: the school president Graham Spanier, the athletic director Timothy Curley, and the senior vice-president of finance and business Gary Schultz; Penn State avoided the worst kind of publicity.

If Sandusky is exposed, it is over for Penn State just like it is over now. Now, they wouldn’t be in the trouble they are now no, but they’d still have their name synonymous with child molestation.

Right now, recruits will not go to Penn State. People don’t want to be associated with Penn State. This scandal is so large that when you say Penn State, you don’t think of a great school with a historic football team, you think of that hideous old man (Sandusky) and you shudder and maybe hold your children close to you.

The same would’ve been the same in 1998!

Parents wouldn’t care that Sandusky was caught. They’d still have doubts about Paterno considering he had a child molester on his team all this time. Would that have been fair? Probably not, but it doesn’t matter. Life isn’t fair. Even if Paterno had done the right thing, he’d still would’ve lost recruits and Penn State would be destroyed in the public eye like it is now.

Those recruits wouldn’t have gone to Penn State. No players, no talent. No talent, no team. No team, no success. It doesn’t matter how good of a coach Paterno was, he has to have talent to mold in order to win. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves.

I love this punishment right here because it gets Paterno. Paterno cannot escape this punishment by dying.

It is almost poetic justice. If Mr. Paterno wanted to pretend that those crimes; those evil, disgusting, obscence, cruel and sadistic crimes didn’t happen then it is only fair that we do the same for him.

Those 14 years of football and success didn’t happen. Those six bowl wins didn’t happen. That Orange Bowl trophy isn’t real. Those 111 victories don’t exist.

What was a man who was the most successful coach in college football history is now a man who sold his soul in order to keep winning and achieving milestones.

That will be the legacy of Penn State and Joe Paterno and the NCAA’s punishments to Penn State fit their crimes.

 


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