Penn State voted to remove the statue of former head football coach Joe Paterno, just hours after learning that the NCAA will invoke “corrective and punitive measures” on Monday. But while the Nittany Lions may very well lose multiple scholarships and loss of bowl appearances for years to come, sources are saying that Penn State will not join SMU as the second football program to receive the dreaded NCAA death penalty, which would in essence shut down the entire program for at least one year.
But according to some with knowledge of the penalties, suffering a one year death penalty may actually be preferred at this point, as the sanctions could in effect cripple the Penn State football program for many years to come.
NCAA president Mark Emmert will reveal the sanctions at 9 a.m. ET in Indianapolis at the organization’s headquarters along with Ed Ray, the chairman of the NCAA’s executive committee and Oregon State’s president, the news release said. The penalties are believed to be “non-traditional,” meaning it is anybody’s best guess as to what exactly Penn State will be facing.
It may have taken 10 days after the Freeh Report for Penn State to finally realize that they simply had to remove Paterno’s statue, but it will not take long after that to find out just exactly how damaging their poor decision making in the past will negatively affect their future.
While I agree 100 percent that the Penn State football program should be severely punished, or perhaps even given a death penalty sentence for the next few years, the only people this should not affect are the current student athletes. They had nothing to do with any of what happened in the past, and the NCAA should grant each and every one of them an immediate release with the option to transfer to any other program in the country and play immediately without having to sit out for any time at all.
The NCAA knows that they need to send a message so that no other person ever makes the same mistakes that everyone at Penn State continued to make throughout the years of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse crimes. While I feel a death penalty sentence is more than deserved, I do hope and feel that the NCAA will come down with harsh sanctions tomorrow morning.
As for the statue removal, the Paterno family issued a statement saying the statue’s removal “does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State community.”
That is true, but it is finally a very small step in the right direction. Nothing will ever serve the victims of truly heal the community.
But it is nice that Penn State is finally realizing the err of their ways.