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Penn State penalties (Reader Poll)

Penn State penalties (Reader Poll)

The NCAA has imposed the following penalties on Penn State, via WaPo:

Penn State was socked with a four-year postseason ban, the loss of 40 scholarships over four years and a $60 million fine stemming from its coverup in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

In addition, all victories from 1998-2011 have been vacated, a huge blow to the coaching legacy of Joe Paterno, now formerly the winningest coach in college football history.

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the penalties, saying that “one of the dangers in our love of sports is that sports themselves can become too big to fail, too big to challenge.”

The $60 million fine, which amounts fo one year’s gross revenue from the football program, will be used to endow a fund for victims of abuse and to prevent future abuse, Emmert said. Athletes will be free to transfer and retain immediate eligibility, prompting the possibility of a mass exodus.

What do you think?

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…NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the penalties, saying that “one of the dangers in our love of sports is that sports themselves can become too big to fail, too big to challenge.”

I sure hope Brian Kelly pays close attention to this the next time he wants to put a student on a scissor lift on a windy day. RIP Declan Sullivan

    9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to herm2416. | July 23, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Also, don’t forget Lizzy Seeberg, who was assaulted by a football player and amid a culture that says ‘don’t mess with the football program’, took her life. Even her status as a very big legacy (13 extended family members in the last 100 years) didn’t rattle the football program.

    Browndog in reply to herm2416. | July 23, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Didn’t take you long to celebrate the opening of Pandora’s box.

    Take away a kid’s dream of playing football at Notre Dame because Kelly used poor judgement, possibly criminal neglect in the death of a student.

    I guess we no longer need a criminal code for anyone associated with Div I football–we have the NCAA morality police.

    I mean, why hold Keely personally responsible, and punish him, when we have the NCAA punishing everyone but.

    Further, I look forward to the loss of scholarships, fines, and vacated wins for Arkansas. That’ll teach Bobby Petrino to become a more moral and upstanding person.

      It’s only football! There is no excuse for these things happening ANYWHERE. If it happens on your watch, death sentence. There is no record of “football” greatness that balances that equation. We can live without football if that is what it takes. Harvard and Yale certainly didn’t disappear when they decided not to put football over scholarship.

        Browndog in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 23, 2012 at 11:21 am

        So, now “football” is the root of all evil?

        I’m done.

        This debate has officially gone sideways–again.

          ThomasD in reply to Browndog. | July 23, 2012 at 12:21 pm

          That is not what he said. He said any greatness of football could never balance out any sort of true evil.

          That seems about right.

          In theory everything the NCAA does is supposed to be about educating and improving the student and student/athlete.

          A tangible demonstration that evil, and tolerance of evil, destroys everything it touches is a valuable education.

That’s a huge set of fines. Massive executive powers. Now I know that everyone at the NCAA must be a Federalist.

Well, as a Penn Stater, a quote from Batman Begins comes to mind: “Why do we fall?”

I don’t have a huge problem with the sanctions (I voted “about right).

I do have a huge problem with the “process” they used, and their justification.

I have a major huge problem with total hypocrisy by the NCAA.

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the penalties, saying that “one of the dangers in our love of sports is that sports themselves can become too big to fail, too big to challenge.”

Let me fix that for you-

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the penalties, saying that “one of the dangers in our love of money is the NCAA itself has become too big to fail, too big to challenge.”

    I R A Darth Aggie in reply to Browndog. | July 23, 2012 at 10:49 am

    This.

    Also: when will they drop the hammer on FAMU for the misdeeds of the marching band? I’m going to guess they’ll not even think about that, even tho one fellow got dead, and another member was beaten so badly that she had a factured thigh bone.

      Are marching bands within the NCAA’s purview? While the FAMU scandal is egregious and needs serious attention I’m not convinced the NCAA needs to be the final arbiter of all things collegiate.

      FAMU is part of the State’s university system and their governing body needs to step up and clean house.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Browndog. | July 23, 2012 at 11:07 am

    The upside to college football is that it subsidizes all the rest of the sports, especially the ill-conceived and even more poorly-executed Title IX sports.

    The major downside is that it dangles untold millions just out of the reach of young men, many of whom grew up in poverty and with few behavioral controls. The alumni and fans are the force multipliers of the tremendous amounts of money that flows after college football and the corruption that goes with it. Up close, it’s even uglier, seamier and more common than when its discovered and eradicated.

    I love how alumni like to deride one another for their Alma Maters being dirtier than their own. Here’s a dirty little secret: It’s everywhere. No one who has alumni or fans is clean. The coaches know, the university leadership knows, the NCAA knows.

