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Poll: Thumbs up or down to Penn State’s sanctions?

Mark Emmert AP

And, yes, we’re aware of the even larger issue of whether the NCAA had the “right” to step into such a situation, or if one man should be granted de facto commissioner powers to bypass both standard association procedures and due process.

That said, and if you have no doubt heard by now, NCAA president Mark Emmert announced Monday morning historic and unprecedented sanctions on the Penn State football program. A $60 million fine, with the funds to be used to establish an endowment to benefit the victims of child sex abuse.  Four-year postseason ban.  The loss of dozens of scholarships over the next four years and the capping of their roster at 65 scholarship players for the same time frame, losses which in essence will turn Penn State into an FCS program for the foreseeable future.

Additionally, the fact that the NCAA also announced it will allow any current player to transfer out of Penn State and play immediately at any other school — Div. 1-A or otherwise — when combined with the scholarship reductions is a devastating blow for the near-future of the program, particularly if myriad players take advantage of no restrictions on a transfer.  Oh, and the NCAA’s release also confirmed that any member of Penn State’s 2012 recruiting class, which signed this past February, will be released from their Letters of Intent if they so desire.

Add it all together, and these sanctions handed down by Emmert and the NCAA are easily the most punitive since SMU football received the death penalty in the late ’80s.  Since that sentence and restarting its football program, the Mustangs have produced just three .500-plus seasons.

Happy Valley, welcome to the future.

The question in regard to this post, though, is did the governing body of collegiate athletics get it right?  Did they go far enough or too far?

Sound off below and, even as I know I’m urinating into a stiff breeze with this request, please attempt to keep it relatively civil.


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89 Responses to “Poll: Thumbs up or down to Penn State’s sanctions?”
  1. kiopta1 says: Jul 23, 2012 9:59 AM

    I think that the NCAA got it right for the most part.

  2. timh1955 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:02 AM

    What’s the difference in what the NCAA gave PSU and the death penalty? Why didn’t they just give them the death penalty?

  3. drarb says: Jul 23, 2012 10:03 AM

    Since the NCAA can investigate after criminal proceedings – why the rush? And what happens if after the criminal proceedings a different story comes out – i.e. no cover up? Relying an a report paid for and then written to meet the BoT narrative as evidence of anything is at best far-fetched; and at worst criminal. I am not an apologist I want the guilty punished and Freeh’s masterpiece of assumption does not prove guilt.

  4. ray1950 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:04 AM

    According to Mark Emmert, the situation at Penn State became “a culture in which a football program was held in higher esteem than the values of the institution, the values of the NCAA, the values of higher education, and most disturbingly the values of human decency.”

    No sensible person can debate that but Mr. Emmert surely must understand that college football is held in higher esteem than the values of the institution … nationwide.

    Look at the schools jumping from one conference to another (for more money). Look at the enormous amount of time college presidents just spent putting together an alternative to the BCS (and more money). Where was the concern for the values of higher education then?

    Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the sanctions handed down to Penn State but it’s a little hypocritical for Emmert and the committee to spout their concern for academics while turning their backs on the mad rush for more and more money.

  5. sabatimus says: Jul 23, 2012 10:04 AM

    I’m really not sure that the death penalty would’ve been worse. Now, per state statute, Sandusky cannot receive a true death penalty–Pennsylvania law only has to do with unlawful death in that situation.

  6. majbobby says: Jul 23, 2012 10:05 AM

    I think the NCAA got it right. I also think there will be more santions coming after the criminal proceedings.

    Also for those thinking the Death Penalty was the only way to go these sanctions will hurt the program more than the Death Penalty.

    The Program has been shelved at least 10 years with these sanctions. You will not see Penn State in the top 25 for at least 10 years. Not to mention the Prestige of the University damage that will kill recruiting.

  7. stairwayto7 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:05 AM

    If you give them the Death penalty, you then must find opponets for all the teasm they were to play this season and then people will cry becuse the Bog ten woudl have to schedule a cupcake. Also you punish the store and vendors who have nothing to do with this. Penn State will be back in national spotlight in 2017!

  8. blueollie says: Jul 23, 2012 10:06 AM

    I think that this works. It enables the current coaches and players to still play (and they had nothing to do with it) while chopping the football program down to size; after all, the institution had lost control of the program.

    They will still get 100K fans and will still play a Big Ten schedule.

  9. mgmac says: Jul 23, 2012 10:07 AM

    the NCAA for the most part got this correct. They gave it to psu just like sandusky gave it to the real victims.
    to jay paterno & family – stfu & go away – forever
    to the psu fans – see the previous sentence !!!

  10. BrownsTown says: Jul 23, 2012 10:07 AM

    Will Lyles, Cecil Newton, Nevin Shapiro, Tom Al-Betar.

  11. majbobby says: Jul 23, 2012 10:08 AM

    The Program will be now competeting for 1 and 2 Star Athletes instead of the 4 and 5. Based on these sanctions they will be lucky to land any 3 Star players from outside the State.

  12. tlmoon2112 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:08 AM

    Its not enough. Sorry

  13. papichulo55 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:10 AM

    The punishment is almost right. They could have been more creative. They should have required all Penn State degree candidates to complete some predetermined hours of community service. Let the students get a upclose look at families in crisis, at risk children and the lifetime impact of child abuse. Maybe then the apologists will understand our outrage.

