Monday morning marked the NCAA’s decision to speak out on the child sex scandal that has forever changed College Station, PA, Penn State University, its athletic program, and the legacy of the late Joe Paterno forever. NCAA President Mark Emmert and Chairman of the NCAA’s executive committee and Oregon State University President Ed Ray announced this morning the oncoming penalties, sanctions, and future compliance regulations in a press conference. Here are Penn State’s football program and university’s punishments:
- $60 Million fine, equaling one year of football-generated revenue for the athletic association. This fine is to be used to be donated to charities that support victims of sexual abuse and to reforms.
- Football bowl and conference championship bowl ban for the next 4 years. The Big 10 conference, in conjunction with the NCAA’s ban from the post season also extended that to its own conference championship game.
- Loss of scholarships for the next four years: 15 initially, then to 20 for the next 4 years.
- Student Athletes, if they so choose, are permitted to transfer if their graduation date falls during this ban. So, consider this a free-for-all for other universities to be on College Station’s campus shopping for recruits. These players will also be able to play this season if they choose to transfer, and not have to sit a year out.
- The victories the occurred during the 1998-2011 football seasons will be vacated. Meaning: Joe Paterno is no longer the winningest coach in college football history. Bobby Bowden is now the all time leader in wins in FBS (formally Division 1 A), Eddie Robinson is number one all time in wins (408).
- Penn State’s athletic program are required to have a chief compliance officer to ensure proper authority of rules, regulations, required behavior, and proper etiquette throughout the athletic association that, as Emmert phrased “to ensure that the proper culture goes through the athletic program to the rest of the university”.
The Jerry Sandusky scandal has changed the landscape of College Station, PA forever. The actions of the late Paternity and three high ranking Penn State officials, as indicated in the Freeh Report, changed how Paterno and those willing to win at all costs are see. The penalties enforced onto Penn State by Emmert because of the aforementioned reports’ findings, hopefully will scare any one in the business of winning and keeping their livelihood in college football better be scared senseless.
One with any rememberance or interest in the history of sports knows what happened to the SMU football program in 1988. Because of the selfishness and ‘win at all cost’ mentality of some, a football program and legacies fell with it. It took years to recover. Not that Penn State is SMU: once off probation, their fans, boosters, conference and the NCAA willio welcome them with open arms. Money always talks. But amongst all of the talk that Emmert made of playing by the rules and being honorable, he made no mention of a fact so many people are discussing today.
The NCAA pretty much sets the price ceiling.
The secrets didn’t get out because Paterno and the other higher ups during the initial accusations in 1998 because they didn’t want bad publicity. Boosters and fans don’t like bad publicity. At all. Schools with big time football programs don’t like upsetting their fans. However, with every decision the institutition makes, it is always base with dollar signs in mind. NCAA is no different. They are the ruling body in collegiate athletics, thus a say in this matter was inevitable.
Despite what some think, a vacation of wins is a loud and clear sign that winning at all costs will not pay. You cannot allow a any knowledge of incidents as egregious as Sandusky’s to fly with minimal investigation. Especially if they are in your house. Paterno allowed such atrocities to happen in his house, in the football showers. He did nothing. To keep bad publicity away. A vacation of his top priority, wins, was the final match on the fire of Paterno’s wilting legacies.
And lastly, the matter of how this leaves the state of the Big 10 Conference. The Legends Division now only has four eligible teams to compete for a spot in the conference championship. In the age of massive conference realignment, whose not to say some of these teams won’t abandon ship like so many eligible student athletes are, will, or must at least consider decommitting or transferring to an unpunished school.
We won’t know how this will inevitably how this will affect PSU for another 5 years or so. Paterno’s legacy, matter of factly, is done. The next thing to go will be the name of the library at their fine school. Emmert, with his best Roger Goddell impersonation in handing out punishment, has cemented his legacy as someone who wants to make money, he is only willing to do so from jersey sales and television contracts. Emmert stood firm, and took the reins of a rabid horse still out of control. At least he showed the horse whose on top, right?
Regardless, is this the face of Penn State’s legacy?
Information used in this article from ESPN.COM, The New York Times, USA Today, The Huffington Post, Yahoo! Sports. Photos from Google.