July 19, 2012

We have been inundated with opinions regarding the possible penalties that could or should be given to Penn State as a result of the 14 year cover up of child sex abuse that happened within the university’s football facilities and elsewhere by Jerry Sandusky along with clear knowledge and non-reporting of it happening by Joe Paterno, Gary Schultz, Tim Curley and President Gary Spanier.

Murder’s Row.

Those opinions on punishment have ranged from the NCAA washing their hands of the responsibility of oversight by doing nothing because “It is a criminal matter not a football issue” to the NCAA giving PSU a five year death penalty and a 14 year bowl ban.  Both are ridiculous in their extremes.  Something is going to happen here and we await their decision.

Here is an article that lists four alternatives other than the Death Penalty.  Sorry, but I read these and it makes my skin crawl with the preemptive assumtions that PSU somehow deserves lienency.

“Realistically, there is no form of justice the NCAA has the authority to hand down that could rectify the horrors that unfolded for the victims of Jerry Sandusky; the major players in the case have either passed away or are already, or may soon, face trial, leaving behind only a shattered shell of what once was Happy Valley.

To impose the Death Penalty on Penn State would not only punish those left behind, but potentially cause economic chaos in a town driven greatly by the existence of the Penn State football program. “

Huh, “the shattered shell of what once was Happy Valley“.  Well, he certainly knows how to turn a phrase as well as turn his back from the actual perpetrators in this case which is the University administration, you know, the guys who were mandated to actually live the ethical lives they espoused in public.  Sandusky was just the public criminal face of the horrors and to deflect either blame or punishment from where it also rightfully lies is only perpetrating the damage.

Realistically, there is no form of justice the NCAA has the authority to hand down…”  Really? Does he somehow miss the fact that as a voluntary  membership organization they certainly do ‘have the right‘ to impose any punishments they see fit.  Of course on the flip side PSU has the right to appeal the punishment, not accept the punishment and withdraw from the NCAA or file suit against the NCAA.  There are always options in business matters when it comes to group organization.

By and large the most common answer I’ve read about what the NCAA should do is a loss of bowl games, usually four years worth,  and allowing the “innocent” PSU players to transfer without a loss of a year’s eligibility.

I have to shake my head at this thought and try to keep my anger level down.

Four years without a bowl game would mean just about zero impact for PSU in the long run. It would be business as usual with one less game per year.  As the author above states “A season without a bowl bid can often feel empty; no fancy trip, no national TV audience, no relevancy in the national spotlight.

Cry me a friggin’ river.  The Penn State family would feel empty, with no fancy trip.  God, if this isn’t the worst bit of football-centric self serving tripe I’ve every read… but it gets worse when he talks about a television ban.

“TV is a powerful marketing tool and the NCAA could use it as a way to hurt Penn State without giving them the Death Penalty. No TV contracts, no prime time Whiteouts…

Oh hell, can’t do without prime time whiteouts, can we?  What he really means is that the rabid PSU fans won’t be able to force that now vomit inducing chant “We Are… Penn State” down national TV audience’s throats for a year.

So, they would perhaps not make their normal $53M per year but would still rake in a ton of money from conference bowl money shares and gate receipts.

PSU would not change their ways one iota with those penalties. However, they might just have to strap themselves into their chairs to keep from falling on the floor laughing after hearing that decision from the NCAA.

I also ask that with any sanctions other than the Death Penalty why should the NCAA allow PSU players to transfer when they haven’t allowed it in other, less serious, cases? If the NCAA does evoke the slap on the wrist bowl ban for four years is telling a player that he’ll have 48 games in four years vice 52 some sort of life crippling punishment for that kid? No, it isn’t and there shouldn’t be exceptions made for them.

Those kids will choose to remain at PSU or they will not.  Each one of them already has the option to leave the PSU program and either transfer to a lower division and play immediately or sit out a year and play D1 football. It is done every year by D1 players and none of them have had to have therapy because of it. In all honesty for most of those players on that roster it would actually mean more playing time in the long run.

Should the players not exercise that option then they play one less game a year. Again, big friggin’ deal. Good God – that would put them in the same predicament that over 50% of D1 schools are in each single season!

Let’s cut to the chase here and get brutally honest.

Sometimes life rears its ugly head and people get hurt even though they had nothing to do with the central issue. This is one of those cases. But every PSU player, every PSU fan and every small business in Happy Valley tied their futures to PSU’s coat tails knowing full well that they did so.

In doing so they placed themselves in harm’s way should PSU falter or fail. PSU failed in its basest duties and that is just a fact. It is too bad for them it happened I suppose but that truly is how life sometimes plays out.

