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Sanctions looming, death penalty ‘may have been preferable’ for PSU

Joe Paterno, Thomas Derrick AP

For those looking for the NCAA to take a sledgehammer to the Penn State football program, don’t hold your breath if one report comes to fruition.

According to‘s Joe Schad, and citing a source close to the decision, the so-called death penalty will not be a part of the sanctions against the Nittany Lions.  NCAA president Mark Emmert is expected to announce the penalties the association will levy against the program at a press conference Monday morning.

The source told Schad that the penalties are expected to including the loss of multiple scholarships and a multi-year bowl ban.

While not getting SMU’d, Schad writes that “[t]he penalties… are considered to be so harsh that the death penalty may have been preferable.”  How far-reaching, “unprecedented” and “significant” the sanctions will be is, outside of myriad speculation, unknown.

As previously noted, the NCAA is taking the unprecedented step of bypassing its own Committee on Infractions in handling the Penn State situation.  Schad notes that “the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and/or the NCAA Executive Committee has granted Emmert the authority to punish through non-traditional methods.”

An earlier report intimated that the NCAA and Penn State had reached an agreement on the severity of the sanctions.

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44 Responses to “Sanctions looming, death penalty ‘may have been preferable’ for PSU”
  1. manchestermiracle says: Jul 22, 2012 2:02 PM

    Reduction in scholarships and multi-year bowl ban is NOT preferable to dismantling the team? I find that hard to believe. Either there are nastier punishments to come or PSU STILL doesn’t have its priorities straight.

  2. shardar says: Jul 22, 2012 2:08 PM

    “[t]he penalties… are considered to be so harsh that the death penalty may have been preferable.”

    What could be more harsh than the death penalty?

  3. mantastic54 says: Jul 22, 2012 2:11 PM

    What could be more harsh than the death penalty?

    The double secret death penalty

  4. jdh1016j says: Jul 22, 2012 2:15 PM

    Loss of scholarships and bowl bans this time. Next time Penn St. covers up sodomy on children, they will lose cable tv. Let that be a lesson to the rest of college football.

  5. drexelvol says: Jul 22, 2012 2:16 PM

    The NCAA has no balls, period. Loss of scholarships and a bowl ban? Pardon my french, but give me a friggin break.

  6. thepancreas says: Jul 22, 2012 2:17 PM

    Actually, if you stop and think about it, a 4 year bowl ban (even 3), in addition to multiple scholarship losses, will cripple Penn State’s program.

    Sure, the “death penalty” is severe, and it would be difficult to overcome. But a multiple ban on bowl games, especially when the playoffs are about to begin would make recruiting impossible.

  7. bcjim says: Jul 22, 2012 2:20 PM

    That s it??? I guess they need to save something for the next time a college backed child molesting scandal is uncovered.

  8. whoisedgy says: Jul 22, 2012 2:20 PM

    Worse than the death penalty?

    How about being reduced to the level of 1-AA or Division 2 and having to watch your team get decimated week in and week out for several years?

    With the death penalty, it would be over and then recover. This may be much more of a constant reminder to the PSU family.

  9. bdawk20 says: Jul 22, 2012 2:30 PM

    I am in the group of people that has lost all respect for Paterno and think what Penn State did was despicable ( I am a PSU graduate).

    That said, the guilty parties are going to jail and the school is going to face millions if not billions of dollars in civil litigation.

    I do NOT think there should be further sanctions on the football team for Sandusky, although these proposed sanctions seem consistent with discplinary violations.

    Think of it this way, if a NHL/NFL/NBA/MLB Team’s coach and president were found covering up the abuse of children, the team would not be given the “death penalty”, they would fire the coach and the president and deal with the civil litigation. Main reason is that the respective league would not punish the players and fans who had nothing to do with this issue, but rather face the music in the appropriate manner (which is firing the appropriate people, dealing with the courts, jail time, etc)

  10. artisan3m says: Jul 22, 2012 2:36 PM

    The “death penalty” would impact more than Penn State as it will disrupt and severely impact other team schedules resulting in an unwarranted loss of revenue for the non-involved school. Further, it would impact Penn State student athletes who are in no way involved with this mess. Even if the NCAA granted them no penalty transfer status, they would still bear an unfair burden. Why not this ~ a five year ban on bowl games, significant scholarship losses diminishing over five years, and total and complete forfeiture of all football generated revenue for five years. I mean everything, including concession stands, stadium parking, licensed team memorabilia, coaches shows, commercial endorsements, etc. This will put the bite on the university’s pocketbook ~ where it belongs. Its not a death penalty but the program will be on life support for a long, long time.

