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Penn State levelled by NCAA sanctions: Can they ever recover?


In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal at Penn State University, the NCAA handed down major unprecedented sanctions against the school Monday morning.

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the association has banned the football team from all post-season play and bowl games for four years. They have fined the program $60 million (a years worth of proceeds, reduced the program's number of scholarships from 25 to 15 per year for four years, and perhaps the most shockingly, vacated all of the program's wins between 1998 and 2011- eliminating 111 of
Joe Paterno’s 409 career Division I wins and dropping him to 12th all-time in the process.

It’s obvious that the NCAA isn’t fooling around as far as making Penn State an example of what happens when football takes a priority over the lives of innocent victims.

No, it’s not the current team’s fault that sheer arrogance and defiance on behalf of their institution of higher learning has led to their banishment in bowl games for 4 years. The same goes for the players who now  have 111 wins eradicated. To be an unfair recipient of ‘sins of the father’ so to speak is a bitter pill to swallow. The current players have a choice of transferring and immediately competing without penalty. So, to make a long story short, Penn State’s football program is pretty much finished for the next half decade or more. There’s no way they’ll be able to recruit Division I players whose main priority is winning a championship.

As far as Paterno is concerned, you hear conflicting views about his involvement. Some depict him as this old man who is completely oblivious in regards to Sandusky’s sex crimes. Others however, claim that NOTHING went on at Penn State without Paterno putting his stPhoto: csmonitor.comamp on it. Unfortunately, the most recent emails would indicate Paterno knew more about this than we were all originally led to believe. As a result, his statue at Happy Valley has been removed, and rightfully so. Lost in the mix of all this are the victims. All the sanctions in the world levelled against the school will never erase a lifetime of pain and anguish that the monster known as Sandusky inflicted on them.

When you think about it, all Penn State had to do was get these issues resolved when it happened and none of this would be taking place right now. Much like the Catholic church, they let severe issues fester and tried to sweep them under the rug.

Bad move. Eventually, everything comes to light. Some view what the NCAA (not exactly known for being boy scouts in their own right) did Monday as hypocritical.  Possibly, but countless lives were ruined as a result of Penn State's arrogance, and what happened can never be ignored. Can Penn State University ever recover from this? We’d be foolish to sit here and say that no NCAA rules will ever be violated again by any college, but hopefully a statement was made today that will have many other universities thinking twice before they make the same mistakes Penn State University did.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Photo: csmonitor.com