NCAA hits Penn State hard, but ‘death penalty’ appropriate (UPDATED with video)

Mark Emmert moved fast and hit Penn State for their actions (and inactions). (AP photo)

Mark Emmert moved fast and hit Penn State for their actions (and inactions). (AP photo)

(See video blog with CineSports’ Noah Coslov below)

(Updated at 6:40 p.m. with comment from Penn State president that school accepted penalties to avoid death penalty)

Let’s start with this: NCAA president Mark Emmert acted swiftly and justly. That’s a rarity for the NCAA.

Emmert didn’t need a 17-month investigation by an overworked and underpaid staff to unearth something that we didn’t already learn from prosecutors and witnesses in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse trial, or from the exhaustive, 267-page Freeh Report, conducted by a former director of the FBI. Anybody who believes Emmert moved too quickly on Penn State without the NCAA doing its own leg work must not having been paying attention for the past several decades, when policing college athletics became far too big of a job for that relative mom-and-pop organization.

The NCAA appropriately slammed Penn State Monday for its perceived enabling and cover-up of Sandusky. Emmert referenced an athletic culture “that went horribly awry” and a misguided “hero worship” that led to it. He didn’t bury the lead.

The penalties will double-over every blinded school official, player, fan, alum and misguided individual who hugged and tried to protect the Joe Paterno statute. The school was hit with a $60 million fine, equivalent to one year’s gross revenue for the football program (the money will fund an endowment that will fight child sexual abuse).

There’s also a four-year bowl ban; the loss of 40 scholarships over four years; the freedom for existing Penn State players to transfer to another school without having to sit out a year; the vacating of all victories since 1998, a symbolic punch to the gut for the memory of Joe Paterno. (The quarterback for Paterno’s last official win in 1997: Mike McQueary, whose eyewitness account of seeing Sandusky in the shower with a young boy was ignored years later.)

The sanctions will cripple the football program. But Emmert still fell short.

The NCAA, as I’ve written previously, should have gone one step further and shut the program down for one to two years. It would’ve been more than just a symbolic hit.

There is a need for a cultural change at Penn State, as Emmert himself said frequently Monday, and the “death penalty” would have increased the likelihood of that happening.  It would have prompted anybody who ever took part in a cover-up or ignored whispers about Sandusky to reflect during Saturdays in the fall when football wasn’t being played at Penn State. Beaver Stadium could have been used for weekly prayer vigils for the victims.

Penn State officials need time to process this. They need to consider where, when and why they jumped the rails on their mission. While there’s no question the NCAA’s punishment will make them feel the pain of their actions, nothing can equal the silence of an empty stadium, the absence of weekly pep rallies. No program in history deserves to be shuttered as much as the Penn State football team. We send criminals to jail. We don’t tell them, “OK, you can still go back to that bank that you robbed, but now you’ll have to take the bus, and just don’t do it again.” Penn State needed to lose its freedoms, its privileges.

For some reason, the NCAA apparently gave Penn State a choice. President Rodney Erickson told the Centre Daily Times the school accepted the sanctions to avoid the death penalty: “We had our backs to the wall on this. We did what we thought was necessary to save the program.”

Some believe the death penalty would have been a softer punishment than what Penn State received. I don’t get that. Has anybody seen SMU since the death penalty?

Emmert believes the death penalty would’ve caused “unintended harm” to those who were innocent in this mess. That’s true. Unfortunately, the innocent always get hurt in NCAA probation. New players and often new coaches are in place when sanctions hit for past misdeeds.

Those who believe Sandusky’s crimes didn’t warrant any sanctions because they did not give the school a competitive advantage are missing the big picture. Question: If Jerry Sandusky was a chemistry professor and not a former high profile football coach, do you believe he would’ve been protected? Of course not. Penn State’s actions and inactions were about preserving the competitiveness, image and profitability of the football program.

