NCAA Drops Hammer

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The dilemma of the Joe Paterno statue reached its conclusion Sunday morning just after dawn. The statue was no longer an honorable representation of a great coach; it would serve as a constant reminder of an elaborate, more-than-decade-old cover up of child sexual assault. Common sense persevered, thankfully. It was deconstructed, and we are left with the iconic image of the now infamous Joe Paterno being carried away. Penn State officials got this one right. Next up: the NCAA.

Much discussion has existed about the possibility of the NCAA levying penalties on the Penn State football program in the aftermath of the Sandusky case. Some argue the only way to handle this disaster is to let the proper legal authorities have their way with the university and the scandal’s key members, and that the NCAA should not meddle in such non-sports related issues. And why punish so many people for the crimes of only a few, especially when said crimes occurred away from football?

Until recently, I was on the fence on the issue. I considered all the innocent bystanders, and there will be many, that would be penalized from actions that occurred years ago, and actions they had zero knowledge of. I understood the effects of the possible sanctions and how long they could potentially bring down the university’s athletic department. I also wondered if the NCAA would be overstepping its authority. After all, what did all this have to do with the product on the field? It’s the National Collegiate Athletic Association. This wasn’t an athletic issue. It’s not like any of this gave the Nittany Lions an unfair on-field advantage. It had nothing to do with football.

Then I realized how wrong I was, how moronic that sounded. This is not just a legal issue. It’s about the university administration, the dictatorial culture of the program, and it is most definitely about football. All about football, actually. Why? The main catalyst for hiding years and years of child rape was to protect the squeaky clean facade of the football program, the football program Joe Paterno worked tirelessly to protect and uphold. And he was more than capable of single-handedly dictating the process following the first account in 1998. He had ultimate sovereignty in State College, Pennsylvania. He exercised it, too, all in the name of the football program. The entire coverup was football motivated. Every time, since he gained knowledge of Sandusky’s actions, Paterno sat down in living rooms of recruits to pitch the Penn State football program, he lied to them, and he lied to their parents. Paterno would often send letters to recruits claiming PSU as “the cleanest program in the country.” It was about his image, the program’s image, football revenue, and wins. The victims were not only an afterthought, but seemingly not even entered into the decision-making equation.

The NCAA reached their ruling, and they delivered the news Monday morning. In my opinion, their sanctions are justified.

Penalties levied by the NCAA:

  • $60 million fine, money to be allocated to sexual abuse endowment
  • 4-year bowl ban
  • All wins vacated from 1998 to 2011
  • Yearly scholarships limited to 15 (down from 25) for 4 years
  • 5 years probation

    It’s not the death penalty that many were speculating, but Penn State football had all their limbs lopped off. These sanctions could potentially set the Penn State football program back a decade or more. Revenue, recruiting, coaching, fan support, perception – everything will be greatly affected.

    To the Penn State fans, students, alumni, and current football players, you got a raw deal. You’re upset, and rightfully so. You don’t deserve this, and you have my sympathy. Just remember something, though – the NCAA is not to blame here. Your university’s administration, and more directly, the man pictured above who is being so aptly cloaked and carried off to pasture is. He pulled the cloak over your eyes for over a decade, and many child sexual assault victims were the result – all because of college football.

    Follow me on Twitter @RogerDornTFM

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    Nice Move

    Roger_Dorn

    Roger Dorn (@RogerJDorn) is the Vice President of Media for Grandex, Inc. He's a native Texan with a full head of hair and knows his way around a nice box of red wine. Dorn graduated (BBA) with a GPA sitting in the meaty part of the bell curve, not lagging behind, but not trying to show off, either. Golf is his game now. He's long off the tee but can't putt for shit. Email: dillon@grandex.co

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    1. 1
      JParksCaldwell1855

      Nice read.
      PSU fans shouldn’t be upset; they should consider themselves lucky. State College still gets to be Pennsylvannia’s 3rd biggest city on Saturdays, and businesses in the area still get to enjoy the revenues that otherwise would’ve diappeared. The school still gets to rake in millions from the gate. The university still gets to be a part of the conference whose reputation they tarnished (membership was talked about being revoked), and still gets a slice of the most lucrative television (Big Ten Network) and revenue sharing deals (Committee on Institutional Cooperation) in the nation (to the tune of $5.6 billion in research money).

      And you still get the memories of going to the games. So, Lions fans- would you please shut the hell up.

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
    2. 0
      bornaBROg

      Best description I’ve heard so far regarding the NCAA’s sanctions: “A rotten institution punishing institutional rot.”

      ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
      • 1
        Bronan the Barbarian

        Yes, but I don’t think the NCAA’s standard institutional rot is child rape. Something had to be done here, to show that schools that cover up these kinds of things will be punished.

        ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
      • 1
        bornaBROg

        Completely agree with you, just think that the NCAA is a fucking slimy organization in its own right. They’re creating an illusion that everything is getting better now thanks to these punishments–which, in all fairness, are completely deserved. But the NCAA isn’t really changing the culture of college football to deal with the problem of, quoting Emmert, programs that are “too big to fail.”

        ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
      • 0
        DrFratlove

        Yes, this is America. When even our death row inmates know child molesters deserve to be shanked in a prison shower, it is clear that America as a whole does not put up with that shit.

        ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
      • 0
        Bronan the Barbarian

        I would agree there, bornaBROg. These “too big to fail” programs are bad for the sport. They dilute the available talent pool because they do huge recruiting drives and then sideline good players that could be stars elsewhere in the league. Honestly, if it wouldn’t be such a fucking mess, I’d say we need a college draft, but because not every college athlete is going to go pro and, one would hope, also actually wants an education, that kind of system wouldn’t work.

        ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
      • 0
        bornaBROg

        Yeah it’s unbelievable how many kids think that a collegiate scholarship automatically translates into a multi-million dollar NFL deal. In a perfect world that draft idea would could potentially work wonders for players, conferences, and programs alike. Until then we’ll just continue to see three, four, and five star recruits fall victim to plateauing programs with too many options to know what to do with, while “bottom-tier” football programs and mid-majors compete for a share of the leftovers.

        ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago
      • -1
        Bronan the Barbarian

        Of course, perhaps the draft wouldn’t be a bad idea. Instead of schools fighting over recruits with money, they’d fight over them with school, program and extracurricular quality. If they let the athletes actually have social lives and allowed then to join student orgs like greek life, it would make the players more well-rounded when they leave. But, that’s probably a pipe dream, because there is no way the NCAA could conduct a fair and balanced draft. It’s a hive of scum and villainy.

        ^ ThisTake a lapReply • 2 years ago

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