  11. derekjetersmansion says: Jul 22, 2012 2:37 PM

    The NCAA will make them “DIII” (0-10 scholarships) for 5 years, which is probably the best compromise they can hope for. This could get the Big Ten to kick them out since they will be terrible for a while like Temple was, make them Independent, and tell Penn State to find teams to play or beg the Big East to let them in.

  12. artisan3m says: Jul 22, 2012 2:39 PM

    And by the way ~ regarding my previous post ~ all forfeited Penn State revenue would be placed in trust for victims of this tragedy and disbursed in a fair and equitable manner by an independent third party. This would NOT indemnify the school or individuals from civil/criminal liabilities that may later be imposed by court proceedings.

  13. papichulo55 says: Jul 22, 2012 2:56 PM

    Sorry Penn Saters, but you earned the punishment, whatever it is. Maybe you can petition your leadership
    to take the high road, and donate thousands of volunteer hours to at-risk programs throughout the state. Give free, pass-faill, four hour credits to any student who volunteers.
    We did something similar at Cornell after Attica. Different circumstances, obviously, but everybody won. Just a thought.

  14. brewcrewfan54 says: Jul 22, 2012 3:17 PM

    Making them go to the Big East, now that would be punishment.

  15. bustermcthunderstick1 says: Jul 22, 2012 3:18 PM

    Word on the street is Taco Tuesday was eliminated from the PSU staff cafeteria as part of these sanctions.

  16. frug says: Jul 22, 2012 3:22 PM

    I personally would have preferred the NCAA stay out of this since I don’t really view it as an NCAA issue, that said, with this as a new precedent I hope the NCAA will go back and review the Sullivan case at Notre Dame. Jack Swarbick and Brian Kelly are every bit as culpable in his death as the PSU 4 were in the Sandusky case.

  17. papichulo55 says: Jul 22, 2012 3:22 PM

    For the sake of the victims, I hope that the Penn Staters understand that their angst should be directed at school administrators and coaches. Those of us who demand justice do so for the past and future victims of child abuse.

    So take back your university, Penn Staters! You have the power to reclaim everything lost. It will take time, and a lot of work. Stop the denial, and start working.

    FYI for the youngsters. Attica is maximum security prison in New York where guards and inmates lost their lives in a prison riot. And yeah, we FORCED our university to be socially relevant, and do something positive.

  18. canetic says: Jul 22, 2012 3:25 PM

    They should strip their helmets of all logos and their jerseys of all players’ names.

  19. paperlions says: Jul 22, 2012 3:32 PM


    If all football related revenue went elsewhere, the school would shut the football program down itself….as well as the majority of other sports programs. Public universities are not awash in cash; they have continually had their budgets cut by states, which is why they focus so much on fund raising and sports revenue. Most are just trying to stay out of the hole.

    Revenue generated by a program like that at PSU likely does not contribute to the general fund, but it likely covers the cost for itself and a lot of other sports…allowing the general fund to remain relatively untouched and keeping tuition costs down.

    Giving all football revenues to victims might sound nice….but that would result in large tuition increases and the shutting down of a lot of non-revenue generating sports programs….if for no other reason, just to save money associated with insurance, medical care, and travel.

  20. j0esixpack says: Jul 22, 2012 3:37 PM

    It wouldn’t surprise me if small businesses that depend on Penn State football may have quietly lobbied the NCAA very aggressively.

    There’s a lot of jobs outside of Penn State that will be lost if the plug is pulled on the football program –

    If the NCAA is going that route they’d better have some pretty damn strong sanctions in mind. A ban on bowl games for eternity would be a good start.

