Penn State Got What it Deserved

Posted: July 23, 2012 in sports

In the end all that really matters is Penn State football is now irrelevant. For the next decade – maybe forever – a great university will not be defined by its football program.

As long as Penn State’s football program remained among the nation’s elite programs and attracted so much attention, the mere image of Penn State was a reminder of the horrors committed by Jerry Sandusky and covered up by others, including the late Joe Paterno. I’m not suggesting crippling the football program will make us forget what a monster Sandusky is and how the school’s leaders turned a blind eye to his crimes against children, but time does have amazing healing powers. As long as the school trotted out a football team in front of 100,000 fans in attendance and millions of others watching on television, time would have moved very slowly.

Call it a case of “out of sight, out of mind”.

The fact that it was the NCAA that levied such penalties against Penn State does bother me. The NCAA is an organization that administrators the playing of games by many colleges. Its role is to set standards for eligibility, rules for the recruitment of student-athletes and playing of the games, enforce those standards and rules and conduct championship formats.

It has charged into new and dangerous territory by addressing moral and legal issues. Those issues must be handled by the schools themselves and the legal system.

Regardless of who levied the punishment, Penn State’s football program has been sentenced to death as far as being big time. A four-year ban on postseason play and championship eligibility is a major blow. The reduction of 10 scholarships a year and a max of 65 will make the Nittany Lions non-competitive in the NCAA’s highest football division. Allowing all current players to transfer and be eligible to play elsewhere means the impact will be immediate and for the foreseeable future.

Obviously many innocent people will be hurt by the acts of a few. That’s unfortunate. And unavoidable.

While it wasn’t the NCAA’s job to drop the hammer and Penn State should have punished itself, this is clearly a case when the end justifies the means. 

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