NCAA Got it Right on Penn State Sanctions


July 23, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; NCAA president Mark Emmert speaks during a press conference at the NCAA Headquarters with NCAA Executive Committee chair Ed Ray standing behind him to announce corrective and punitive measures against Penn State University for the child abuse committed by former Penn State Nittany Lions assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Nearly 24 hours after the sanctions were handed down by the NCAA against the Penn State football program, it’s time to weigh in.

The sanctions were steep, there is no doubting that. They also, however, were appropriate.

Let’s review them for those that might not have seen it or don’t recall from yesterday:

  • 60 million dollar fine
  • Banned for 4 years from postseason play
  • Down to 15 scholarships per year for four years, down from 25
  • Football players can transfer to other schools without penalty.
  • All wins are vacated from 1998-2011
  • 5 year probation

The NCAA is right, ladies and gentlemen, this had to be done.  Turn the page and we can talk about why.

People are making the argument that these punishments are too steep, that it does nothing to punish the people that were actually involved.

First of all, the main players that were involved are either dead (Joe Paterno), or in jail (Jerry Sandusky). There isn’t a heck of a lot more that you can do to those guys. Vacating the wins DOES affect one of the major players, since it means that Joe Paterno is no longer the winningest coach in college football history. That affects him greatly.

And whether the principals are affected or not, that’s not the point. The point is the culture that was created at Penn State University.

When you hear the Freeh report, and look at the evidence, it’s clear. This university buried a lot. They buried the fact that children were getting abused on their facilities. They knew it, they knew it for sure, and they buried it. Why? Because they valued their precious football program rather than the lives of children.

Understand that. They valued their football program over the lives of children.

Hitting that program hard was the only thing that the NCAA could do. No, it doesn’t give anything back to the victims and it doesn’t do a lot to the principal players. What it DOES do, is says that a culture where football is more important than people’s lives is unacceptable.

So, why not the “death penalty”? Turn the page.

The NCAA stopped short of shutting down the football program, and this was wise as well.

The football players that are on the team now, or committed to coming in the fall, had nothing to do with what was going on. To take away their right to play football, just because of where they decided to go to school would have been unfair.

Instead, they have it set up that because the reputation of the school is damaged, the kids can transfer without penalty. THAT is the right thing to do.

As is coming down on the football program at Penn State. A culture that puts football ahead of people’s lives is unacceptable.

Period. There is nothing else to say.