  21. nightman13 says: Jul 22, 2012 3:41 PM

    @ BDawk20

    Professional teams cannot be compared to publicly funded institutes of higher learning.

  22. bdawk20 says: Jul 22, 2012 3:53 PM

    @nightman 13

    Then why are there TV contracts and apparrel contracts with these universities? Division 1 College Athletics is in place to make money, not to benefit higher learning.

    The public contributes tax money to state funded universities, but also pays taxes for professional stadiums. Also, last time I checked, fans pay money for tickets, souvenirs, jerseys, and all else associated with both college teams and professional teams. So how can they not be compared again??

  23. kiopta1 says: Jul 22, 2012 4:01 PM

    Frug you are an idiot. Your saying that the tragic death of a young man caused by a bad accident is on par with the rape of young children by a man (having their bodies touched and penetrated by a monster’s penis) and subsequently covered up by the university. You need to pull your head out of your backside and come up for air.

  24. bigbuckeye76 says: Jul 22, 2012 4:03 PM

    I am going to reserve judgement until all the details are known. However, the idea that PSU should somehow avoid punishment because those that committed the heinous acts are no longer there is ridiculous.

    Welcome to the NCAA, those that commit the crime are seldom punished, PSU should be no exception.

  25. bobulated says: Jul 22, 2012 4:09 PM

    @ frug;
    Have you never heard the term “lack of institutional control” come up in one of the numerous NCAA cheating scandals? How is this not one of the most appalling cases of “lack of institutional control” ever spawned?
    That being said a death penalty so soon before the ’12 season can’t happen; it irreparably punishes the other 11 programs in the B1G. A long bowl and TV ban as well as allowing transfers immediately will be an extremely harsh punishment although many will feel nothing will ever be enough.

  26. trojan33sc says: Jul 22, 2012 4:09 PM

    As a Trojan Football Alum, i for one do NOT want to see the ballplayers who had nothing to do with the violations suffer. Here’s to them being allowed to transfer and play at another school immediately !!!

  27. agc99 says: Jul 22, 2012 4:09 PM

    Kill the program.

  28. keithet58 says: Jul 22, 2012 4:15 PM

    I think that they should be shut down for every year that they let this go on. 14 years. Sports fans at Penn state would just find some other sports to enjoy. The report just released seems to find a lot of other people involved in the coverup.

  29. stoutfiles says: Jul 22, 2012 4:15 PM

    Money > Morals. There’s no way they will shut down a program that makes as much money as PSU does.

  30. bigbuckeye76 says: Jul 22, 2012 4:17 PM

    What happened at ND deserved far more investigation than what we got…..sending someone to their death in gale force winds is hardly a “bad accident.”.

    However, that is a discussion for another time.

  31. mgavin78 says: Jul 22, 2012 4:19 PM

    If PSU actually cared about the victims and the severity of what is going on, they would self impose the so called Death Penalty and start the whole thing over again in 2-4 years. But the ppl running things up there still has zero concern.

  32. bluereign says: Jul 22, 2012 4:20 PM

    Play out the upcoming season, but have the punishments for the future laid out before seasons end which would give students ample time to transfer and the athletes don’t get punished. After this season though anything short of program destruction is an absolute abomination. I don’t want to hear about how the PSU football program is needed for the community. There are plenty of public universities that are BETTER than PSU when it comes to academics and success after graduation that don’t rely on big time athletics.

  33. kdbroom says: Jul 22, 2012 5:18 PM

    Well, if there’s no death penalty, then the NCAA could essentially have a similar effect by giving them a multi-year bowl ban and TV ban, along with stripping them of all scholarships for the next four years. Allow players to immediately transfer with the option of a) being able to play immediately or b) being able to sit out for a year and maintain that year of eligibility. Another approach could be allowing them to only offer half-scholarships or less. The better players wouldn’t be able to foot the bill, and would go elsewhere.