Even without the death penalty, however, it was encouraging to see Emmert take charge. The NCAA has needed somebody with logic and courage to run things. The hope is that this won’t be an isolated case, because the leaders of college athletics have long since lost perspective.

Emmert said the Penn State case “involves tragic and tragically unnecessary circumstances. One of the grave dangers coming from our love of sports is that the sports themselves can become too big to fail, too big to even challenge. The result can be an erosion of academic values that are replaced by hero worship and winning at all costs. In the Penn State case, the results were perverse and unconscionable.”

They were the perfect words to punctuate the punishment and begin the process of closure. Going one step further would have made it just a little better.

By Jeff Schultz

Here’s my chat with CineSports’ Noah Coslov on the NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State.
Yes, first you read me, now you can see me in living color!



525 comments Add your comment

The Grinch

July 23rd, 2012
1:49 pm

PSU Alum
July 23rd, 2012
1:46 pm

Wow, just…….wow.

First you say ““You rednecks just keep perpetuating the stupid stereotype”.

Then you come back with the “you routinely have relations with your sisters”.

If that’s your version of the south, then please do us all a favor and go back up north.

HabDawg

July 23rd, 2012
1:49 pm

Come on guys this is not a football issue. This is a disgrace and will do nothing to punish the individuals who deserve punishment. Nothing good wil come out of the sanctions that were handed down except that it may help toprevent this from happening again.

While what happened makes me sick to my stomach, I do not believe in handing out punishment that will affect everyone except the ones that deserve it. That is just plain crazy. What has been handed down will affect many more lives than can ever be calculated, most of which had nothing to do with this whole mess.

God Bless the victims and their families.

Well

July 23rd, 2012
1:49 pm

“Real tough guy huh? You all are so worked up, yet you routinely have relations with your sisters. This is the south.”

Delta is ready when you are, Pedophile State University. Hey, why don’t you tell us all how you “won the war?”

Geez, you are one misguided human being.

PSU Alum

July 23rd, 2012
1:49 pm

You know…..Who cares……We still got the Steelers. WHat do you have? The Falcons? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

jp

July 23rd, 2012
1:49 pm

I think this penality may be worse than the death penalty. First, allowing current players to transfer with outsitting out a year will deplete this team of talent. second, they will not be able to rebuild that with their limited schlorships for many years. Third it will be hard to get 4 star recruits with a 4 year bowl ban. Fourth the school is losing the 1 year of revenue the would have lost if the program had been shut down. If I was the PSU pres or AD I would have asked for a one year death penalty over these sanctions.

Well

July 23rd, 2012
1:50 pm

“I’m saying you might as well had said that cause it was implied. Never mind though in your own little world you didn’t call anyone names.”

So post what I called you, Ray. Since you’re so obsessed over something I never called you.

5150 UOAD

July 23rd, 2012
1:50 pm

NCAA…..
Yo BRO Don’t hate the PLAYA Hate Da Game.
Get Rich or DIE tyr’n

Well

July 23rd, 2012
1:51 pm

“You know…..Who cares……We still got the Steelers. WHat do you have? The Falcons? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!”

I’m actually a Green Bay fan. You know, that team that beat up your team in last years SB.

Oh, and I’ll take the Braves over the Pirates any day considering the Braves gave your team a beat down in 91 and 92.

Bammer

July 23rd, 2012
1:52 pm

Good one PSU Alum…other areas of the country love to use the tired ole “sleeping with your sister/cousin” line on all us poor, unwashed masses of the SEC. But as of this date not one SEC member school has been in trouble for molesting children or anything truly deviate like that. Guess it’s true about the loudest one in the room usually is the one hiding something.

Well

July 23rd, 2012
1:52 pm

“If that’s your version of the south, then please do us all a favor and go back up north.”

I love it when northerners move south and then complain about how awesome the north is all while living in nice houses in the south.

If the north is so great, by all means move back and pay higher taxes.

