It sounds like you missed a lot, Excellector, or perhaps you are a Penn State fan believing what you want to believe (not that I'd have a problem with that...).
edit: In a nutshell, the Freeh report concluded Paterno knew about several specific allegations of sexual assault against children by Sandusky, and, along with a few other people at the highest levels of the institution, protected the secrecy of the information, and left Sandusky in a position to continue hurting children.
Overzealous. Sandusky will get a life sentence, Paterno's heirs will have to deal with distaste of the statue removal etc, and others have lost jobs and face other legal actions. It is flat out wrong to penalize the 2012 PSU players and student body for Sandusky's sins or the actions/inactions by the athletic department/administration.
NCAA is way out of line.
It seems like JoePa, who ran Penn State decided that some internal punishment was all Sandusky needed, the whole thing was swept under the rug and they harbored a serial child molestor for years.
I think the penalties are appropriate and well conceived. They're punishing the University for inappropriate oversight. The 2012 PSU players still get to play (although without a bowl game) and they'll get their scholarships. The Student Body still gets to attend the games. How are they being punished? No student currently at PSU will have less than what they would have without sanctions.
The football team in the next few years may not be as good, but who's to say they would have been anyway.
By not giving the death penalty for football they also spared the community. Without the revenue brought in from football weekends to hotels, bars and eating establishments, the town would have lost some mom and pop businesses no doubt. These sanctions preserve them.
This is not about punishing the team for on-field advantages it unfairly created (at least not direct advantages).
But it is about punishing the university for its idol-worshiping of the football team -- so dearly that leaders overlooked horrid behaviors inside the football complex to protect the program's reputation above all else.
In that sense, I've been arguing the football program needed to be knocked off the altar, so it almost doesn't matter the nature of the punishment, as long as it causes the program to repent. The football program needed to suffer in order to repent--and it really doesn't matter what form punishment is given, so long as it's strongly felt.
Notice I said football program, not football team.
The program really encompasses the entire PSU community, it appears, including trustees, students, academic leadership, et al. If this was only about the team, no one outside the players and coaches would care about punishing the team. But this punishment is being felt by just about everyone associated with the university. They are all intertwined with football -- and that's sort of the problem here.
I'm still amazed to hear PSU supporters call into the radio to say that they are witholding judgement until all he facts are out, and maybe Joe will still be exonerated because technically the Freeh report talks about "the coach" and maybe that isn't really Paterno he meant to point to. They are circling the wagons around the legacy of the man, but all this is so much bigger than any single person. This is about the program, not the individuals who are already out the door, or off the planet.
This morning I heard Keith Mills on the radio bitching about how the football team should not be punished. He argued that everyone directly associated with the team who had a hand in this is gone, so there is no reason to punish the team in any way.
He allowed the idea that the university should still be punished...but not the team. He also questioned what in the world you expect to achieve by punishing the team, because it is unfathomable that another pedophile episode will ever occur again inside the locker rooms.
He doesn't get it.
It's not about preventing future pedophilia. It's about preventing future idol-worship of the football team. To accomplish that, you have to take away that which makes the PSU football program prestigious -- money, recruits, records, TV appearances. The Big Ten already joined the fray and fined PSU $13 million -- their take of bowl money.
Mills' argument that the responsible individuals are gone, and therefore justice is served is so, so bogus. It was never really about the individuals. It was about the culture, as Mark Emmert so correctly stated in referencing a football-first culture, over and over as he explained the NCAA's rationale for putting the football program into limp mode. “Penn State can focus on the work of rebuilding its athletic culture, not worrying about whether or not it’s going to a bowl game.”
My point is that this is not about individuals -- Joe, Curley, Spanier, Schulze, McCreary -- you can't just replace these men with new ones without addressing the overlaying culture at PSU that caused them to act so unethically and dishonestly. You can't have a football program that is so important to the institution that so many otherwise supposedly good men would compromise their integrity so badly. Because the next set of men might just do the same.