    Even as a player, you get caught up in things that are subtle, but wrong. Somebody picks up your tab at a restaurant. They’re gone when the waitress says, “You bill was paid by those people who asked you for autographs.” By NCAA regulations, you’re supposed to self-report that. Yeah, right. What did you do wrong? You find things slid under your door. Believe it or not, a lot of that finds its way into the Salvation Army can, the poor box or the collection plates. Most does not. Try having 80K people telling you you’re wonderful every Saturday and see if it doesn’t get inside your head.

    Part of the problem is NCAA rules. For example, my parents could buy me a meal, as could my grandparents and sister, but not an aunt or uncle or best friend. Athletes can’t work during the season, but 10-bucks (then) laundry money doesn’t allow you to date, have an off-campus meal or anything. My parents sent me some spending money, but again, not everyone has that resource.

    Summer jobs are a whole other matter; I always worked for my dad in the family business, but I knew guys who worked for alumni, and all they did was fill out a pay card each week and drop it by some office. The university didn’t know about THAT, but they knew it occurred. The can hardly watch every athlete all summer to make sure he or she actually goes to work, yet they are held responsible for the outcome.

    Yeah, I’m suggesting scholarship athletes get paid a small stipend. And yes, it will help. It removes a lot of the temptation, especially when it comes to those summer jobs.

    Oh, well… I’ve probably written too much already.

      Well done, Trooper.

      While corruption is wide spread in college football, I (would hope) that coaches molesting minors sexually and the rest of the organization knowing about it and covering it up is not common.

      You make a lot of excellent points but it still boils down to the fact that it is only football.

      “The upside to college football is that it subsidizes all the rest of the sports, especially the ill-conceived and even more poorly-executed Title IX sports.”

      If Penn State is what has to be tolerated, the cost is too high. The real solution is for the NFL to put college players on salary. Is there anyone who believes that there are many “student athletes” among them?

      Colleges exist for education. I played baseball in high school and college and have a deep appreciation for the very important lessons sports teaches. But it is not more important than the education taught in classrooms. Whatever the benefits, corrupt and corrupting sports programs are not worth it. Maybe we don’t need so many colleges.

        TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm

        I wasn’t defending anything, least of all institutionalized pedophilia. I wandered off topic.

        I got a great education from a major out-of-state university and never played in the NFL. Most of my teammates were scholar athletes, and a few of those were even good enough to study and make it to the NFL/CFL.

        Moreover, college football also brings in the dollars to fund tennis, track and field, ALL women’s sports and many other programs outside the football program. Under Title IX, you must have both a men’s and a women’s program in the applicable sports. So, if men’s basketball can’t also fund the women’s program, those dollars have to come from somewhere, which is usually the football program, or they both must be dropped. Sadly, these marginal sports will suffer when the money stream dries up.

        So, as any football program seems to be disconnected to the rest of the university, rest assured, it’s not.

          I know exactly what you are saying. Long ago, I was a university budget analyst and one time oversaw the sports department budget. Unfortunately, football was a money loser at BU but that only fed the argument for those who believed that BU had to invest heavily into football. Yet, BU is still a powerhouse in at least hockey and track. Many of the very best schools of higher learning never had a football program. So football is not a necessity. In Penn State’s case, it has become an embarrassment to not only the school but to NCAA and all of big-time college football.

Wow. The loss of scholarships? Hey, footballers will walk on. The loss of bowl games? That’s tough. Forfeiting money? Yeah, big deal, after all “Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing; ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;”. Vacating the Penn State victories between 1998 and 2011, way to hit them where it hurts. That seems fitting and a natural consequence. You can be sure that the teams who now have one more victory will take that.

Does this now make Paterno the losingest coach in NCAA history?

“But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.”

Sorry Coach, no one “took” your reputation. You gambled and lost.

Juba Doobai! | July 23, 2012 at 10:56 am

Banned from bowl games? Only? Only $60M? One year’s revenues? Soft.

    Browndog in reply to Juba Doobai!. | July 23, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Penn State football made $50 last year.

    tv revenues, ticket and merchandise sales were set to plunge this coming year, and years to come no matter what.

    To call it “one year” is somewhat dishonest.

    Further, much of the proceeds from the football program fund a whole host of other things on campus.

    Most important–and one NOBODY talks about–is the “non-revenue” athletic programs. Most of which, are “Title X”.

    If I have my liberal ideology correct, this nothing short of a “war on women”, is it not?

      Juba Doobai! in reply to Browndog. | July 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

      BDog, the report itself declared one year’s revenues. That wasn’t my calculation. How much do you estimate the harm done to those little boys is worth? How many scholarships? How many sports programs? Is it anti-woman to stop boy rape? Is it anti-woman to demand that the institution as a whole, all of which participated in, benefitted from, and rejoiced in the success of the Paterno-Sandusky connection, pay a steep price? Frankly, as a woman, bouncing/hitting/throwing/catching a ball by any person of any sex is not worth one minute of the harm that Sandusky did to those children, which harm ALL of Penn State supported because even the student body knew of Sandusky’s proclivities but as long as Penn State football was successful he could bang as many boys as he wanted. What was the Sandusky icecream delight at Penn State? Some sick bastard devised a Two-scoop cone with nuts, the whole damn Penn State athletic department should have been shut down for all time. That’s what those boys’ lives and peace of mind is worth.

