By: David Folz
NCAA Mark Emmert lowered the hammer on Penn State today, banning them from post-season play for four years. Calling the situation callous and unconscionable, Emmert leveled these penalties in a quick and decisive manner. Additional penalties include a five year probationary period, ten scholarship reductions each of the four years on the post-season ban, vacated wins from 1998-2011, and a 60-million dollar fine for the program, as well as the NCAA reserving the right to go after individual coaches. Conference penalties mean not making bowl revenues from other schools, paying their revenues for other teams and not competing in the conference championship game for four years.
For the student-athlete the post-season ban is an entire college career. If kids cannot play for a national championship or even a bowl game at a school that is banned, they will not go there. They would rather play for a rebuilding team, or even a team just coming up to Division One to play for winning seasons and possible bowl games than be a part of a banning. The current students are free-willed to transfer where they please, with no consequences. The current recruits will be de-committing and going elsewhere, so they will not be severely punished in many ways.
The real consequence is Bill O’Brien and his staff for now. . Bill O’Brien knows he cannot do much to change a players’ minds because they want to win meaningfully and win bowl games and national championships. If they USC, Notre Dame, or Ohio State without a question. For O’Brien, he could leave by breaching his contract and not a single person would blame him for doing so. He does want to finish it out though, and he deserves a lot of credit because he may have known it would be a difficult task, but now he just found out how difficult it will be.
The lighter side on this is now Penn State can build their program from the ground up the right way. After so much corrosion on this program , they can bring it up the right way. Under these penalties, they have no shot to do it other than that. Probation may seem a light word, but here you cannot screw up because if you do, your program is literally done.
This scandal has grown over so much more than the sport of football. This is about so many victims due to Jerry Sandusky’s predatory nature and an administration’s lack of caring and instead putting football ahead of young people, who are eventually going to lead the nation into a new era. They chose to sweep this under the rug instead of stopping Sandusky and in the end they will have their day in court. For Penn State, they will move forward but the effects on this are very damaging. The atmosphere has finally changed and it is time for the classroom to come before anything football at Penn State.