Ask anyone who has been laid off, ask anyone whose apartment has burnt down due to to negligence of others living close by, ask anyone whose retirement investments in companies whose stock prices tumbled because the SEC levied sanctions against it or there was fraud perpetrated.

This sort of thing happens every single day in America and only now, through some false romantic visions of college football, these ‘innocents’ should be immune to life’s vagaries?

If you truly believe that then click your ruby slippers together three times and say ‘There’s no place like home…”  Especially if home is Happy Valley apparently.

Nothing short of a Death Penalty stopping the football program in its tracks for at least one season along the with post-ban effects and public humiliation that ensues from that would make any difference at all.  Other than that the Penn State apologists will wail and gnash their teeth, all the while thumbing their noses at anyone outside their cracked ramparts.

Shut them down now! The University allowed for and then covered up child rape for 14 plus years….if that doesn’t equate to the death penalty nothing ever will…innocent current students be damned or transfer!

Comment by Marco 07.19.12 @ 9:59 am

Reed–I agree letting current players transfer without the penalty year would be absurd if there was only a bowl and/or a prime time TV ban imposed.

On the other hand, if there really was the death penalty with a cancelled season or two I would see nothing wrong with allowing players to transfer to without needing to sit one year. In fact, IMO, it would enhance the penalty’s positive impact toward correcting the PSU/Happy Valley disfunctional football above all else culture by causing it take longer to rebuild the PSU football program to national relevance after the cancelled season or two.

Comment by pitt1972 07.19.12 @ 10:03 am

PSU students are holding vigil to protect Joe Pa’s statue.

link to

Comment by why me 07.19.12 @ 10:06 am

pitt1972 – there is already a precedent for that as witnessed by the NCAA allowing the SMU players to transfer without penalty.

Which is a key, but hidden, component to the punishment. Taking scholarships away is strong in itself but losing established starters is what really set SMU back those first few years – and the program never recovered until just lately.

Comment by Reed 07.19.12 @ 10:13 am

Reed the core issue in respect to the “PSU Response” is responsibility. In this area they were negligent and this negligence continues in their lecturing what should happen to them. We can only hope this delusional tactic is seen for what it is by Emmert.

It amazes me somewhat that they think the damage can be minimized by their wanting to be seen as responsible. But attempting to tell the NCAA what to do is not being responsible but rather dictatorial. The fallen regime still reigns in the hears/minds of the PSU faithful and others (insert sports media persons name here).

It is not so great an idea to tell the the king, Emmert/NCAA, what he has to do particularly when what the serf did is plain for all of serfdom to see….

Comment by Kenny 07.19.12 @ 10:17 am

I said this before … maybe these innocents (PSU fans, alums, local businesses and other sports), all which have profited so greatly by the FB program successes, should suffer a bit due to the program’s massive failure

Comment by wbb 07.19.12 @ 10:45 am

I still dont think the ncaa will do any thing i wish it would but i will belive it when i see it.

But if penn state thinks they will then penn state should do what ohio state did punish them selves take away 10 scholrships over 2 years that way they might not get worst and they could at least say then look we get it which they cant say now.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.19.12 @ 10:49 am

This is from the article preceding the one quoted by Reed – guess Happy Valley won’t be suffering so much this year, anyway.

“Even in the middle of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, Penn State fans are doing their best to keep the faith as a university release shows that over 3,400 new season ticket packages have been sold for the 2012 season. According to the release, roughly 94 percent of 2011 Nittany Lion season ticket holders have renewed their seats for the coming season. The 3,400 new season ticket purchases more than doubles the number from the year before.”

Comment by Harry 07.19.12 @ 11:13 am

This is all about money and thats bullshit. Football became too big for penn state and thats why it needs shut down. If this was happening at lockhaven university (20 min away from penn state and the school I go to) there would be no question about shutting the football team down. But because its penn state they think they should get an exception

Comment by Bfet 07.19.12 @ 11:17 am

They just don’t get it and unfortunately probably never will.

Comment by TX Panther 07.19.12 @ 11:59 am

Keep hearing that this situation is not football related & that the NCAA should not be involved. Thats CRAZY!! IMO these individuals only had themselves & psu as their priority. Perhaps psu needs to shut down the program for as long as it takes to equal the amount of money that flowed into that god forsaked institution from the moment “they” knew about the sandusky situation!

Comment by DC33 07.19.12 @ 12:11 pm

Excellent article Reed.