  14. omniusprime says: Jul 23, 2012 10:12 AM

    Mark Emmert has proven that Penn State is indeed too big to fail. Emmert has also proven he’s just another pedophile pervert protector as he failed to administer severe enough punishment for Penn State’s heinous crime. Not surprising since Emmert looks and sounds like Newt Gingrich from the 1990’s.

    Sorry this is not unprecedented punishment, it’s barely more than the punishment the NCAA slapped on USC for a far lesser crime.

    I’m going to boycott all NCAA football games except for my favorite team, USC, in the regular and postseason. I urge all ethical college football fans to boycott all college football games except those of their favorite team. Time to hit the NCAA where it counts and send them a message about doing the right thing.

    Boycott NCAA Football!

  15. anmd1 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:13 AM

    Wow, talk about nailing it. It was nice of the NCAA to issue sanctions quickly to allow for quicker recovery. Most programs have to wait 3-4 years before the hammer is dropped giving them additional punishment of speculation before sanctions are ever levied. PSU, just shut up and assume the position. Could have been worse.

  16. sabatimus says: Jul 23, 2012 10:15 AM


    For the victims, nothing will be enough to wipe away the terrible things that happened to them. But I hope this is some solace. Don’t forget that the civil suits in this case (particularly if perjury is proved) are going to make that $60 million look like chump change.

  17. term3186 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:15 AM

    NCAA got it right for the most part, but I would’ve liked to have seen lifetime show cause penalties for the admins involved. Might not have much practical effect, but would be symbolically appropriate.

  18. manchestermiracle says: Jul 23, 2012 10:15 AM

    Got it (mostly) right. It could have been worse, and may end up being worse. The so-called “death penalty” is reserved for programs committing violations while already on probation.

    Taking a year’s worth of revenue (as well as lopping off 20 scholarships a year and imposing a four year bowl ban) from the football program seems appropriate. Vacating 111 wins from Paterno’s record addresses his involvement.

    Most importantly, allowing any athlete to transfer without penalty and requiring that any athlete who stays, but doesn’t want to play on the team, retains their scholarship minimizes the impact on people who weren’t involved in this tragic fiasco.

    To those criticizing the penalties: The Freeh report was commissioned by the university and the university has said they will not appeal the NCAA’s sanctions. It would seem that the new BOT has the right mindset to steer PSU in the correct direction. Admitting you have a problem is the first step in correcting the deficiency.

    When putting these penalties in perspective, try to remember that Sandusky has been convicted in a court of law of one of the worst crimes in modern society: Violating the trust of children. These crimes were known to a shockingly large number of people in positions of power at PSU and were glossed over and covered up. Even worse, those in positions of power declined to confront Sandusky and, at the very least, find ways to prevent him from continuing his behavior on PSU property. The penalties (such as they are so far) certainly fit the severity of the crimes committed, both by Sandusky and by those who covered for him for more than a decade.

  19. stoutfiles says: Jul 23, 2012 10:16 AM

    Death Penalty was the only way to teach them a lesson. The fact that PSU isn’t fighting it when they’ve been fighting everything means that they realize this is an easy punishment.

  20. overratedgators says: Jul 23, 2012 10:19 AM

    BREAKING NEWS: Bret Bielema accuses Urban Meyer of breaking “gentlemen’s agreement” to not try and lure the same Penn State player into transferring to Ohio State that Bret Bielema was trying to lure into transferring to Wisconsin.

  21. overratedgators says: Jul 23, 2012 10:22 AM

    omniusprime says:
    Jul 23, 2012 10:12 AM
    … I urge all ethical college football fans to boycott all college football games except those of their favorite team.


    Isn’t that pretty much how the average college football fan watches games anyway? Most homers talk a lot of smack about how much better their team / conference is than every other conference, yet never actually sit down and watch any games involving other teams / conferences.

  22. jdsj691 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:22 AM

    The NCAA leadership is a joke… It’s laughable at best as for some shananigans the NCAA always does this wink and a nod and others such as this they get it right for the most part. If they were uniform in their penalties and procedures, I would support them. It will never happen. Greed and money will always drive their bylaws, etc.. One thing that is clear is that the NCAA has become “too big to fail” and yet they have failed time and time again.

  23. sdelmonte says: Jul 23, 2012 10:24 AM

    I am glad the current players aren’t unfairly penalized for the crimes of the elders. It still stinks that the players probably can’t find scholarships or positions in less than a month, but if nothing else Emmert tried to find a way to punish only the guilty.

    I am not really sure that anything the NCAA does would really fit the crime. It’s just not in their mission, or their authority. And let’s admit that the NCAA is part of the larger problem of a system that glorifies sports over everything. If you want things to change, you can’t just point a finger at PSU and say “well, we did our part.” Because I think the Sandusky case could have happened at any FBS school.

    But all that said, I think these are appropriate punishments. Especially the vacating of wins. JoePa’s legacy was all about the wins. We all see that now. And this says loud and clear that the wins really don’t matter.

  24. gtbaker says: Jul 23, 2012 10:24 AM

    As usual, this was a complete and total over reaction to the crime. The individuals that were responsible should be prosecuted and punished. All of them. But extending the punishment to the thousands of students, faculty, alumni, and fans of the institution in ALL departments is over reaching and wrong. Convict the guilty parties, not the tens of thousands that had nothing to do with the situation. If a penalty occurs during a game, you penalize the guilty party, not the people in the stands. This is grandstanding by the NCAA.

  25. johninpa says: Jul 23, 2012 10:27 AM

    While those that are involved in this mess should be severely punished, it seems that this punishment only serves to hurt those that had no involvement – namely the current players and coaching staff. Criminal and civil litigation will be pursued against those involved, and they will be punished according to our laws. Perhaps the NCAA could have watched as this process evolved, and considered their punishment then rather than the knee jerk response they have given today.