        EllisWyatt in reply to Juba Doobai!. | July 23, 2012 at 1:18 pm

        “because even the student body knew of Sandusky’s proclivities ”

        EXCUSE ME?! I’m an alumni, and I never heard anything like this about Sandusky. I never heard anything like that when I was a student and never heard anything like that until this scandal broke. I understand the outrage everyone feels towards my alma mater, but let’s not make up facts here.

          Juba Doobai! in reply to EllisWyatt. | July 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm

          The Sandusky was a well known treat at Penn State. I am not inventing facts. I heard it on Rush Limbaugh and read it elsewhere. The fact is that Penn State has a lot of sick, immoral bastards who looked the other way because football trumped decency there.

          And you, you prefer to not address the core issue: what is the proper value of boy rape?

          In spite of your huffing and puffing, my answer is still the same: EVERYTHING.

Take their football away for a minimum of 10 years. Any less is just smoke and mirrors and a slap in the face of the known and unknown victims.

Full disclosure: I live in Pa; to the extent I followed sports (not very much), PSU football was the only team I payed attention to. (Note past tense.)

I didn’t vote. A morally vacuous society chose to pass judgment upon a man who simply acted out its own principles: gratify your passions, sate your lusts, each person decides the ultimate horizon of his life (Planned Parenthood vs Casey).

Then we are shocked…shocked…when our lusts erupt in our face.

I would have suspended the program of a year (in addition to these terms) but that they went back and took wins away from Paterno is pretty amazing. So beyond that it is about right.

Henry Hawkins | July 23, 2012 at 11:00 am

For a while I wondered if vacating victories wasn’t a bit harsh, given that the players had nothing to do with any of this. However, if it is unjust to them, the blame belongs to Sandusky, Paterno, et al, for causing, enabling, and covering up the whole sad episode. I have long felt we should child molestation to the list of capital crimes, punishable by death under certain circumstances, so I have no problem with the penalties placed on the university and its football program. Someone besides Sandusky needs to go to prison.

Ultimately, the legendary name of Joe Paterno is forever tainted and the name ‘Penn State’ will be associated with child molestation for a long, long time. I hope the positive to come out of this is that no matter your reputation, your legend even, no matter your place in society or history, tolerate child molestation and you are all done, consigned to eternal shame.

ALSO. Close down Climate Division–have a controlled burn for a weenie roast.

This is going to have a major impact on enrollment. PennState is in a secluded location. Their big draw is the football program. So the next students who will see major football there are 13 years old right now. My son has crossed Penn State off his list.

It’s going to cause tuition to go up which will affect many many people.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to PhillyGuy. | July 23, 2012 at 11:20 am

    By the time all of this is over, the abuse victims (or rather, their attorneys) are going to OWN Penn State.

    Maybe it’s time for those idiots who rioted while chanting “Joe-Pa!” will have, at least, the opportunity to LEARN something from their university that is not football-related… such as, how to get the skills you need for future employment… Because, isn’t that what a university is all about?

    And to that other idiot who chanted “Joe-Pa! Joe-Pa!” at Sandusky’s guilty verdict: get a life!

I voted “not tough enough” because I believe that this is so atrocious that only the death penalty will get the message out. They needed to be worse to make a distinction between the severe recruiting violation sanctions that were/are being imposed on SMU, USC, Miami, and other. This is different. It is an indictment of rabid alumni who have completely abandoned any sense of priorities.

Although these sanctions may turn out to be a death penalty, it would have been much better had they simply told Penn State that there will no football for at least four years.

Penn State has another problem, summed up in three words: Michael Mann

Joseph Farnsworth | July 23, 2012 at 11:39 am

I think when the dust has settled this whole situation, and especially the legal prosecution of this case, will be seen as a travesty. But one not rare or unique in U.S. or world history. As Charles de Montesquieu said “There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” He brought attention to the Inquistion in Portugal early in the 18th Century of innocent Converso women who were executed by being burned alive. Supposedly we, in the US, get due process. Sandusky’s defense team did not have adequate time to prepare a defense. The jury was shown a tampered (altered) video of Sandusky and Bob Costas that made him look guilty by falsely showing Costas repeat a question with Sandusky’s halting response. Even if he is guilty, this is travesty of justice.

    If???

    There are things beyond the legal definition of proof of guilt. Even if he never put his penis inside children there was still a massive amount of inappropriate behavior, and tolerance of such behavior on the part of many. That alone is reason enough to take action. There was an obvious – and (eventually) admitted – appearance of gross impropriety.