Well

July 23rd, 2012
1:54 pm

“But as of this date not one SEC member school has been in trouble for molesting children or anything truly deviate like that.”

Nope, the only school with any sexual relations issues was Booby Petrino and he’s long gone from Arky.

5150 UOAD

July 23rd, 2012
1:55 pm

phil
July 23rd, 2012
1:27 pm

What A Laugher!

July 23rd, 2012
1:19 pm

“Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people” – Mark Emmert
**************
Of course it won’t be…..LOLOLOLOL!!

I guess ol’ Emmert thinks were all stupid out here…
===================================
I posted close to that post to start this BLOG…..What a JOKE. The NCAA is a JOKE no matter the Crime.

stoptheinsanity

July 23rd, 2012
1:55 pm

Hey Jeff, quote from Dan Wetzel:

The NCAA banned the Mustangs from one season of play. The school added an additional year. Then it applied strict academic requirements to recruits that completely altered the type of athlete it was bringing in. It never got caught up with the competition in terms of building opulent facilities or a massive stadium, items the Nittany Lions already have.

SMU hasn’t been heard from since because they didn’t WANT to be heard from.

Tumbledown

July 23rd, 2012
1:55 pm

Forget trying to understand PSU Alum. While sincere people debate the sanctions imposed on Penn State, he offers up pathetic insults and feels it necessary to elevate football above all else. I truly pray PSU Alum that you do not have a child who suffers like those who suffered at the hands of Sandusky and those powers that CHOSE football over children.

Bammer

July 23rd, 2012
1:56 pm

@Well…
Yeah, ole Bobby was/is a doofus…but at least it was with a young blond and not a young boy.

Victim of a loose bowel movement

July 23rd, 2012
1:56 pm

Now it all comes out. PSU alum and his love for Penn State and the Stealers(the stole a Superbowl) makes sense.

Remember Ben Rapelisberger? That sexual predatory mindset must be the norm up there.

SEC Fact Finder

July 23rd, 2012
1:57 pm

DP

July 23rd, 2012
1:25 pm
“SEC Fact Finder”, good to see that you’ve shown Marco Pillow Thrower that McQueary isn’t the only one who would have been gutless and pathetic enough to think about the chain of command within a football program when confronted with the sight of a grown man raping a small boy in the showers instead of thinking about his responsibilities as a member of society and the human race. It’s good to be reminded that there are plenty of loyal organization men like you out there, which is why we get scandals like Penn State and the Catholic Church.

And by the way, when McQueary saw Sandusky raping that boy, Sandusky had been off the Penn State staff for 2-3 years and clearly not the heir apparent to Paterno, not that it would have made any difference except to those whose inclination when confronted with a heinous crime was to think about their own career and an organizational chart instead of stopping the crime and protecting the victim

You have the right to your opinion. My point is that McQueary did MORE than anyone else at that entire University and Pillow is trying to pin it on one guy who had zero credibility as a graduate assistant. Trying to blame this on McQueary is just ignorant of anyone. How many boys and children had Sandusky hurt prior to that incident. Anyone that hurts a child should be hurt the same way while in prison is my personal view.

Well

July 23rd, 2012
1:57 pm

“Remember Ben Rapelisberger? That sexual predatory mindset must be the norm up there.”

What is it with people in Pennsylvania and rape?

PSU Alum

July 23rd, 2012
1:59 pm

Nice try, but Ben was never convicted. No doubt he was being set up by a small town hick sheriff.

tell the truth

July 23rd, 2012
2:00 pm

I have not read this thought before- I am pretty certain that a good many happy valley folks heard more than once the whispers about Sandusky. If you have ever lived in a college town you are well aware of how facts and non-facts become rumors that fly through the community. My point is that the knowledge of these occurrences by Sandusky were not limited to the 4 university leaders plus the victims and their families- I feel certain that a substantial portion of the community had heard such rumors.