  26. rehmer2389 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:29 AM

    Did he get it right? No. He was rushed into a decision by the media who is on a witch hunt right now. There is still more to this story than anyone knows but nobody wants to listen to facts anymore or even search for them. They’d rather draw their conclusion from what the media tells them. Our society has gone to hell when people can no longer think for themselves and instead just go with the majority decision because everyone else is doing it. I can’t wait until there is more evidence from this case that comes out and proves just how idiotic all of you people are. The criminal in this case is behind bars and if you really think giving penn state all these sanctions is going to somehow help the victims in this case I believe you are seriously mistaken.

  27. crazycane says: Jul 23, 2012 10:29 AM

    Before PSU fans start spouting off with “They’ll still get 110,000 per game”. You better hope you have enough players to field a team. Urban and the rest of that region must be doing some extra recruiting as I type this.

  28. mungman69 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:30 AM

    This is NOT grandstanding by the NCAA. Kids were RAPED. People in power covered it up.

  29. ccshocktalk says: Jul 23, 2012 10:31 AM

    This is without a doubt the biggest miss-step the NCAA will ever make.

    First, the NCAA is all about money, and all about major programs making them as much money as possible. How much time did they devote to trying to figure out how to make more money in bowl games and a playoff picture? How much time to they dedicate to figuring out March Madness, the Frozen Four, College World Series, and then they spent a whopping 3-4 days figuring out the punishment for Penn State. Talk about jumping the gun!

    In America people are innocent until proven guilty. The Freeh report was about assumptions, and that is it. For anyone who actually read the report cover to cover and reviewed all of the evidence, one can quickly come to the conclusion that the Freeh report is all assumptions against Joe Paterno with ZERO evidence against him.

    The most incriminating part of the Freeh report is that an email had Joe’s name at the subject and the word “coach” in the email but never spelling out which coach they were talking about in the body of the email. The media outlets haven’t read the 110 pages of information and the countless pieces of “evidence” either…yet everyone and their mother is all the sudden a legal expert, a child abuse expert, etc. It is absolutely unreal how easily lead the masses are.

    Vacating wins just goes to show that the NCAA doesn’t care about the kids involved in this situation. They only care about money; the NCAA made $700,000,000.00 last year and handed Penn State a fine of almost 10% of the entire NCAA’s fiscal earnings…unreal.

    If the goal was to uphold the law or even the rules of the NCAA the NCAA failed dramatically. If the NCAA wanted to make the media happy, and the masses of ignorant people happy, then they succeeded.

    After seeing such a complete disregard for laws, and for their own administrative rules, I for one cannot wait for a super conference to emerge and say to hell with the NCAA because the NCAA only cares about money, and notoriety at any and all cost they will get it.

  30. behaviorquest says: Jul 23, 2012 10:31 AM

    It’s about time that this happened. Football at our colleges was becoming an entity unto itself and not part of the educational system. They became an entitled elite, above the rest of the institution. All of them by this decision have been brought down to earth and will now behave differently as they now realize there is oversight and not them policing themselves. This was very needed, just tragic it took what it did to institute real change.

  31. dkhhuey says: Jul 23, 2012 10:31 AM

    Personally – I am glad they vacated the wins! Joe Paterno no longer deserves the title of being the coach with the most wins.

  32. packhawk04 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:32 AM

    “Penn st. Will be back in the national spotlight in 2017!”

    Uh… no it wont. They are going to need at least a decade.

  33. kupski says: Jul 23, 2012 10:36 AM



    Lets see what they shall do. I would have to say that they too will take away any wins in the Big Ten, No Conference Championships for 4 years and possible some Big Ten Scholarships.

  34. genvarsh says: Jul 23, 2012 10:36 AM

    happy valley just became a death valley.

  35. michiganhockey11 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:38 AM

    What the NCAA did was essentially a death penalty. UofM and OSU will pretty much have their way with recruits from PA for the next 4 years.

    Question is this. What’s the over/under for transfers by mid-August.

    Over 40?

  36. 1sportschica says: Jul 23, 2012 10:40 AM

    I only wish dear old Joepa had lived to see the day.

  37. flameme says: Jul 23, 2012 10:43 AM

    I’m also glad they vacated the wins. Those wins were unfairly won! PSU cheated! The ref was in colusion!

    Something happened not during the game, not on the field, and Joe Paterno and the players did what to a child?
    Oh. They didn’t?

    Screw it! Off with their heads.

    At least that will make sure this kind of thing doesn’t ever, in any way, happen again.

    won’t it?

  38. allmyteamsareterrible says: Jul 23, 2012 10:43 AM

    This is the death penalty in everything but name, the NCAA pretty much nailed it with this one.

  39. bat42boy says: Jul 23, 2012 10:44 AM

    Harsh but necessary. Glad they thought of the victims and gave consideration to the livelihood of the innocent workers and surrounding businesses that rely on the football program to support their families.

  40. auburntigers34 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:44 AM

    wth are you talking about Brownstwon? i hate to break it to you, but the NCAA cleared Auburn almost a year ago. but that’s kind of beside the point. are you seriously trying to claim that these “scandals” are even in the same universe as what happened at PSU?

  41. broccoliisgoodforyou says: Jul 23, 2012 10:44 AM

    A dead man has a bunch of his wins erased from the record book. This is a punishment?