Comment by ECH 07.19.12 @ 12:51 pm


Comment by H.LandPitt 07.19.12 @ 1:23 pm

Realistically, you have to factor in the Big 10 influence here. A death penalty will f up sceduling, TV money, etc. for the conference. It is not going to happen.
I really feel for the players here, if my kid were on scholarship I really would not want the death penalty to be applied. I think the collateral damage has to be analyzed. The kids there need not be punished.
As stated, it is all about the money. Where is the federal punishment here? Make them donate a large percentage of the football profits toward child abuse programs. Why aren’t they being treated like any other business the screwed people over.

Comment by notrocketscience 07.19.12 @ 1:32 pm

It’s a football issue because all this emanated within the football program. If this was the soccer team, the soccer team would be in line for the death penalty. But, nobody cares about soccer and soccer isn’t the money maker. You reap what you sow Pedo State. But, don’t feel bad. Only the football program will be punished. And, yes the players and coaches and fans and community will be hurt, but deal with it. When a business commits crimes, often innocent people get laid off and that business could go out of business depending on the severity of those crimes. Football is a big business at State Penn, but it is NOT big enough to fail.

Comment by TX Panther 07.19.12 @ 1:56 pm

Who cares about the creepy valley economy, nail’em to the wall!

Comment by Coach Ditka 07.19.12 @ 1:58 pm

Penn State has proven that they are not capable of governing themselves. It is a public institution that state and federal taxpayers have invested a great deal of money in. Since they can’t govern themselves I believe that the State should turn Penn State’s governance over to responsible institutions. The most likely ones would be Pitt and Temple. Either one or the other could take over PSU or it could be split among the two. They could later decide if they wanted to have any sports programs there.

Comment by Houston Panther 07.19.12 @ 2:15 pm

Here is what should be done to Penn State:
The Department of Education should yank their accreditation for willfully failing to comply with the Clery Act.
In order to remain open, PSU will become a branch campus of the University of Pittsburgh.
The Nittany Lions football team will become the Junior Varsity Squad of the Pitt Panthers. Tino will be demoted to the JV squad.
Beaver Stadium will be torn down and replaced with a super Wal-Mart.
The Paterno statue will be moved to the Pitt-Johnstown campus, with Paterno pointing the way to the UPJ nature trails.

I say this tongue in cheek, obviously.

Comment by KeithS 07.19.12 @ 2:17 pm

I’ve said it before but if the death penalty is not levied, take away home games for the next 2 to 4 years.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 07.19.12 @ 2:20 pm

I’ll reiterate — the whole area received numerous benefits from the great successes of the FB program … and these benefits flow down to the current staff, players and fans. Thus, since these heinous (in)actions were done to protect the brand, then all of the benficiaries should expect to be penalized.

Would PSU be able to recuit this well if not for the success for the past 14 years? Could they have expanded the stadium? Would they have shared in 2 B10 titles? Could they have paid the current staff a top notch salary?

All the riches they currently enjoy is because of the reputation and successes of FB.

Comment by wbb 07.19.12 @ 2:28 pm

They should not be allowed to punish themselves…THe NCAA needs to show some muscle and athority here. OR Penn State Football remains to powerful to even be punished…and once again Football is greater than Humanity. NO TV -5 years, no Bowl games 5 years. If kids wann go there and play, let them….they will be more like division II team, with outstanding facilities.

Comment by blaise 07.19.12 @ 2:30 pm

seriously, nothing is going to happen. PSU officials don’t even have the integrity to impose self punishment; it appears they are like, yeah, it happened it was bad, but we need to move on. we are the new penn state. the fact that they feel like they are too good to regulate themselves just shows their arrogance in this matter. if nothing happens that is a true state of injustice and showing just how messed up our society is in terms of sports matters. we put these institutions, sports player, and teams almost in god-like status that they can do no wrong. it is just a sad state really. i would love nothing else to see the ncaa come down hard on them for several reasons, i hate penn state, and more importantly, they let harm happen to children (probably more than just 10) and turned their backs to ignore it and cover it up. the worst part is that joe pa, essentially got off without having to deal with it. that sounds heartless and cold i know, but its the truth.

Comment by pittisit37 07.19.12 @ 2:31 pm

Wow, Nick Saban gave his thoughts on how to solve PSU football. Put a tax on tickets sold. You got to read his comments. What an ass.

Nick Saban
“It’s probably too almost raw to really have a feeling that I can express. I think that what we all should probably be thinking a little bit more about is what do we want to be the outcome of this? Something that’s a win-win type thing, for kids in the future, the people that are there now, the players that are there now.

