I was on record of stating that the Penn State football program deserved to face harsh sanctions for their off the field issues involving Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno. While I do feel that it is always unfair that current players are the ones who pay for the mistakes of people from the school’s past, it is the only way that the NCAA knows how to penalize a program. But if the NCAA is penalizing Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti for the wrong doings of the former coaches and administrators at the school, that is just wrong.
Mauti is a very talented linebacker with the Nittany Lions, and this is a school who was forever known as “Linebacker U.” They have produced that many solid players at that position. Mauti is the latest of many at his position at the unheralded Penn State football program.
So when the quarter-finalists were announced for the Lombardi trophy watch list and Mauti was nowhere to be found on that list, it is leading many to wonder and speculate whether or not he is being penalized or punished for playing for Penn State after all of what happened in the past.
If that is the case, it is not right.
Like I said, I do believe that Penn State deserved to be punished, and punished more severely than almost any other program in the history of college football. While it may not have been completely fair, I would not have argued or blinked twice if the NCAA had given the Penn State football program a death sentence because of the severity of the crimes committed and the number of people who allowed it to happen.
But to continue to punish the current players who had absolutely nothing to do with what took place in years past is not fair, and it would border on bullying.
I am not sure if that is the case. But the Lombardi Trophy is awarded to the best linebacker in college football. Through the first quarter of the season, Mauti was named as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week twice. He was voted as the Walter Camp Defensive Player of the Week as well. But to not see his name on this list is slightly controversial, especially considering that four other players from the Big Ten conference were on the list, and they have not received the honors that Mauti has in 2012.
Michigan State’s William Gholston (DE), Ohio State’s Johnathan Hankins (DT), Purdue’s Kawann Short (DT) and Wisconsin’s Chris Borland (LB) are all on the list of 25. Mauti currently is fourth in the Big Ten in tackles and second in interceptions.
You tell me why he is not on this list if we are strictly judging by ”leadership, courage, desire, respect for authority and discipline,” which is what the Rotary Club of Houston says the Lombardi Trophy is based upon. This could be purely the conspiracy theorist in me, but I smell a rat.
And that rat smells like the NCAA.