NCAA Levies Penalties Against Penn State: Fines, Bowl Bans, Vacated Wins

At nine o'clock this morning the NCAA finally dropped the hammer on Penn State, hitting them with a litany of penalties after the cover up of the sexual abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Penn State avoided the "death penalty", but the NCAA threw the gauntlet at them (as they should).

The penalties include:

The NCAA has hit Penn State with a $60 million sanction, a four-year football postseason ban and a vacation of all wins dating to 1998, the organization said Monday morning.

The career record of former head football coach Joe Paterno will reflect these vacated records, the statement continued.

Penn State must also reduce 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period, the release said.

Is this tough enough, too tough, or just right? It is hard to say, because in the end no one wins from this horrific incident and there is no answer for what should have been handed down. No matter how many wins are vacated, how many bowls are missed, there are still dozens of kids who have to live with the fact that their sexual abuse at the hand of that monster Jerry Sandusky, could have been prevented by Penn State administrators and Joe Paterno. It just breaks my heart that football was more important to a school than the welfare of these kids. And because Penn State decided that football reigned king, they will pay the price, as they should.

Will these penalties destroy Penn State football? Doubtful. A four year bowl ban is hurtful, and will probably make recruiting that much harder, players will transfer and sponsors will turn their backs. But the school has a storied tradition, one that could help rebound from these events, but it could take a long time, as it should. I think back to the 30 for 30 documentary on SMU, and how long it took the Mustangs to rebound, after their entire team basically transferred. How many Nittany Lions are thinking the same thing?

Also effected by this will be the football players, students and alumni who had nothing to do with this, and now will have to suffer for the inaction of a crew of unscrupulous individuals. But that's how it goes, there is no defense for what their school did, and they will are victims too, hit by the shrapnel of incident. Sorry, in the hierarchy of this situation, your feelings fall somewhere near the bottom.

Now that Sandusky is in jail, the school punished, it is time to heal for all involved. Closure is a tough thing to expect, but at least now the victims will know that those who caused this were held accountable for their actions. Also I hope this money that Penn State will have to give up is earmarked not just for prevention, but also to help those families effected by this incident. And that this punishment goes out as a warning call to all colleges and universities out there, football may be important, but it is just a game.

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