    There is simply no excuse for a grown man to shower alone with an child not his own.

    People who wish to litigate every aspect of this horror remind me of the lawfare crowd.

    Not every action is amenable to the legal system, and thankfully our society has multiple systems for dealing with issues of decency and morality. That’s pure Burkean philosophy in practice.

      Joseph Farnsworth in reply to ThomasD. | July 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      You are right, ThomasD, we can burn people at the stake. We don’t need any STINKIN’ DUE PROCESS!!!

Reading comments on other sites, I’m struck by how evenly divided everyone seems to be about this topic.

Wonder why-

Very interesting.

    Sanddog in reply to Browndog. | July 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Part of the divide includes people like me… who are not invested in College athletics and abhor a culture that places more emphasis on athletic achievement than academic achievement.

      Browndog in reply to Sanddog. | July 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      I agree.

      I suppose I could write a post on how these universities, run by liberals, have commercialized collegiate athletics to serve their own greedy purposes…

      How everything and anything “good” is highjacked by leftist;perverted and distorted from it’s original purpose…

      But, I won’t-

      However, I will take the time to point out the fact that nobody said boo about Obama appointing a “safe school czar” who openly advocated the joys of pedophilia, prior, during, and after his appointment.

NC Mountain Girl | July 23, 2012 at 11:56 am

The connection between Penn State’s failures to stop Sandusky from preying on young boys and the performance of the football team during those years is so remote as to make the sanction of vacating the victories smack far too much of Soviet style historical revisionism for my tastes. It seems to me the sanction of vacating victories should only be applied in those situations where the misdeeds gave the team being sanctioned an unfair playing advantage. That was not the case here.

Is the coverup continuing? I find it awfully hard to believe no one at the NCAA knew why Sandusky had been retired when it happened. The fact that his name was absent from lists when other college and pro teams were looking for a new coach suggests that even if all the details were not common knowledge, a general message about Sandusky had spread inside the football fraternity.

    “It seems to me the sanction of vacating victories should only be applied in those situations where the misdeeds gave the team being sanctioned an unfair playing advantage. That was not the case here.”

    If the NCAA charter were only about generating wins and losses in a fair competition your argument would be entirely valid.

    But, at least in principle the NCAA is supposed to be concerned with more than just winning and losing.

    “The connection between Penn State’s failures to stop Sandusky from preying on young boys and the performance of the football team during those years is so remote …”

    If Sandusky’s behavior had been exposed to the public at large as soon as it became common knowledge among the coaching staff and administration, how many standout players would have chosen to play elsewhere? If the cover-up would have been discovered in the first few years and the NCAA had stepped in with sanctions, how many players would have been forced to look elsewhere for scholarships? There’s no way to know, but it seems reasonable to assume it would have been a number greater than 0 in either case. The connection between the cover-up and the continued performance of the team doesn’t look all that remote to me, and it apparently didn’t look remote to the people who were perpetrating the cover-up.

    jimzinsocal in reply to NC Mountain Girl. | July 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I voted ‘about right.’

About right – for the NCAA.

But it shouldn’t end there. The University Board needs to take it further, if they ‘accept’ the NCAA sanctions but go no further then that is a tacit admission they are not the final authority over the institution.

They need to suspend the football program indefinitely, and only bring it back once they are well clear of the stain, at a minimum five years, maybe even ten.

If they cannot take the lead then the entire Board should be replaced.

When a company develops a twisted culture, society (i.e., the market and the law) send a signal to the company, not just the executives or owners who were decision-makers.

It is no different here, and this was appropriate.

    ThomasD in reply to Ragspierre. | July 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Agreed, in this world the braves live and die by their chief. Things like this teach people the valuable lesson that you need to be very careful who you choose to follow.

      Ragspierre in reply to ThomasD. | July 23, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      I know (some via comments on blogs) a couple of dozen people who used to work for Enron.

      They all lost their jobs. All of them (near as I can tell) were fine people who were doing their jobs well. Enron was a very diversified company, and many of its components were very well-run and successful.

      It died an appropriate death, and hurt a lot of good people in the dying. I see a college game as of no greater merit, or any reason it should be spared the same kind of rigor.

      I know many fine Catholics, and a few Catholic priests. All of them suffer some stigma because of the organizational culture that protected perverse priests.

Cowboy Curtis | July 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm

So long as Miami, FSU, and all the California schools are allowed to blight American sports, justice has not been served.

    I’m sure we could all add a lot of other schools to that list. I am affiliated with a major league baseball sports agent/scouting firm and I once asked why they don’t include football? Without hesitation: “Too dirty!”

    The NCAA has a massive problem with college football. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

So, apparently, with it’s new found authority, the NCAA is going to clamp down on the Big-10 Pedophile Conference.