    The fine and other measures are fine, but without the death penalty, the NCAA action is pretty weak.

    The reason behind all the cover-ups and lies was to protect the almighty football program and its reputation. Penn State football should have been suspended for 10 years. Anything less than that is a joke.

  42. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 23, 2012 10:48 AM

    LOL the only thing this poll proves is that 79% of those voting are out of touch with reality.

  43. palefty says: Jul 23, 2012 10:49 AM

    Taking away the wins is another knee-jerk reaction. I tend to agree with the other measures but removing the wins is a major kick in the teeth to those players who actually “won” the games.

  44. kiopta1 says: Jul 23, 2012 10:49 AM

    I wonder if the big10 will eventually dump PSU for another school. I just have a hard time seeing them dealing with a program like this for 5-10-20 years. Its quite a burden to bear when selling the big10 as a conference with such a big black hole in it.

  45. laserw says: Jul 23, 2012 10:51 AM

    As I recall the same blithering idiot who ran the FBI that allowed the terrorist attacks to happen in the 1990’s and early 2000’s is the same blithering idiot who ran this investigation on Penn State. How is it that we have incompetence lingering in this country? You mean to tell me that there isn’t someone with REAL management and investigative skills in the nation? This whole Louis Freeh investigation smells of a setup.

  46. overratedgators says: Jul 23, 2012 10:54 AM

    kiopta1 says:
    Jul 23, 2012 10:49 AM
    I wonder if the big10 will eventually dump PSU for another school. I just have a hard time seeing them dealing with a program like this for 5-10-20 years. Its quite a burden to bear when selling the big10 as a conference with such a big black hole in it.


    Apparently you are not yet familiar with Indiana or Northwestern.

  47. behaviorquest says: Jul 23, 2012 10:55 AM

    The boys abused by Sandusky thank you for your comments. You blame Freeh for the attacks on 9-11, who do you blamefor Sandusky’s behavior, oh, I know you blame Obama. What a troll!

  48. coolhorn says: Jul 23, 2012 10:57 AM

    Is Penn State fielding a football team this fall or next? Yes? The penalties weren’t enough.

  49. sometimedodgerfan says: Jul 23, 2012 11:00 AM

    This is wrong, wrong , wrong on so many levels. Punishing the innocent, ignoring the perpetrators, less severe than SMU’s penalty for recruiting violations; and, it does nothing to address the system where the Board of Trustees allowed the football program ultimate control. The entire Board should be drummed out of office for breach of their fiduciary and moral duties. Plus, how can a public institution pay a $60 million “fine” to a non-governmental agency. I’m a PSU grad and a lawyer. This is an open invitation to interminable litigation from a number of perspectives. It boggles my mind that the NCAA president and the new president of a major, major university couldn’t come up with a better solution. What a ridiculous mess.

  50. caldreaming says: Jul 23, 2012 11:00 AM

    The fines and sanctions are appropriate. What is the icing on the cake is the vacating of the wins from 1998 to 2011, essentially pissing on Paterno’s grave. Take that Paterno family.

  51. bubba703 says: Jul 23, 2012 11:07 AM

    If PSU attempts to raise ticket prices on their regular season games to have their fans pay for the fine, then the penalty is meaningless.

  52. michiganhockey11 says: Jul 23, 2012 11:10 AM

    A $60 million fine is nothing compared to what the victim’s civil suits against the university will be. I see their endowment dropping…..

  53. papichulo55 says: Jul 23, 2012 11:16 AM

    This is disappointing. It seems that most folks have lost focus on the most important part of this whole tragedy. We bloggers are defining this whole thing from a football perspective. Most of you guys are no different than the apologists, putting football first!

    These actions should be judged by what it is doing for abused kids. Penn State can afford more than $60 million.
    They also have thousands of students that can provide many millions of dollars via public service. Besides, they could use the good publicity.

    Someone should give the residents of Happy Valley a firsthand look at child abuse and families in crisis. Let all of the collaterally damaged people see for themselves. Walk them through it like the Allies walked the townspeople supporting the Nazi concentration camps.

    We all need to keep our eye on the prize. And the prize AINT college football. The prize is our children, and the new wave of evil aimed at them.

    Thanks for listening.

  54. raysfan1 says: Jul 23, 2012 11:32 AM

    The fine is right. I was expecting more scholarship reductions. I think vacating wins is useless as you can’t really change history. Bowl bans are appropriate.

    For those who mentioned TV bans–NCAA went away from those because they punish the TV networks and the opponents.

    For those who want the death penalty, it took SMU 26 years to recover from theirs. That was much worse than the NCAA’s intent. Because of that, nobody should expect to see it applied to PSU unless more/worse information comes to light or they commit major infractions in the next 5 years.

  55. santolonius says: Jul 23, 2012 11:35 AM

    the reason this punishment is better than the death penalty is that for the foreseeable future players, coaches, fans must just focus on love of the game and love of the school. this change in perspective for penn state is the goal. because over the years love of wins, money, glory, and paterno created a culture where covering up child rape seemed preferable to tarnishing the program. the death penalty would have just placed that twisted perspective into a state of suspended animation until the program rebooted.

  56. hopalongcrc1 says: Jul 23, 2012 11:45 AM

    Mark Emmert and NCAA got it right:

    The huge salary paid to the NCAA pres. was partially earned by these wise well thought out sanctions.