Fan of Schultz

July 23rd, 2012
2:01 pm

PSU Alum,

The pittsburgh steelers called…..they don’t want you to be a fan anymore. you’re embarrassing!

Well

July 23rd, 2012
2:01 pm

“Nice try, but Ben was never convicted. No doubt he was being set up by a small town hick sheriff.

Folks, this is all you need to know about the mindset of PSU Alum. The guy is obviously a sicko.

Rhett Oreck

July 23rd, 2012
2:02 pm

BC75 and Bammer, Rumors of Paterno’s detachment from the operational side of PSU Football goes back to the eighties; even as they won two national titles (’82 and ‘86). He was an iconic figurehead, used for recruiting, fundraising and PR. But the fact that he allowed Sandusky to continue makes you kinda wonder about whatever dirt might or might not be under HIS fingernails.

Peter

July 23rd, 2012
2:02 pm

PSU Alum. You are upset of course…… But hey the college and the football program under Joe Pa, showed zero re-guard for the kids of the Sandusky crimes, and covered all up for the sake of the football program.

Also I have been treated badly in Athens as well…..

I wore a yellow shirt to the game years ago that GA Tech won in Athens, and the GA jerks spit tobacco on my back…..totally classless.

So yes in Athens as in any college town there are jerks !

Browncoat

July 23rd, 2012
2:03 pm

Now PSU Alum is just trolling….. stop feeding him.

dean

July 23rd, 2012
2:04 pm

PSU Alum.

If you do some research, the cops in Milledgeville were more concerned with protecting your boy rather than trying to help the coed.

alcoholic parabolic

July 23rd, 2012
2:04 pm

this just in…Cubs to trade Dempster to Braves as per ESPN radio…

Victim of a loose bowel movement

July 23rd, 2012
2:04 pm

Enter your comments here

Well

July 23rd, 2012
2:04 pm

“Cubs to trade Dempster to Braves as per ESPN radio…”

Who did we give up? Dempster is a SOLID pitcher.

Ghud

July 23rd, 2012
2:05 pm

This whole Sandusky thing may explain why JoePa would never retire.

Homepage | MrSEC

July 23rd, 2012
2:05 pm

[...] 9. Jeff Schultz:  ”NCAA president Mark Emmert acted swiftly and justly. “ [...]

Football Fan

July 23rd, 2012
2:06 pm

I really had my doubts that the NCAA would do anything, but obviously they came down very hard on PSU.

I agree with Schultz, though, that the death penalty would have been appropriate.

PSU Alum

July 23rd, 2012
2:07 pm

Fan of Schultz
July 23rd, 2012
2:01 pm

PSU Alum,

The pittsburgh steelers called…..they don’t want you to be a fan anymore. you’re embarrassing!

Fan of Schultz…..Your trailer park just called, one of your 17 pit bulls is pregnant again.

Fan of Schultz

July 23rd, 2012
2:09 pm

seriously? well shoot, i guess that means i have more dogs available to dog fight then, uh?

Bammer

July 23rd, 2012
2:09 pm

tell the truth-
This is not to pile on but I think you are probably very correct in your assumption. As I said earlier we road tripped out there for the Bama game last September and I have never been in a more isolated, remote, out-of-the-way place in my life. And I’ve been all over the US and other country’s. Not saying it’s “hickville” or anything nasty or dirty…it wasn’t. It was just a million miles from nowhere and very, very difficult to get to. And once we were there it was just a weird vibe that we all got from the place…as if they didn’t take to outsiders very well at all and kept to themselves. When all of this broke it totally made sense to me how it could go on for so long.

JSS

July 23rd, 2012
2:10 pm

I detest D-1 college football. But still, the NCAA is coming in and trying divest itself of its own culpability in this mess… This punishment is as usual 16 years too late… The NCAA had no protocol on sexual molestation. This is 30 years after the Boy Scout scandal, 15 years after the Roman Catholic pedophile cases came to light, and a mere 4 years after the South Carolina and LSU sexual scandals. What have they done? The answer is nothing!

