Penn State Gets Smacked

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This isn’t really Virginia Tech related, but like everybody else, I can’t help but throw out my two cents about the Penn State situation. The NCAA delivered massive penalties to the Nittany Lion program on Monday morning. It’s not quite the Death Penalty, but Penn State football is going to be significantly damaged for the foreseeable future.

Take a look at these sanctions:

A $60 million fine: I’ve written articles in the past that suggested the NCAA start fining offenders a significant amount of money. $60 million is as significant as it gets, and Penn State isn’t allowed to cut funding for non-revenue sports to pay the fine.

Vacate all games from 1998 through the present: This one is a big yawner, but it does take JoePa down to 298 wins. Bobby Bowden now sits at #1 amongst all Division 1-A football coaches.

Scholarship Losses: Penn State can only sign 15 players per year over the next four years, and their total scholarship number is capped at 65. That’s 20 fewer scholarship players than their competitors, which puts them at a big disadvantage.

Postseason ban: Penn State is banned from the postseason for the next four years.

No-penalty transfers: Penn State football players can transfer without sitting out a year. That’s huge. The next couple of weeks could be a free-for-all as players leave the program. If I were a head coach and I had available scholarships (and needs at particular positions), I’d be making some calls right now.

To add to that, the Big Ten is withholding $13 million worth of postseason revenue sharing from Penn State.  Ouch.

That’s harsh. Very harsh. I have mixed feelings on whether or not Penn State deserved something that harsh. On one hand, all of the people involved in the terrible acts and the ensuing cover up are either dead, going to prison, or out of a job. All of those guys have been significantly punished. This new NCAA punishment isn’t out to get the guys who actually committed the crimes. It’s punishing a lot of innocent players, as well as Penn State’s new (and equally innocent) coaching staff.

On the other hand, ever since this scandal broke last fall, I’ve slowly gained a better understanding of the Penn State culture. Joe Paterno was worshipped by thousands upon thousands of people. Watching SportsCenter over the weekend, I saw people bringing flowers to Paterno’s statue, folks camping out overnight to “guard” it, and even a father teaching his young son to point his finger in the air exactly

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