    Penn St. is an awesome academic instituion with a rich tradition in football, community, and academics. The diminished attention to football glory (in an area of huge football talent and fan support) will send a lasting message to all of NCAA football of what happens when one man (no matter how great) is given too much power. Penn St. will suffer for a few years and mull over what the NCAA, the Happy Valley community, the all associated with the fine school allowed to happen for what a few more victories and football fanaticism.

    Personall, I hold the trustees of the University most culpable for allowing the demogaguery of JoePa well past an effective age for managing a program of that complexity and intensity and football to overwhelm an awesome campus, institution, and community.

    The victims in what I have read did not want severe penalties. College football will suffer in the public eye for a few years (as will the Big 10, NCAA football), but Penn State will be back with a renewed sense of purpose, doing it right, with talent from the best high schools in the country.
    The Sandusky victims, the Paterno family, the Penn St. campus and community will now be able to suffer collectively and bind together to rebuild the kind of program that JoePa and those that believe (absent the Sandussky sickness) can hold in greatest esteem in its rightful place beneath the academics and community of the overall university.

    Missing a few bowl games, sending Penn St. talent to other schools in the short term, paying some fines will honor the victims and provide a legacy that will restore the confidence of all in college football. Penn St. is a public institution betrayed by the trustees (not to be trusted) unlike SMU and a period of mourning is the proper penalty. Way to go NCAA.

  57. electstat says: Jul 23, 2012 11:53 AM

    Punishing the football team for the university’s crimes.

  58. thraiderskin says: Jul 23, 2012 12:06 PM

    This is the definition of grand standing. The NCAA is a force to regulate competition in college sports. The NCAA couldn’t even point to a section of its own manual that it was siting in these punishments, they came up with “institutional integrity.” The hell is that, what article did it fall under, how is this their business? I know how this will be responded to, some jerk is going to find the word integrity in the manual and be like “see?”
    I would love to find the term of “institutional integrity” and then read what articles and sub-articles are surrounding it, pretty much looking for the scope of the term. This whole thing is a freakin joke, the NCAA is punishing PSU? I had no idea that they were an arm of federal law-enforcement. Obviously vacating all those wins will someone compensate all those boys, obviously child molestation gave the lions an advantage over the rest of the country. What’s next, is Happy Valley Water and Lights going to fine/cut off service to PSU for their transgression? Obviously PSU is a member of their services, I’m sure they took issue with these crimes and how their seervices were used in perpetuating them. Good thing the NCAA got involved, lord knows the country was shaking their finger at all of college sports over this tragedy, a huge blemish on the NCAA’s pristine shield. I’m not a Penn Stater, I don’t like the Lions, but I do believe in order and for the NCAA to jump on a university for these terrible crimes is a joke to me, an absolute, unequivocal joke. PSU is and will be decimated for years to comes, without the NCAA flashing their fancy made-up badge. In the end, they’ve (NCAA) sanctioned the school and PSU isn’t going to fight this. PSU isn’t going to fight this because the real law enforcement, the real legal system is going to have their way with the university and they hope their contrition helps.

  59. j0esixpack says: Jul 23, 2012 12:08 PM

    I begrudgingly gave a thumbs down.

    Yes, this is all unprecedented and yes, no NCAA regulations truly cover this – but they needed to send a strong message to other sports programs and other coaches out there:

    When you put the welfare of athletics programs, a coach’s legacy, and the university itself ahead of the welfare of children, expect to say goodbye to your athletics program. Possibly forever.

    Would other “innocent” players and even small businesses suffer?

    Yes. And that gives me pause in slamming the sanctions as “not enough.”

    But if a private company say, dumped toxic waste and caused the death or injuries to children, they would face stiff enough penalties to shut them down forever, regardless of how many people they employed.

    These sanctions feel like a multi-year slap on the wrist at best – and I think it sends a message of “don’t get caught” rather than “don’t let children be abused.”

  60. j0esixpack says: Jul 23, 2012 12:13 PM

    electstat says: Punishing the football team for the university’s crimes.


    The University’s crime was to put the welfare of their football program ahead of the welfare of children.

    It was the obsessive culture of Penn State football that allowed Sandusky to abuse children.

    You can’t separate the program from these crimes. Without the cult of Paterno and the University’s insistence on looking the other way, these crimes cannot happen.

    Are more “innocents” in the football program being hurt because of Paterno and the University’s inaction?

    Yes. It’s sad but that’s Joe Paterno and Penn State’s legacy now.

  61. sabatimus says: Jul 23, 2012 12:18 PM


    “This is grandstanding by the NCAA.”

    Even if it is, I can’t think of a better way to get across to millions of people that serial sexual assault and covering it up are NOT OK. To me, this is sorta like saying the American Cancer Society is grandstanding every time they hold a function.

  62. rickrock6661982 says: Jul 23, 2012 12:24 PM

    Thumbs down because the stature of their university saved Penn State in the end.

    If something like this happened to Central Michigan or an even smaller school, they wouldn’t have been so lucky.

    I loved the amount of disbelief showed by students when the announced the punishment though…perhaps they are no finally GETTING it

  63. artisan3m says: Jul 23, 2012 12:28 PM

    I agree with the sanctions imposed. To have carried them further would have resulted in more innocent people being impacted by this sick mess. I really think fairness was in the mind of the NCAA and that comes to light when PSU is required to honor player scholarships even if they choose not to participate in the program. Allowing transfer with no penalty also speaks to that end. Not disrupting the schedules of other teams slated to play PSU this season ~ and beyond. Vacating the prior year victories over a span of 14 seasons may seem excessive but this sordid mess began then as did the coverup so that sanction is justified. The financial penalty will hurt the university ~ as it should. I agree this may have been more severe than the death penalty which has immediate finality. This is tantamount to a slow, lingering death that will impact the entire athletic department and that is the Paterno legacy ~ its inescapable.