They can’t really hurt Paterno, sorry folks he’s d-e-a-d! He will be d-e-a-d tomorrow and on & on….

The criminals are Jerry Sandusky… Former President , the Compliance Officer, and the Regent who failed to get in front of the run-a-way bus for the university… I can care less about the bowls, the money is in the TV contracts (is the Big Ten taking away their share of the Big 10 Network revenues?)!

Nowhere in the NCAA statement was there any move towards “real” reform. Nor was there a “real” move to protect those who have been harmed! I’d rather seen them forfeit the money to real program to train health care professionals, treat the victims, and lastly be used to prosecute pedophiles in civil actions for the victims…

Well

July 23rd, 2012
2:10 pm

“Your trailer park just called, one of your 17 pit bulls is pregnant again.”

Someone at Pedophile State got them pregnant.

phil

July 23rd, 2012
2:12 pm

It’s good to confirm that an education at penn state is indeed as worthless as we trailer park folk suspected….thank you, psu alum.

Fan of Schultz

July 23rd, 2012
2:13 pm

PSU Alum,

you’re out-matched. move along!

be careful

July 23rd, 2012
2:14 pm

what LSU sex scandal?

Well

July 23rd, 2012
2:15 pm

PSU Alum

Some of us, not me of course, live in trailers but we sure as hell don’t rape little boys.

PSU Alum

July 23rd, 2012
2:16 pm

Well
July 23rd, 2012
2:15 pm

PSU Alum

Some of us, not me of course, live in trailers but we sure as hell don’t rape little boys.

So you openly admit to relations with your sister.

Well

July 23rd, 2012
2:17 pm

I just found the funniest poster for PSU Alum.

It’s a poster of the movie TED except it reads PED. There’s a pic of Jerry Sandusky sitting next to the teddy bear and bear looks scared.

Priceless.

Well

July 23rd, 2012
2:17 pm

“So you openly admit to relations with your sister.”

Troglodyte, you should quit while you’re behind.

LawDawg

July 23rd, 2012
2:22 pm

Validation that enabling a man who preys on children will wash away winning a few football games. I hope Joe Paterno is watching this on a small black and white TV in the fifth circle of Hell.

tell the truth

July 23rd, 2012
2:23 pm

Early on after this all came out I read that Paterno said that he had never talked with Sandusky about the rape allegation- consider that- he knew him for 30 years- hired him as his dc on Nat Champ teams and even after he was told that Sandusky raped a child, he never even asked him about the allegation.
That raised all sorts of red flags for me. I think the final shoe will end up being how many did Sandusky rape before 1998- how many men will now come forward to charge him with rape.That and of course the civil trials and awards that will be eye opening I am sure.

Really?

July 23rd, 2012
2:24 pm

I wonder if all the bama loudmouths are still proud of how saban and their football team “bend” the rules and refuse to punish players or even test players?

I have seen posts on several sites today saying a huge investigation is underway at bama by a non ncaa body. I am thinking it’s yahoo sports. Is this the new way for the ncaa? Let someone else do all the work and then impose punishment? I hope saban has paid those cops in tuscaloosa very well otherwise those rednecks might start telling the truth. I bet saban will suddenly get more interested in that Texas job.

Peter

July 23rd, 2012
2:24 pm

They can’t really hurt Paterno, sorry folks he’s d-e-a-d! He will be d-e-a-d tomorrow and on & on….

Sure they hurt his legacy, showed the type of person he really was..and if alive today may be facing jail time.

shankit

July 23rd, 2012
2:25 pm

NCAA lenient on Penn State.
No Death Penalty?
Just cut off both arms and legs
and put in solitary cofinement for next decade or two.

Rodster

July 23rd, 2012
2:28 pm

Good points Jeff.