All Big-10 schools will be issued some sort of “road map” that is yet to be determined, and a 3rd party “compliance officer” and staff will be assigned to each school–paid for by the school–to ensure the schools are implementing the new rules designed to take corrective steps to change the culture–whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean.

The Big-10 Conference.

The least penalized Conference in the nation.

Unbelievable.

    ThomasD in reply to Browndog. | July 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Not unbelievable.

    Bureaucracy perpetually expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.

    Penn State merely gave them the excuse they needed.

    All the more reason to shut down the program. No program means one less “compliance officer” will be necessary.

Pandora’s box opened. Now all those angry at the punishments on Penn State may feel obligated to do closer examination at other places on athletics. My husband just raised a point: How did a small place like U of Oregon become such an athletic powerhouse? (No allegations intended, just raised a question.)

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to gabilange. | July 24, 2012 at 2:47 am

    May I answer? I used to be a big t&F fan -indeed I went to some World Championships & World Cups .

    Oregon has a long athletics history from Steve Prefontaine to being a chosen base for American & then Foreign runners particularly mid -long distance.in the 1970s. It became a centre of knowledge & innovation leading to companies such as NIKE & (I think ) Brooks Bros.

    It would be logical for there to be big athletic endowments to Oregon U . I also believe the program is above NCAA results & aims to build athletes to International level.

Penn State has a culture of hiding scoundrels. The worst of which is Michael Mann the creator of the hockey stick” global warming farce. Although this pedophilia scandal is awful. It hurts a handful of boys. The global warming fraud has hurt millions of people. I guess this is like catching the mafia don for cheating on taxes – a small provable infraction, compared with the actual evil, but at least some punishment is meted out.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Leo. | July 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    A handful of boys, raped, scarred psychologically for life, some of them made homosexual–yes, I believe some homosexuals are made through Sandusky-type abuse, going on to interact with countless others and in turn inflict harm, perhaps even going on to abuse other children in turn. That is worth less to you than the global warming hoax? That is a false equivalency. The personal and social cost of boy rape is inestimable. Not so with the other.

Gosh when they started talking about not wanting to over punish in case they caused “significant unintended harm” I thought they must have has a seance with Paterno.

Gosh when they started talking about not wanting to over punish in case they caused “significant unintended harm” I thought they must have had a seance with Paterno.

seems to me they also vacated the work of people who did nothing wrong.
oh well.
I don’t care TBH.
the molester is in prison now.
everything else is just eyewash.

A couple of facts here. Paterno did not witness anything-he heard two separate allegations. City, County, and State officials, all of whom have investigative and judicial responsibilities heard similar allegations as well, as far back as 1998 and failed. Numerous others knew about instances and failed to act. The people responsible to report the 2001 incidence were University officials, not, directly, the football program officials who did their jobs and reported the incidents to superiors.
“Reasonable conclusions”, as used by Louis Freeh, is not even close to “Beyond a reasonable doubt” normally required.

Can’t wait to see the charges against the city, county, and state officials who failed here.

Allegations are not proof until investigated and proven. Salem witch trials were based on allegations, later proven untrue. My father was a victim of the Red Scare of the 50s and the “reasonable conclusions” of his “communism” were untrue.
You can’t judge a person on his instantaneous reactions to an allegation that took 11 years to be investigated and verified.

    Aridog in reply to beaver7216. | July 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    … football program officials who did their jobs and reported the incidents to superiors …

    Seriously? These officials, with direct knowledge of serious felonious assaultive behavior, did not have an obligation to notify law enforcement directly?

    A Nuremberg “chain of command/following orders” defense is a weak excuse for passing a buck up the line. Those young boys were Not part of the football program, they were from the surrounding community … and the persons with direct and indirect knowledge of their abuse had a responsibility to intervene at the least by reporting directly to law enforcement.

      beaver7216 in reply to Aridog. | July 23, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      You are assuming facts not in evidence. A football program does not have investigative authority or subpoena powers to investigate an allegation. If Paterno knew (and he did not-he only had a allegation-and a similar allegation was previously dismissed by proper authorities.) that this was going on then your Nuremberg analogy would make a little sense. It would make a lot more sense if Paterno was committing a crime on instructions from his superiors. But that is not what happened.
      “These officials, with direct knowledge of serious felonious assaultive behavior, did not have an obligation to notify law enforcement directly?” Plausible. Yet the only court decision on this, last November’s Grand Jury, held that Paterno was cleared on any wrongdoing.

      The PSU Administration failed here, completely. They should have reported it to law enforcement. To blame an underling, as Paterno was, for the failures of the superiors is wimpy and reprehensible. Blame McCreary who actually knew the truth at the time. Blame PSU Administration. Blame local and state law enforcement. Paterno may have been big but he was still subordinate to the PSU Administration who are now throwing him under the bus.