  64. bubba703 says: Jul 23, 2012 12:42 PM

    The vacating of wins zeroes in on the heart of what has been wrong with PennState’s football program: putting the wins before child safety. The University has accepted it and is trying to move forward before the tsunami of civil suits hit them.

    The sooner JayPaterno and the Jopalogists stop whining, the sooner the healing can start. They should be happy the team’s still playing ball.

  65. 1sportschica says: Jul 23, 2012 12:56 PM

    Let’s hope the NCAA’s mandate shuts up the Paterno family once and for all. I’m beyond sick and tired of hearing them whine and complain about the unfairness of it all.

  66. ningenito78 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:00 PM

    Ccshocktalk and laserw- hows the view down there with your heads up your asses?

  67. rickrock6661982 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:06 PM

    The Paterno, much less the apologists, will never shut up.

    Penn State was given a slap on the wrist today and the fanbase is still whining.

  68. sparrowiniowa says: Jul 23, 2012 1:18 PM

    Okay, everybody out there in PSU hater land got what they wanted. But you’re all forgetting another group of people in this scandal. What about the DA’s office who said there wasn’t enough info to arrest Jerry Sandusky in 1998. Oh and don’t forget the former AG Corbett, now the governor of PA. When is everyone going to ask when they are going to be punished and start badmouthing THEM like you did everyone affiliated with PSU???? Who thinks the governor should be kicked out of office, fined and sent to prison for his part in the cover-up? And why shouldn’t lawsuits be brought against the DA’s office?

  69. broccoliisgoodforyou says: Jul 23, 2012 1:22 PM

    Many people agree with you about those who were supposed to enforce the law years ago and failed to do so. I’d be happy to see Corbett brought up on charges.

    But that isn’t what this post is about.

    And I will never understand why you refer to people who think that a program that covered up years of sex abuse should be punished for that as “haters.” There’s no hate here, but there is a desire that justice be served–and that Penn State be reminded that athletic success does not trump every other consideration.

  70. justiceforjanelle says: Jul 23, 2012 1:23 PM

    The message I’ve received is that ultimately, football is this tiny little bit more important than the coaches raping children in the locker rooms. The death penalty for Penn State Football was the ONLY appropriate response. Any other response sends a message that football is more important than coaches raping children in the locker rooms.

  71. bustinnutz says: Jul 23, 2012 2:34 PM

    And tack on another year for every time Paterno family opens their mouths.

  72. soundsofsuccess7 says: Jul 23, 2012 2:38 PM

    punished innocent players and innocent coaches..

  73. northernspy says: Jul 23, 2012 2:53 PM

    The NCAA has stated that it doesn’t want to punish people who had nothing to do with it. I’d be extremely curious to know who they think they’re punishing. Freshmen reporting to Penn State for football camp in the next two weeks have been told they’re playing for nothing: no championships, no bowls, no realistic possibility of moving on to the NFL – the only thing these kids can do is get hurt. The NCAA thinks they’re not being punished? The guys who were on teams in the past, who won games, who received trophies, plaques, etc. – they’re supposed to give them back? Those wins never happened? The substitute halfback on the 2003 Penn State team – his time on the field just vanishes from history? Did he – or anybody else who had a moment of pride – have something to do with Sandusky?
    The NCAA regulates sports. I’m kind of curious to know which NCAA sporting regulation Penn State violated. In fact if I were Penn State I’d take the NCAA to court and make them (a) prove that they have some shred of jurisdiction here; and (b) demonstrate exactly which NCAA rule the school broke.
    Because this is overkill, it doesn’t address the issue, and it does punish the innocent. And Bobby Bowden feels like a horse’s patoot because he knows – and always will know – that he did not win more games than Joe Paterno did. You can’t pretend what happened on the field didn’t happen because of something that happened off it. “Vacating” wins looks cute on paper, but as F1, MLB, and FIFA have all found out: it doesn’t work.

  74. behaviorquest says: Jul 23, 2012 3:20 PM


    you are incorrect that Penn State did not violate any NCAA rules for one. They broke the ethics clause. I guess you didn’t read the article as Penn State agreed to the sanctions and will not be taking anyone to Court, it is Penn State that will be in Court for some time. I don’t know how you think the NCAA has no jurisdiction here as all college sports are under the jurisdiction of the NCAA? Some posts are just so confusing when the poster doesn’t read the entire article.

  75. toosano says: Jul 23, 2012 3:47 PM

    I agree except taking away previous games. No reason to penalize the players for previous games that they played. More victims.

  76. granadafan says: Jul 23, 2012 3:56 PM

    “johninpa says: Jul 23, 2012 10:27 AM
    While those that are involved in this mess should be severely punished, it seems that this punishment only serves to hurt those that had no involvement – namely the current players and coaching staff.”

    Wrong wrong wrong. The present staff and players are all beneficiaries of an elite program that was intentionally allowed to flourish while the screams of innocent children were ignored and pushed away all in the name to protect Paterno’s legacy and the program. Under Paterno’s orders, a child predator was allowed to stay to rape dozens of CHILDREN using Penn St facilities. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions were donated to the football program, which built fantastic facilities that the current players enjoy.

