Derek Johnson Muses

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Penn State Sanction: Cruel and Hypocritical

Finally, some thoughts on the Penn State NCAA sanctions.

To surmise, I don’t have a problem with the NCAA giving Penn State a penalty. What I do have a problem with is the NCAA fining Penn State $600 and then telling their fans they have to fill Beaver Stadium seven Saturdays a year for the next ten years, at the same ticket prices they’ve been paying (and even higher as the years go on).

The NCAA knew the death penalty could obliterate PSU football (and decimate their non-revenue sports). So they decided, let’s keep the program going and force them to play with a lesser team. But even though fans just root for the clothes, they won’t root for these clothes if the product in them is struggling to be on par with Purdue.

Penn State has to do something financially for the victims of sexual abuse and Jerry Sandusky, no question. But you cannot send the program to the doldrums. PSU drew just under 98,000 fans for their game against Illinois, 10,000 under capacity, when the team was 7-1. How many people are going to show up when Bill O’Brien is going 3-9?

The NCAA set a heavy precedent with the USC sanction for the Reggie Bush’s trangression, and by the looks of things, they were trying to double up here. But just giving Penn State the same penalty as USC (2 year bowl ban, 10 scholarships a year over 3 years, for a total of 30 lost) would have been greater, given how much deeper USC’s talent base is and how much more “well adjusted” USC. But we shouldn’t expect the NCAA to understand situational punishment or spirit of the law over letter of the law.

I have asked several people who aren’t college football fans if they think Penn State football should be given the death penalty, and all of them have said no (many of these people work in education). Really, NCAA, if you wanted to give PSU the death penalty, you should just do it. Don’t try to save the money.

Vidcasts: Thank you and Penn State

Yesterday, I was in the middle of a long day that started out in Hasting and ended with a meeting at church at night. In between, I ran into Lincoln with my Dad to pick up my truck from my mom and bring it home. Of course, I ended up getting caught in a log-jam on the interstate, so I decided to do a couple of vidcasts, one as a thank you and another on the issues at Penn State post-Freeh report: Penn State getting NCAA sanctions (possibly the death penalty) and Joe Paterno’s statue.

Something I didn’t mention in the Penn State vidcast: while I understand a lot of the people coming into this debate who aren’t following college football regularly saying that Penn State should be given the penalty, I would say this: yes, Penn State’s lack of action is horrid, and the program needs to be punished. But a lot of other parties will get hurt in this: namely, Penn State’s non-revenue sports depend on football for funding and the Big 10 depends on Penn State. This is a “too big to fail” situation. This is not just taking away a recreational activity; this is dropping an atomic bomb, and even if it were necessary, it needs to be debated seriously.

When it comes to sanctions, remember this: USC got hit harder for Reggie Bush’s extra benefits (which mostly went to his parents) than Ohio State did for Terrelle Pryor and many other players. Ohio State was worse on so many greater levels: Jim Tressell knew about the scandal, Pete Caroll was merely ignorant. Point being, trying to predict what the NCAA will do (in a situation without precedence, no less) is next to impossible.

Again, thanks for reading and subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

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