I am sad that there is any division of opinion on what is to be done with Penn State football. To me, the particular offenses that occurred are beyond the pall of any leniency. That they went on over a decade plus is vomit inducing, massive projectile vomit inducing. The fact, and I believe it is fact even if others still wonder, that a head coach, assistants, college president, et al would cover it up and enable it thereby is enraging to me. Beyond rage actually. Is there any doubt that the conduct was known among the people in the program and that they enabled it to continue?

I understand Brown-Dog’s points, and I’ve witnessed personally, some of the things Trooper-John-Smith addresses. In my college years I was close to a Big 10 Football program, with a roommate & frat brother who played in it. I knew several players who went on to leadership positions in Big 10 football programs.

Nothing, nothing in any of my experience would make me believe that any of this chronic pedophilia at Penn State was not a known quantity from almost day one. Nothing in my experience would lead me to believe that the guys I knew (not at Penn State, but other Big 10) would not have intervened the first time they witnessed anything of the kind. How this perverted crew, including the coach, did not astounds me. There just is no lower form of cowardice than abandoning children to blatant abuse when you have the means to stop it.

What I am most angry about is that I really don’t know if the athletic heroes and peers of my youth would have done any better? I want to believe it. Not sure I can now. I only know one thing and that is if it had been me who saw Sandusky in a shower fondling a little boy I would have intervened directly, physically, and immediately….then called the local town police, period. I can only assume this, of course, with my premise based upon my conduct under fire in a long ago war, where fear was something you overcame, or at least suppressed, daily and instantaneously if you possibly could…then you did the right thing for those around you as they did for you.

What “right thing” did any of these coaches and administrators do in defense of children? Nothing. Not one damn thing.

So yeah, a shut down of the Penn State football program for 4 years at least, if not permanently. Then you’ve sent the message that NO program is too big to be shut down. None.

I can’t be reasonable about any of this. There is just nothing reasonable about any of it.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Aridog. | July 24, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Just to clarify -this was male homosexual paedophilia .

    Something in common with the Catholic Church.

    It seems girls were /are quite safe around priests & football coaches. I don’t believe it is just a case of availability .

    Seems to me men need to address this fact.

I am appalled frankly at some of these comments that show a blind spot for the enormity of what this scandal represents. I guess it boils down to whether you believe college football is your “raison d’etre” around which you derive all joy in life or you see it for what it is: entertainment.

As a 59 y.o. who still loves sports and stays in shape, let me just point out that there was happiness before football and if necessary, there will be happiness after football.

    Browndog in reply to Pasadena Phil. | July 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Appalled?

    Really?

    You talk about a blind spot, then insinuate that those of us that enjoy college football are willing to be entertained at the expense of children being raped.

    Further, “all happiness” derived from football?

    Can do without it-

    Go for it.

    Literally, put your money where your mouth is.

    Abolish the Rose Parade and game that generates 10’s of millions of dollars for your city–untold amount of economic activity over the last CENTURY.

    After all, you guys in Cal are swimming in cash–as you say, it won’t be missed–’cause you’re 59, and enjoy sports!

I’m not well versed in football rules/etc but from what I’ve read the death penalty for a number of years would have done less damage to Penn St and its student athletes.

What has been placed on them will destroy their football program for years if not decades. If one wants to say good – college is for education – then start closing down programs everywhere, the rest of the conferences. Or don’t we care about a student at Nebraska or SMU?

It is going to hurt the other non-revenue producing sports. Who is going to fund fencing, swimming, etc? Whether you like it or not big time sports draws outside money to a university and that enable it to hire better professors, attract more students, offer better facilities, and on and on. If people are so against sportsbeing such a bog deal why do they continue to watch it on TV, listen on the radio? If the networks weren’t getting thie big bucks from advertisers due to viewership, they wouldn’t be paying the schools. Time for people to sacrefice for their high and mighty principles don’t you think?

    Defective logic. The entire college sports universe is not who got caught. Penn State got caught. “Everyone is doing it” is no defense. Penn State got caught.

    Aridog in reply to katiejane. | July 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    With all due respect, seriously, this is not about football rules, NCAA rules, school rules or whatever. It IS about an organized collusion to enable and subsequently cover up gross pedophilia by adults with defenseless children. It is perfectly possible that other men were involved in the pedophilia, we don’t know. I’m inclined to think that when one cockroach is uncovered, that there are more of them. I can’t think of any other reason for adults men to turn purportedly blind eyes to the aberrant conduct of one…unless they didn’t think it aberrant themselves.

    We’ll never know, of course, because cowards seldom out themselves.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Aridog. | July 24, 2012 at 3:13 am

      ASIK children = boys not girls.

      I have to ask -does anyone think if it was girls it would be accepted/overlooked for so long?

      If that guy had seen a coach (allegedly ) raping a young girl in the showers would have ended this way?

      Have some parents /guardians/adults knowingly let be handed over boys as sacrifices to their Sport Gods as some primeval ritual?