  34. frug says: Jul 22, 2012 5:25 PM

    Frug you are an idiot. Your saying that the tragic death of a young man caused by a bad accident is on par with the rape of young children by a man (having their bodies touched and penetrated by a monster’s penis) and subsequently covered up by the university. You need to pull your head out of your backside and come up for air.

    That was not an accident, that was an inevitability. You send untrained and unqualified individuals into a scissor lift in 50 MPH winds eventually someone is going to die. Period.

    Jack Swarbrick’s cheapness and Brian Kelly’s refusal to go one day without practice footage were the proximate cause of Sullivan’s death. And if you can’t see that it is only because you chose not to.

    Listen, I am not defending PSU anyway, but at least they (eventually) cleaned house. Kelly and Swarbrick weren’t even suspended.

    Have you never heard the term “lack of institutional control” come up in one of the numerous NCAA cheating scandals? How is this not one of the most appalling cases of “lack of institutional control” ever spawned?

    I am well aware of what an LOIC infraction is. That said, nothing that Spanier, Curley, Schultz or Paterno did (or more accurately didn’t do) was an actual violation of any NCAA rules.

    Listen, I’m not saying PSU shouldn’t be punished, but I don’t think the NCAA has jurisdiction in this issue.

    (One the other hand, if the Feds were to cut their federal funding for violating the Clearly Act or the Middle States Commission on Higher Education wants to yank their accreditation for allowing the athletic department to dictate policy to the academic side of the university then I wouldn’t have any jurisdictional objections)

  35. test2402 says: Jul 22, 2012 6:20 PM

    Die, Penn State, Die.

  36. feva4theflava says: Jul 22, 2012 6:41 PM

    NCAA regulations are in place to hold people and institutions in check where criminal and civil law doesn’t hold. Criminal and civil law are all over the penn state issue and with good reason. From a legal perspective the NCAA is over stepping their grounds since there is no player relation issues. Yes I understand this is on unprecedented and what happened is beyond evil but there are checks and balances in place for a reason. We need to step back and allow for due process.

  37. steeler1nation says: Jul 22, 2012 7:17 PM

    as far as the bowl bans go, PSU as it stands now is a mediocre-at-best team, add in the transfers & (assumed impending) heavy scholly reductions…who is to say they will even make a bowl the next 3-5 years, so this becomes a moot point. A real tangible penalty that makes more sense is to shut this program down, it sends the clear message that it is not “business as usual”.

    Additionally, there will be more to come out about this scandal/cover-up. It will get a lot worse before it gets better, which is another reason Emmert should rule on the side of shutting the program down. He may regret not doing this once he hears more PSU bombshells.

    This was indeed a scandal the benefited the FOOTBALL PROGRAM, so it should punish the FOOTBALL PROGRAM harshly. An on-the-field competitive advantage through recruiting was gained by covering this scandal up.
    DEATH PENALTY or bust!

  38. kingghidora says: Jul 22, 2012 8:03 PM

    Boy the freaking bias in sports is unbelievable. I see people on this site talking every day about how UK should be punished and will be punished for what Calipari supposedly did at other schools and I see a LOT of that kind of thinking. Calipari was TOTALLY CLEARED by the NCAA but that doesn’t seem to matter to people. But now Penn. (down young boys) State is proven to be covering up one of the most cruel and damaging crimes against humanity and people want to give them something less than the death penalty?????????????? If it was up to me those people involved would get the actual death penalty (the kind where they strap you down and Penn. a needle in your arm and shoot poison inside you) and the school would never get to play any game in any sport ever again. What they did was beyond belief. Nothing could cover the punishment they deserve. But by all mean let’s give Kentucky the death penalty for imagined violations that took place away from the university. Makes sense to me if you’re a member of NAMBLA. For us non-evil people anything less than the death penalty is just Ohio St. getting unfair breaks again and Cam Newton getting huge money and Corey Maggette and about 1000 other biased NCAA rulings all over again. Tell me again why Enes Kanter didn’t get to play at all but Penn St. does. I want to hear the sick logic behind that thinking so I’ll know exactly what evil sounds like.