  77. daddywarbucksesq says: Jul 23, 2012 4:17 PM

    Just one more example of a knee-jerk PC response instead of a C response. “Punish the innocent and promote the guilty…”

    Assuming it can be proven that the present staff and players were part of the problem, there are appropriate criminal penalties.

    I don’t say this to either condone or minimize the abuses that occurred or to glorify athletics (personally, I think it’s over-emphasized). It’s just that I abhor responses that are crafted to make the responder look good, but, upon close inspection, are utterly useless at solving the underlying problem.

  78. uraxcrunner says: Jul 23, 2012 4:38 PM

    They got what they deserved

  79. mrpowers88 says: Jul 23, 2012 5:05 PM

    I’m sorry, but I doubt the motives of the NCAA for handing down these punishments.

    After years of nit-picking through athletic departments across the country for players receiving $20 here and there, players spending a night or two somewhere that they weren’t allowed to at the time, and numerous other minuscule infractions (and yes, I acknowledge that they also handled major cases- poorly, but still handled them); they decide to jump on “Punish PSU” bandwagon.

    Yes, what happened at Penn State is beyond terrible and appalling to say the least, but this is still an organization that took obscenely long amounts of time to deal with USC, SMU (way back), and numerous other issues that, without a question, fell under their authority. Now, they are jumping on this after less than a year?

    Did Penn State deserve to be punished? Yes. Do the parties directly involved deserve to be punished? Yes. Does the NCAA have to be involved in the punishing? No.

    If everyone is so rah-rah about the NCAA being right about this, I ask them to remember this when another scandal, which is actually fully in their jurisdiction, happens and the NCAA takes YEARS to rule on it. This was just the NCAA seeing an opportunity to look right and just, and seizing it.

  80. rinohater63 says: Jul 23, 2012 5:53 PM

    I live in South Central PA and as much as I have liked Joe Paterno I feel betrayed by him as a leader. Removing the statue is only fitting for the pain he cause so many with his inaction. Waiting for someone else to do something was the wrong thing for him to do since he always seemed to be a man of action.

    The NCAA on the other hand is making a huge mistake. The communities of State College, Pennsylvanians, Prior students and sports players and especially the victims of Sandusky have been hurt enough. None of the Offending people are associated with the university any longer. To impose sanctions at this point would be pouring salt into the wounds and stop the healing process. Think of all the additional innocent people that will be hurt. Is this what the NCAA is all about? Think of all the players coming this fall on scholarships that they worked very hard to get that will be cancelled by the NCAA. A negative reaction from the NCAA will hurt hundreds if not thousands of innocent people. Why is it that innocence has to continue to suffer because of a small group of very bad men.

    If strong sanctions are enforced against Penn State the NCAA will lose a great deal of its credibility. I hope that isn’t an image they want to have? How can they be trusted to oversee any of the Sports programs when they have a reputation of “Punishing the Guiltless”. How could any future high school players trust that their scholarships will be honored if the NCAA determines they want to punish the innocent of another school? The NCAA reputation is actually on the line with this decision now. I don’t think they realize this. With the imposing of stiff penalties the NCAA shows that it can’t act in a fair and unbiased way. Their judgment and reasoning are not sound. I know it sounds radical but if stiff sanctions are imposed and innocent people are punished a boycott of the NCAA would be an appropriate action. Not only by the fans, students and players but other Universities should join in the protest. The NCAA needs to realize they are not the all-seeing God of college Sports. Common sense should be allowed to prevail. I fear my protest is blowing in the win because of the power of the NCAA. Once again innocence will die.

    I do not understand the results of the polls with 46% of the people thinking this is right. These people are obviously enemies of Penn State and are not voting fairly. If the truly do support the NCAA’s decision then I hope nothing goes on at their school. The NCAA would come down with the hatched just to make a point with no regard for the bodies they leave behind. Punishing the school at this point serves no purpose other than to display the NCAA’s power. This decision to punish the players from 1998 to 2011 is tantamount to finding out that Neil Armstrong was a pedophile and stripping NASA of it’s achievements of the last 43 years and saying Neil Armstrong didn’t walk on the Moon.

    I guess you rivals of Penn State are happy but you shouldn’t be. It is never fair to hurt innocent people and the new people at Penn State, the football players or far that matter the basketball players etc will be injured for years to come not to mention the hurt being imposed on the previous players. A ban on the Bowl games for the next four years would have been more than sufficient of a penalty form the NCAA and I even take offense at that. Who knows whether or not the NCAA didn’t know about this years ago. Maybe they should be investigated in this process as well. Maybe they should be suspened because this happened on their watch and even though they are innocent de-cahrter them just for being there like they are punishing the football players just for being there. Strip Paterno’s name from everything but leave the innocence alone.

  81. cardskate says: Jul 23, 2012 6:22 PM

    gtbaker: Innocent students and faculty? The same people that stood on the grounds the night this came to light and cheered on in the name of the pedophile and his accomplices? The same that were angry that anyone would touch those men?

    The only time any of you even remembered that there were young victims is when the world and the media turned on PSU when they saw you protect your heroes with hero worshipping. Only then did any of you speak of the victims, only then did you even remember that rape of any kind and against children just makes it that much uglier.

    Hero worshipping at PSU is an art form. No matter what they do you excuse it because it’s Penn State and they win games. Start living in the real world, and realize that mentality allowed Sandusky and his crew to keep it covered up and let him continue to add more victims to his sick world.

    If those 3 men had stopped him some victims wouldn’t have become his victims. I hear sympathy for PSU but you still forget those victims including Sanduskys adopted son. Stop the hero worshipping because you help these men to keep victimizing.

