On Sunday morning the statue of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was taken down and put into storage. The new school administration figured it was in the best interest in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky trail and Freeh Report to put the statue away for now. That did not save the football program from the NCAA’s president Mark Emmert and his wrath. On Monday morning Emmert announced the punishment that the school would receive for the previous administration knowing and not reporting Sandusky’s criminal acts on minors.
The punishment levied on the school was announced as being unprecedented and it was exactly that. The school will be fined $60 million, which is about what the football program generates in revenue during a single season. The football team cannot participate in any conference championships or bowl games for the next 4 years. The football program will be reduced in the amount of scholarships it can give out in the next 4 years. Instead of the usual 25 scholarship the number will be reduced to 15. The players on the football team will be allowed to transfer to other schools without having to sit out a year before being aloud to play again.
The most shocking punishment came down not on the school but their legendary former head coach Joe Paterno. All of his victories that he received while coaching between the years of 1998-2008 were vacated. The interesting twist to the punishment is that coach Paterno reached the record and broke the record for most wins by a college coach in 2001. Paterno will no longer be considered the winningest coach in college football ever again.
The NCAA really pulled no punches in this announcement. It was the right decision. The schools administration and Joe Paterno sat back after they knew what Jerry Sandusky was doing and did nothing about it. Paterno instead of reporting the allegations he received about Sandusky went to the administrators of the school. Paterno should have gone to the police, there is no chain of command when criminal acts of this sort are taking place. The punishment on Paterno is correct and is going to leave the black mark on his legacy that he should have.
As far as the school goes their punishment is deserving as well. Penn State should consider themselves lucky that they did not receive the “Death Penalty”, like the once great SMU received in the 1980s. This way the school will at least have the chance to rebuild their legacy. I think it will be very hard for them to do so. The football program will be tarnished forever. What happened behind the scenes of that school’s football program over the last couple of decades is disgusting.
Sandusky is about to spend life in jail after being found guilty on over 40 charges of child molestation. Joe Paterno is no longer considered the great man and coach he once was. The school will have to deal with the results of bad decisions by many people. This is the new legacy of Penn State football, let it sink in.