  39. acieu says: Jul 22, 2012 8:06 PM

    Relegation to the Scottish Football League’s
    Third Division, loss if all championship trophies, loss of scholarships for a year and £160.000 in fines should just about do it.

  40. restoretheroar1 says: Jul 22, 2012 8:21 PM

    artisan3m said that PSU should set up a found for victims from football money there also going to get sued anyways as well. I will support whatever NCAA does anything but death penalty 5 year bowl ban & 5 year National TV banned as well lose of scholarships. As someone else said that no matter punishment it will not be good enough.

  41. willhnic says: Jul 22, 2012 9:10 PM

    I know many of you will not only disagree…but may even attack me for saying this. Anyway, I don’t think PSU should even be sanctioned. The school itself didn’t do anything. Either did the current players and students. NCAA disciplinary actions should be aimed at the INDIVIDUALS that did the wrong…not the institution. It doesn’t make sense now and never made sense previously. If a coach does wrong…the couch should be fired and prosecuted. If the board, president, etc. do anything wrong…then they all should be fired and replaced. And then prosecuted of at least have civil suits by the University and those violated launched. The PSU institution can’t do anything wrong to people…people do wrong to people. This is just another good example of how Americans as a whole just look at the surface of an issue vs. really thinking and researching what the details and consequences are of any action. Now…more innocent people will be hurt from the actions of the few (students, existing players, staff that didn’t do anything, PSU funding, etc.)

  42. powercorrupts2 says: Jul 23, 2012 2:00 AM

    This has all happened because no one has the cojones to go up against the power of the media, its predilection for exaggeration to gain attention and notoriety, and its preference for the “big fish” because it gets you more clicks, etc.
    The Freeh Report is a travesty: (1) An ex parte document (not an independent report) that was funded with millions of dollars by parties who have a conflict of interest in the case; (2) written in a prosecutorial fashion with no apparent concern for innocence or exculpatory evidence; (3) criticizes the actions of people using a hindsight perspective that employs information none of them knew; (4) does not contain response by the accused parties (Spanier, Curley, Schultz, Paterno, etc.); (5) is written by someone who has a checkered history and may have a biased view of the case. You need to read the actual report (not just its recommendations/conclusions) and look at the details to see if they support the opinions expressed. Pretend you don’t know that Sandusky has 10 victims accusing him and has been convicted (Paterno didn’t know this in 1998 or 2001). Then see if you can fairly come to the same conclusions as Freeh wrote in his report.
    The 1998 complaint was not for rape/molestation but for giving a bear hug to a boy in the showers. The 1998 investigation by the Police, the CCYC, the PA DPW, and the DA’s Office concluded “no sexual assault occurred”. McQueary’s testimony is not creditable because he changed it after he knew there were victims. Dr. Dranov heard the story the night of the incident in 2001 and he didn’t think it was serious enough to report to the Police. He asked McQueary 3 times if he had seen any sexual activity and he said “no”. So this is what Paterno, Schultz, Curley, Spanier, etc. knew. No sexual activity. They knew nothing about 10 victims coming forth as accusers. They were not interviewed for Mr. Freeh’s Report and given a chance to present their defense. But Mr. Freeh somehow feels they are guilty of not proclaiming Sandusky as a pedophile. He knew Paterno was terminally ill but let him die without interviewing him. He didn’t interview Dr. Dranov who contradicted McQueary’s changed 2011 story. He didn’t note McQueary’s testimony admiting he didn’t tell Paterno he saw a sexual attack in 2001.This is strange, suggests scapegoating and that someone is trying to protect themselves from the media generated hysteria and lynch mob psychology. And now the NCAA is going to punish the football program? On the basis of what?

  43. brianbosworthisstonecold says: Jul 23, 2012 3:44 AM

    The NCAA should be investigating the Board of Trustees that were employed during the years of molestations.

  44. gmsingh says: Jul 23, 2012 1:40 PM

    I think the best penalty the NCAA could levy would be to put the Paterno family in charge of the Penn State football program. They would’ve had the JoePa statue on the sidelines calling plays–it would be great.

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