No – I’m not defending Penn State on that. Ny comment is based on the numerous harpings I’ve read about how people should realize that sports is “just entertainment” – not important. If it’s insignificant at Penn St it should be just as big a waste of time at SMU.

    Aridog in reply to katiejane. | July 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Again, I say it is not about the significance of sports at schools per se. At Penn State it is about physical pedophilia tolerated for a dozen years at Penn State…by Penn State officials.

Does anybody have a feel for what the real effective bowl ban will be? I think it’s safe to speculate that with recruiting crippled by sanctions, PSU isn’t likely to be a contender the year the penalties are lifted. It seems to me that it’ll be a long long time before there’s anything resembling Division I football at PSU.

Personally, if I was the one handing down the sanctions, I would have given them a choice. Given that we now know that PSU administration will conspire to hide child molestation, there’s no reason to believe that they’re any more forthcoming about any number of other less serious offenses. Option A is to accept these sanctions without complaint. Option B is to agree to allow a forensic accountant of the NCAA’s choosing unlimited access to all the university’s academic and financial record, with the understanding that any NCAA violations uncovered will result in the maximum possible penalty, and any evidence of criminal or civil violations will be turned over to the proper authorities. Is there any doubt that they’d take option A and think they were getting off easy?

    ThomasD in reply to AndyN. | July 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    How fast Penn State comes back after the end of sanctions depends entirely on how much money the University is willing to throw at it.

    Coaches, facilities, and media access/exposure are at the top of the shopping list.

Joseph Farnsworth | July 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Williamlanderson has said at his insightful blogspot: “The Mondale Child Protection Act of 1974 included two important provisions that would eviscerate rule of law and also empower children to go after adults that they didn’t like. The first was money that was promised to state and local agencies to assist in prosecuting alleged abusers and for treating children that were abused. The second provision simply did away with the bedrock of Anglo-American law: due process, and in so doing eliminated many evidentiary standards that guaranteed innocent people would be convicted.
At the time, authorities needed corroborating evidence to go along with an accusation, as the simple word of a child with nothing else to help confirm the charges (such as evidence that the accused actually was in that place when the alleged molestation/abuse occurred) was not considered to be credible enough to put someone behind bars for a long time. By ridding the authorities of that troublesome requirement that the accused actually might have committed the acts, the wrongful convictions came and came and came…”

stevewhitemd | July 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I now wait to see what happens next.

What will the Big Ten do? Will the Big Ten universities want to be associated with Penn State after this? What’s the exposure to the New York television market worth in the face of what has happened [and who will admit to watching PS football now?]?

The Big Ten should drop Penn State. Dump them.

What will the Penn State Board of Trustees do? They have a responsibility to the university as a whole. It’s a state university, so they have a responsibility to the state as well. What will they do?

The Board should suspend the football program. Five years would be enough to clear out the stench and start over.

Neither the Big Ten nor the Board of Trustees will do a thing except wring their hands, but I know what they should do.

Excellent – the punishment fits the crimes – BUT REALLY DOES NOTHING TO HELP THE VICTIMS.

Mystery Meat | July 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm

PSU is a state college. Where is the 60 million dollars coming from?

    I was just wondering about that.
    taxpayers on the hook?
    I do not know how all this works.

    Mary Sue in reply to Mystery Meat. | July 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Gov Corbett commented on this today – it is not coming from taxpayers. I believe it comes from insurance mainly and a trust.

      Browndog in reply to Mary Sue. | July 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      Wait until after the 2-3 upcoming trials, and the huge awards given to victims via settlement/jury.

      Pennsylvania State University won’t be able to afford cutting it’s grass.

      The State legislature is ultimately responsible for the funding of that University.

      The taxpayers are going to pay….they always do, one way or another.

      As far as the Endowment–they are like a huge diamond ring on an heiress at a cocktail party-

      you can look, but you can’t touch!

If Penn State were not part of the Big Ten but, say one of the smaller cnferences, would they have been given the “death penalty?” The football team’s continued existence and play doesn’t mess up all those other high-power schools’ schedules/income.

Yeah, the penalties laid out today are harsh–and there may be more on the criminal and civil horizon–but it could have/should have been worse.

[…] State Dodges Death Penalty Posted on July 23, 2012 1:30 pm by Bill Quick » Penn State penalties (Reader Poll) – Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion The NCAA has imposed the following penalties on Penn State, via WaPo: Penn State was socked with a […]

Where’s the “who gives a rat’s a**” option?

Doug Wright | July 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Maybe my grandson will grow up in an era where college football is simply a good Saturday afternoon fun time, watching the locals play a rousing game against those visitors from another area. We’ve come a long way from those days of so very long ago and don’t know if it’s possible to get back to them now. But college football has many bad aspects to it and being a minor league for the pros is but one part of that.