“Maybe they ought to tax all the tickets that they sell on athletics and give the proceeds to some child abuse organization. Or something like that, rather than worrying about some punishment that is really going to have no positive affect on anything.”

link to

Comment by why me 07.19.12 @ 2:37 pm

Well, Big Ten looking at ways to punish PSU. Interesting how the Big Ten commish will have the power to fire coaches. I don’t see this happening.

link to

Comment by why me 07.19.12 @ 2:46 pm

I agree with one of the earlier posts that the Big 10 will scream bloody murder if the NCAA tried to give psu the death penalty. It would mess up their conference too bad. But I could certainly see a penalty of eliminating all their non-conference games for a period of a couple of years. That happened at Baylor in basketball a while back. And since that’s such a big income maker there, it would be a big hit.

Comment by Lollard 07.19.12 @ 3:13 pm

Saban is part of the coaching fraternity. They all stick together and are whores to money. Saban is an even bigger egomaniac than Joe. He’s a prick as well.

Comment by TX Panther 07.19.12 @ 3:24 pm

Saban = Douche Nozzle

Comment by H.LandPitt 07.19.12 @ 4:52 pm


Do you really think PSU has a chance to be issued the “Death Penalty”? Not that they don’t deserve it on several levels — for those tired uniforms if for no other reason. But I just don’t see it, even in this unprecedented case.

What do you think is the Nits’ LIKELY punishment, especially in light of the fact that the O-State Bugeyes basicaly skated?

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 07.19.12 @ 5:39 pm

All is not lost at Happy Valley if the death penalty is brought down on them. While PSU football would cease to exist for some period of time there would still be plenty of season basketball tickets that their fans could purchase to demonstrate support for PSU sports – lol.
I heard an interesting idea for the Paterno statue. PSU should build a block stockade around the statue with bars on the front giving Joe is prison cell and provide a constant reminder of Joe’s mistaken ways.

Comment by spindler's spirit 07.19.12 @ 6:01 pm

Imma – I do and I think that ESPN interview I quoted was Emmert’s way of firing the first salvo and indirectly letting the PSU BoT know they need to be prepared and to take this very seriously.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there is some behind the scenes negotiating going on over the next few months.

The “Big Ten will be harmed” argument is as large a bit of bull as the ‘innocents’ will be harmed.

Every single one of Marshall’s opponents had to re-schedule their games for the years Marshall had to rebuild their program after all their players and coaches died. They didn’t have the luxury of having a full year to do it either but it worked out. In reality it will be another win for almost every team in the B10 who would have played PSU if it happens.

The B10 will take a hit for sure but it won’t be the end of the world for them. The big schools will sell out their stadiums regardless of who they play and if they lose some TV revenue – tough crap, that’s life also.

Why do you guys think coaches like Nick Saban and Les Miles, etc. take these “don’t harm the innocent with the Death Penalty” stances? Tick, tick, tick…..

Because they are scared shitless that if the NCAA will do it to PSU they will do it to anyone, and you know there are a lot of dirty programs out there. Of course they want PSU to get a slap on the wrist! If the NCAA gets actual balls and does their job? Then no bad actors are safe.

Comment by Reed 07.19.12 @ 6:56 pm

I said it in November and again and again. Penn State Football WILL get the death penalty and the school is negotiating with the NCAA as we speak to impose their own sanctions first, thus blunting the force of the NCAA.

One rule I would like to see when the death penalty comes down….PSU players can transfer immediately but only within the state of Pennsylvania!

Comment by Dan 72 07.19.12 @ 8:13 pm

PSU needs to be pressured to cancel season and then ask for reinstatement next year. The fact that they failed to protect children is why they need to sacrifice the sacred cow for one year. It is clear that the culture is toxic and that everyone associated with PSU needs to reevaluate the mission of the University. This will also serve as a wake up call for all programs to reevaluate their mission within their Universities. Teachable moment should not be wasted!

Hail Pitt

Comment by rob 07.19.12 @ 10:30 pm

Huge cash payments to the victims from the State Penn’s accounts including counseling for the rest of their lives. Suspension of football games for a period is absolutely necessary. Piece of Shit Paterno and his scumbag minions put football over the welfare of children and you wouldn’t take football away from them? Anything less is complicity and hypocracy. At least five years. All victories since scumbag Joe participated in the destruction of innocent children’s lives removed from his career record. I ain’t done. Complete audit of all State Penn’s financial books & records for 20 years. Prison for the men who chose to ignore the monster, including the conviction of scumbag Joe. Fines & heavy penalties for every infraction that’s found.

Comment by Old School Panther 07.19.12 @ 11:33 pm

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