An intersting factoid:
With those wins vacated, Mike McQueary, the former Penn State coach who witnessed Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in the shower, is the last Penn State quarterback to lead the team to a winning record.
McQueary was Penn State's quarterback from 1994-1997. In 1997 McQueary took the football team to a 9-3 record and the Citrus Bowl.
It is much, much more broad than that. The message to OSU, and to Oregon, and to Ole Miss, and to USC and to Notre Dame and Maryland and Duke and Miami, is that the culture around your football program may not be such that people are hurt because of the paramount sanctity of your football team.
The message is not just to PSU, and certainly not to Paterno's heirs or the PSU players, but to all the NCAA programs: If you allow people to be sacrificed to protect your team, we will hit you so hard your program will be on its knees.
*You* may not care that the wins were stripped away, but that's you. If they were my wins, I would care.
Ninja'ed by Shas.
Anyway. You might read my post and think "If the message was to schools *other* than Penn State, it's not fair to punish Penn State this severely." To which I respond "It was the Penn State community in which janitors could not go to the authorities for fear of losing their jobs; it was the Penn State community in which high ranking administrators could not conduct their own business in their own departments without freedom from interference by Joe Paterno. It was the community and the culture which made this tragedy possible; it needs to change and to heal and this is the beginning of that process. A slap on the wrist would have encouraged a continuing culture of willful ignorance when it comes to problems in or near the football program."
Well, I guess this thread is dead now.
I am first a foremost a PSU fan. This is a very dark day. The NCAA essentially killed the program for at least 10 to 12 years. PSU will not be able to compete for at least a decade. A one or two year death sentence would have been preferable. The NCAA has essentially gut-punched hundreds of thousands of fans, all the players and recruits, and the new coaching staff - none of who were involved in the wrong-doings. PSU's "culture of football" is not different than scores of other major universities. It's just that four or five a-holes who were high up made an egregiously bad decision and they all need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The NCAA needs to find a way to start punishing the guilty and not the innocent. Meanwhile, schools like Syracuse that have similar ethical issues happening continue on unnoticed.
This is my opinion and I understand that many will disagree. I think the punishment should have focused more on setting up charitable contributions with football revenue (which they have done to an extent), using the situation for something positive instead of detrimentally affecting those not involved. It's going to be very rough watching most of the roster transfer and our commits moving on.
I do however see the necessary conclusion being that the NCAA retains the right to sanction any University based off of the wrong doing of any individual(s) associated with the program.
The example of this ruling could really put the NCAA in some precarious positions in the future.
The football program should not be running the athletic department, the university, and maybe the local authorities.
This was an environment in which three people - two janitors and one assistant coach - *knew* what was going on, and all three chose to go to the football authorities, or remain silent, rather than the traditional authorities.
The culture was sick, and the culture had to change. At PSU, yes, and maybe elsewhere also. Now they know.
Isolating the handful of people who actually knew what was happening is missing the point, and would encourage Boards of Trustees everywhere to see no evil and hear no evil and know that as long as they don't know what's going on, it'll be ok.
14 years ago I traveled to Niagara Falls. Throughout the entire state of PA, I couldn't travel 5 miles without seeing a billboard from PSU with the face of JoPa on it. The University chose to not only make him the face of their football program, but the face of their University!
As many of you have witnessed, when someone is given power, the power goes to their head.
JoPa took it upon himself to police his team and maintain the punishments that would befall the accused....even if it should have been done by higher authorities. The University kept quiet and allowed him to do so.
I've seen reports on the BaltSun about previous athletic directors being told that they may wish to find another position when they brought up their concerns about the issues with his actions. These same statements have been shown on Sportscenter.
JoPa was at fault..the University was at fault........ Punishment fits the crimes!
And the statement that the NCAA would never be able to punish any school is also greatly exaggerated.
The students and student athletes are definitely going to feel the brunt of it, but this is also why the NCAA has granted them the ability to be released from their Penn State scholarships and transfer anywhere they'd like (D-1, D-1AA, D-2, etc) and not have to sit out a year.