Penn State’s Penalties

Being too busy until his evening to post means that by now everyone who is interested has read about the NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State. Yesterday’s post on the topic does sort of require a follow-up so I will briefly summarize.  Penn State is being fined $60 million. This money, along with an additional $13 million due to penalties from the Big Ten Conference, are to be used for “external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims and may not be used to fund such programs at the university.”

Penn State will also be on probation for five years and will not allowed to participate in bowl games or the Big Ten Championship game for four years. This, along with a loss in scholarships, will probably keep Penn State from rebuilding as a football power for many years. It is also questionable if that was possible even without sanctions due to the stigma now surrounding the school.

I question the meaning of vacating games already played, but Penn State has vacated all their victories from 1998. As a consequence, Joe Paterno will no longer be listed as the coach with the most wins in college football.

There are questions as to the benefits of penalizing the current students, the region which will be hurt economically, and the University after those involved might all be in prison or dead. While a legitimate question, it is hard to justify any lesser sanctions for such an egregious failure to monitor the integrity of the football program when other schools have received significant sanctions for far less serious offenses