The NCAA made no mistake in making it crystal clear they will not tolerate the hiding of atrocious acts like the ones Sandusky perpetrated on his young victims. It appears that due to Penn State higher-ups (including former coach Joe Paterno, former university president Graham Spanier… and other Penn State officials) having knowledge of Sandusky’s activities, and their failure to take appropriate action, has led to severe penalties and sanctions by the official governing body of college sports (NCAA).
According to the NCAA News release at Fox News Radio, these consequences include:
- $60 million sanction on the university (funds that are required to be paid into an endowment for external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims and may not be used to fund such programs at the university.)
- Four-year football postseason ban
- Vacation of all wins from 1998 through 2011
(all of which will be reflected in former Coach Paterno’s career record)
- Penn State must also reduce 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period
- The NCAA reserves the right to impose additional sanctions on involved individuals at the conclusion of any criminal proceedings
- Any entering or returning student-athlete will be allowed to immediately transfer and compete at another school.
- Any football student-athletes who remain at the university may retain their scholarships, regardless of whether they compete on the team.
- Penn State must enter into an “Athletics Integrity Agreement” with the NCAA. It [they] also must adopt all Freeh Report recommendations and appoint an independent, NCAA-selected Athletics Integrity Monitor, who will oversee compliance with the agreement.
- Effective immediately, the university faces five years of probation. Specifically, the university is subject to more severe penalties if it does not adhere to these requirements or violates NCAA rules in any sport during this time period.
However, they did stop short of instituting the “death penalty” for the Penn State football program, which would mean shutting down the football program completely.
There are some that because of the severity of the crime (university officials hiding, and inaction on, the Sandusky child rapes) believe the death penalty is most certainly warranted. Articles abound on the topic with many citing much less serious violations (like recruiting violations) where the NCAA did institute the “death penalty” because of those violations. And this Penn State scandal is far and away more severe; it is just about as bad as it gets.
For me, this is not a tough one. As long as the penalty is exponentially severe, meaning it is not short-term (one year), is multifaceted, and has impact that extends beyond Penn State in that it serves as a huge deterrent for other like minds who might try and cover up the same, I am good with whatever the NCAA comes up with. Even the “death penalty,” as the acts committed do support such a consequence.
And personally, I don’t buy into the concept that if what happened in a situation doesn’t neatly or exactly fit into the bylaws the NCAA subscribes to then they should not enforce action. Something Andy Staples implies in his piece Justice in Penn State case should come from courts, not NCAA at SI.com. The NCAA should…no, needs to, have jurisdiction over the breaking of ethical codes of conduct, especially violations as severe as this. It is simply a matter of common sense.
Where does everyone else sit on this issue?
poll by twiigs.com