Big League Clu, our resident college football expert extraordinaire, reacts to the sanctions received by Penn State.
As everyone is aware by now, the NCAA has made an official ruling against the Penn State Football program in the Joe Paterno/Jerry Sandusky scandal that has rocked Happy Valley to its foundations. So here’s my take on what has transpired this week…
On Monday morning the NCAA committee spoke directly to the media and layed down their ruling against Penn State. Instead of choosing the death penalty (which apparently was an option here) they chose to impose some other pretty heavy sanctions. Basically here are the sanctions that were imposed.
- A $60 million fine, which happens to be the annual income that the PSU football program makes from football. That money will now be an endowment to benefit the welfare of children.
- A 4-year ban on any type of postseason play, including the Big Ten championship game, bowl games, or the playoffs which will be starting in the 2014 season. Players on the current roster are allowed to transfer to other programs without penalty.
- A reduction in the maximum allowance of scholarships from 25 to 15 a year for the next four years.
But, in my opinion, the biggest blow to Penn State is that they have to vacate of all victories from 1998-2011, which unfortunately strips JoePa of his title as the winningest coach in college football history (it goes back to Grambling’s Eddie Robinson) and also gives the all-time Division-I wins title to Bobby Bowden. Paterno loses 111 wins and now ranks 12th all time with 298 wins, a very sad day to be a Nittnay Lion.
How did Happy Valley take it? Apparently it was like 9/11 all over again according to this guy. You would have thought the world stopped if you were on the Penn State campus when the news broke. Alumni and former football stars, all voiced their distaste for the ruling.People can either look at this as a glass half full scenario and say “well, at least they didnt get the death penalty,” or as a glass half empty scenario and say that Penn State will never be the same ever again. At the end of it all, Penn State football will have a uphill battle to face for the next 5-10 years.
Clu’s Thoughts on the Sanctions and the Future of Penn State
Again, Penn State didn’t get the “death penalty”. But god damn did they come close because, In many ways, this is like a death penalty. From everything that I have been able to gather, the Penn State players are going to try and stay together and move past all of this, and that’s the best chance the program has to move past these sanctions. It’s tough for me to justify the actions against the current roster when this all took place nearly 13 years ago. But again, the NCAA had to do something here, and I don’t think having a year of football taken away from them would necessarily do anything positive. As a side note, I sure do hope Sandusky never sees the light of day and has to share a cell with someone named Bubba who can show him what it means to be fresh fish at the market.
As a college football fan, I grew up liking Penn State a whole lot as my second favorite team. Whenever Syracuse was terrible (especially last decade) I would watch JoePa and the Nittany Lions, as they seemed to always be in contention for a National title. Plus… Beaver Stadium and 108,000 screaming fans? Does it not get any better? Well, I’m sure that now they will be looking to fill a whole lot of those seats, because I don’t think too many people will go unless they’re die hard PSU fans. When I heard the story break, and got news of the sanctions imposed on Penn State, I was deeply saddened and even more so when these events happened. The only thing that Penn State can do now is regroup and focus on maintaining their integrity with new head coach Bill O’Brien, who already had a daunting task to begin with. He luckily does have one avenue that he can work with for the future, that being his connections at the professional level. That connection and his experiences also give him the advantage of being able to mentor his student athletes and help them get to that next level.
I feel it is important for Penn State to band together through all of this and focus on the future. It’s time to move past the now defamed head coach Joe Paterno, despite everything he did for the University. The fact that he failed to report anything here, unfortunately, caused a firestorm to happen and led to the downfall of his once glorious legacy. Finally, to the end of the era of scumbag Jerry Sandusky: it’s now in the past and Sandusky can rot in a prison cell for the rest of his life. Time to move on and rebuild for the future. Time for the new Penn State to focus on winning again and making the fans of Happy Valley, well…happy.
Featured image courtesy of: Christopher Weddle/Centre Daily Times/AP
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