The Penn State University football program may not have gotten the so-called “NCAA Death Penalty”, but it might as well have. With the sanctions levied by the NCAA, Penn State Football will be irrelevant for at least the next decade. It may even take 20 years for Penn State to become an elite program again.
Stemming from last month’s exposing of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s serial pedophile scandal, the NCAA penalized Penn State Football with the intention of sending a message that athletics are at no time greater than the communities, the children, and/or the people the institution was intended to serve. With that being said, the NCAA should have just disassembled the entire football program.
Penn State was fined $60 million, banned from post season play for four years, lost 10 scholarships per year for the next four years, and will have a limited roster of only 65 total scholarships, down from the normal 85 for four years to begin in 2014. They also will have the vacating of all victories from 1998 to 2011, and five years of probation. This has to be the most severe penalty levied on any institution in the history of the 102-year existence of the NCAA.
With such harsh penalties being applied, it will almost be impossible for Penn State to field any semblance of a competitive team. All student athletes can transfer within the Big Ten without having to sit out a year. This means that most likely all the top football recruits will transfer. What other reasons do these athletes compete but to win games, gain accolades, and win bowl games? These are things that will not be occurring at Penn State within the next decade. The Nittany Lions’ talent will resemble that of a Division III program. It would not be incorrect to say Penn State Football will not be the same for at least 10 years.
Who are the victims in this crowded mess created by a few egotistical, authoritative figures? Once again it is the children who get victimized. Jerry Sandusky victimized innocent children, and he is still victimizing children even while he is incarcerated. Those who played for Penn State from 1998 to 2011 have had their whole careers wiped away as if they never played a down. I could care less about the plummet of Joe Paterno. He deserves whatever disgraceful shame he is getting. Nevertheless, those kids earned those wins because they played those games, broke records, pulled ligaments and tendons. Adam Talifero has a plate in his neck to prove it. He almost died playing for those wins. Now there is not a record of his team playing those games because the individuals these players trusted betrayed them in order to secure their fame and place in history.
There had to be some type of punishment dealt for the recklessness at which Joe Paterno and his cronies handled the situation, which they made into a scandal for not making the moral and ethical decision to stop the monster who threatened, not only the institution, but the welfare and well-being of innocent children.
Once again, the innocent are being victimized by the wrong doing of others. There really is no other way around the penalties assessed by the NCAA. This is how it is done and has always been done.
I know Joe Pa is turning in his grave, but who cares. At least he does not have to relive the nightmare of being molested continuously by a dirty, sick, old man that took advantage of their innocence, trust, and place in life.