Maybe Lacrosse and Soccer need to be replace it as the fall sport of choice. Still, college football is part of our culture of bread and circuses; bring on the lions and tigers, the crowds need a diversion.

    Browndog in reply to Doug Wright. | July 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Maybe my grandson will grow up in an era where college football is simply a good Saturday afternoon fun time, watching the locals play a rousing game against those visitors from another area.

    Maybe that’s where we’re at now.

    As far as soccer, or LaCrosse, I guess it’s a cultural thing. I find college football in the fall one of America’s finest traditions.

    Flawed? Yes. Every human endeavor is.

The lawyers are in it now pursuing suits by former players against the NFL. Anyone who believes that the Penn State crimes will be ignored by that rapacious profession stand on your head! Enjoy college football (and professional football) while you can. Joe Paterno and his merry band of liars have simply advanced the inevitable.

Joseph Farnsworth | July 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm

It is a shame that any sort of thoughtful opinion on this blog is quickly drowned out by toothless Gomers.

Trogluddite | July 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Mobs with pitchforks and torches are always fun, until they decide to chase you.

To date, none of the victims in the Grand Jury presentation, or any of the other victims identified in the press have stated that Joe Paterno (JVP) knew anything about the criminal acts committed by Sandusky.

The Freeh investigation, having interviewed “over 430 people” and having reviewed “more than 3&1/2 million documents and pieces of electronic data” has found exactly 0 witnesses who state that they told JVP of criminal acts and 2 e-mails that provide a general statement that someone else told JVP about something.

The 1998 incident was reported to police, who investigated and who had two victims interviewed by child counselors – they concluded that no crimes had been committed and the investigator told the Freeh investigation that “no one from Penn State” attempted to influence the investigation.

In 2001, when “Big Red” (Mike M) saw a fleeting incident in the shower, he told Joe in general terms that he saw something wrong, but Mike himself has said that he did not tell JVP any specifics. So JVP “knew” – at most – that something improper – but not necessarily criminal – may have been seen in the showers and that Sandusky had been cleared of any criminal activity when something similar was investigated by police 3 years earlier.

None of this is to excuse the failures and lies of others – who may have met w/youth services, who were updated on a daily basis by police during the 1998 investigation, who at least guessed at the possibility of sexual activity, who hid their records from a grand jury, and who may very well have perjured themselves.

But given the evidence to date, Joseph Vincent Paterno is being treated about as fairly as the witches in 1600 New England.

    Joseph Farnsworth in reply to Trogluddite. | July 24, 2012 at 10:00 am

    A great comment Trogluddite! This is a mass hysteria (even though we are not supposed to say that – “conversion disorder” is the new acceptable p.c. phrase.
    Consider Mark Berndt in Los Angeles. He was near retirement as a primary school teacher and he had a few rolls of 35mm film taken of his students at school developed at his local photo processor. The technician knew he was legally bound to alert authorities if he saw any evidence of child abuse. If he didn’t he would be subject to legal sanction and punishment. So why would a 60-year man have all these pictures of kids? Might be a perv – so it started. Kids with milk or ice cream on their face (got milk?) – Had to be semen!!! Now this guy is rotting in jail because he can’t meet the $23 million in bail.
    Happens all the time and it can happen to you.

If Penn State was shut down, disbanded and burnt to the ground… it wouldn’t be enough for me.

I think the “death penalty” for a number of years would have been more appropriate, direct and truly tough. Say what you will, but money is fungible, so the $60 million will come indirectly from Pennsylvania taxpayers (to be spread around by some NCAA functionary). And while I understand wanting to stick it to JoePa by taking away his records, I’m still left feeling that players on the 1998 Penn State team should not have their achievements on the field tossed down the memory hole because of Sandusky’s crimes.

All in all, the sanctions appear to have been pasted together by a deeply divided committee.

I get everything except vacating the wins. Mind you I don’t feel strongly about it but it does seem a bit strange to pretend the coach and team didn’t win those 112 games over a decade after the fact.

Do the “losing” teams now get to re-write their records for those years? How much football history does this “make-believe” alternate reality re-write?

I would have been happy if the penalties were tougher but this one sanction just seems strange to me…

    AndyN in reply to WarEagle82. | July 24, 2012 at 1:49 am

    A commenter on another blog pointed out that the opponent in at least one of those games (Ohio St I think) was sanctioned at some point in the past and already had to retroactively pretend that game never happened. Strange indeed.

BTW, I have always jokingly begged for more college football coverage on this web site. This is not exactly what I was hoping for…

My initial reaction to the Penn State reaction was borderline “Not Enough”.

Friday morning and then again with the Penn State announcement.

Focus, but I can find myself distracted from the future of both this country and as well Israel [the Bulgaria Hezbollah attack]

Six months ago there was one extreme Penn State attack that the football program was ….and a less extreme report on “The Sandusky Cone”.

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