  82. sailbum7 says: Jul 23, 2012 9:27 PM

    Freeh made a lot of statements of conclusion in his report that are not backed up by any evidence, particularly where Paterno is concerned. What happened at Penn State may have involved a former member of the coaching staff, but the events had nothing to do with the football program, any player in the program, or any active coach. All of the crimes that Sandusky was convicted of occurred after he had retired from Penn State. There was absolutely no evidence in Freeh’s report, despite his conclusions to the contrary, that Paterno was in any was involved in covering up Sandusky’s actions. In fact the only evidence in the report points to Paterno wanting to do more, not less about Sandusky. Unfortunately, Paterno was told that he could not ban Sandusky from Penn State facilities because he had been granted emeritus status by Spanier. The NCAA had no business getting into this to start with and there is definitely no jstification for the penalties leveled against the football program. To strip Penn State of all of those wins is absurd since there was nothing that happened that in any way affected the play on the field or the eligibility of any players. The stripping of scholarships and banning from post season play is punishing players and staff who were not even there when Sandusky committed his crimes. What the NCAA has done goes so far beyond the realm of reasonableness I hope that Penn State takes them to court over the penalties. The football program had nothing to do with Sandusky’s actions and they should not be penalized for those actions in any way. This move was nothing more than grandstanding and a bullshit PR move by the NCAA and they should be ashamed of themselves for this travesty.

  83. monae75 says: Jul 23, 2012 11:14 PM

    I believe Penn State should be penalized for aiding in this horrible crime against children. What I don’t believe is taking the hard earned titles and awards the current and former players have received. These men worked hard for these accomplishments and should not be penalized for acts that weren’t even known to them. I have no problem with them taking the most coach wins title from Paterno, but why take anything from the players?

  84. falstaffsmind says: Jul 23, 2012 11:27 PM

    To punish Penn State for what happened to innocent kids, they take it out on innocent kids? How is that just?

  85. mancave001 says: Jul 24, 2012 1:28 AM

    papichulo55 says:
    Jul 23, 2012 10:10 AM
    The punishment is almost right. They could have been more creative. They should have required all Penn State degree candidates to complete some predetermined hours of community service. Let the students get a upclose look at families in crisis, at risk children and the lifetime impact of child abuse. Maybe then the apologists will understand our outrage.

    I’ve read a lot about this entire nightmare. Without question, the above is the stupidest, most idiotic and senseless thing to date, notwithstanding Sandusky’s actions themselves.

    The sweeping assumption that all Penn State students are “apologists” is laughably absurd. Penn State Students & Alums are disgusted by this. They are heartbroken. They are angry…not just about the actions of the hopefully-soon-to-be-rotting-in-Hell Sandusky, but by the actions of the Administration. To say they are utterly dismayed at what this has done to their University is an understatement.

    And you’re going punish THEM? You’re going to state that maybe “they” will understand “our” outrage, as if only those outside of the PSU community feel it? This is an outrageous and insulting statement to say the least.

    I am public educator and post-gradudate student at a PSU satellite campus pursuing an Admin certificate. I have a daughter. Though I am not grade or undergrad Alum, I have family members who are. They share my sense of despair and shock at this entire situation. Under your system, I would have to complete “community service,” as would any number of current PSU students who may actually have been abused as children THEMSELVES. Pardon me, sir, but are you bleeping kidding me?

    I would go on, but there is no chance I’d maintain the standard of “reasonable civility” as requested by the OP.

  86. dannythebisforbeast says: Jul 24, 2012 1:46 AM

    Can all you people turn your pitchforks towards Jim Boehim now?

    If your not familiar he defended his pedophile and slandered the victims
    Oh wait I forgot..statute of limitations
    Nevermind he’s a great guy. #hypocrisy

  87. coachglove says: Jul 24, 2012 1:50 AM

    I don’t think the NCAA has jurisdiction here and I think they have way overstepped their mandate. “We will allow the kids to transfer”…well jeez…lot of good that does for a kid who turned down a ride to OSU. OSU may have wanted that kid, but unless the NCAA is going to increase the scholarship limit to allow OSU to take him, they can’t transfer to OSU this season. USC wants Silas Redd…again…unless USC has an open scholarship (hint, with 2 weeks to go before the season, they don’t) – Silas is playing this year at PSU. Hurting these young athletes is poor form. It doesn’t undo the harm done to Sandusky’s victims. It might make people feel better, but that doesn’t make it justice. We (the NCAA included) have due process as part of the very fiber of our being in this country. People seem to feel like doing SOMETHING is justice…in reality, the mob is often wrong in the long run. Deliberate justice usually stands the test of time.

  88. corvusrex96 says: Jul 24, 2012 9:45 AM

    I am so sick of hearing how it “took SMU 25 years to recover” BS

    The reason it took SMU 25 years is that
    1- they had virtually no history as a program
    2- they have a ton of compitition in TX (PSU has Pitt)
    3 Most importantly their death penalty happended at a very bad time.

    Their conference , Southwest, just a couple of years after their penalty folded. The major schools (TX, aTm, etc..) jumped to form the BIG XII and SMU was left holding the bag.

    The only way that PSU could even possibly end up like SMU is if the B1G Ten kicked them out and the only conference that would take them is Conf USA.

  89. Deb says: Jul 24, 2012 12:23 PM

    BrownsTown, I know you have a tiny, one-track mind. But do you really believe paying for a recruit or giving him a suit equates to sanctioning child rape for more than a decade? You need a reality check and a priority check.

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