2011 was a cruddy year for college football.
Not on the field — games like TCU-Baylor, Notre-Michigan, Wisconsin-Michigan State and Oklahoma State-Iowa State cemented what was probably one of the better season’s in college football in a while — but off. NCAA investigations at North Carolina, Ohio State and Miami coined the phrase “summer of slime”, and conference realignment revealed just how much of a ruthless business the sport had become — as if we needed another reason to show us.
That all turned out to be small potatoes when the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke at Penn State last month. The former defensive coordinator has now been charged with over 50 counts of child-sex abuse and an entire community has been rocked. Joe Paterno is one of two PSU employees who have lost their jobs — more firings are likely coming — and the fingerprints of this scandal extend all the way to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, who was the attorney general in 2008 when Victim 1 came forward with accusations of sexual abuse from Sandusky.
By no surprise, the Associated Press voted the Sandusky scandal as the No. 1 sports story of 2011, beating out the likes of the NFL and NBA lockouts, and the Packers’ Super Bowl win. Conference realignment and the Ohio State saga came in at No. 4 and No. 6, respectively.
With the way the Penn State story has been developing, it’ll likely be one of the top stories for the next year or two.