Louis Freeh’s report into Penn State and the details that came from it shocked the nation. Not because we didn’t expect to hear more details of the story, but because the report uncovered something that no one wanted to hear. That legendary and beloved coach Joe Paterno actively participated in a cover-up.
And not just any cover-up. Rather, a conspiracy to keep a long-time child sexual abuse case and its rancid details quiet, with the ultimate hope of protecting Penn State’s upstanding reputation and football program.
For those actions, the NCAA handed down the following:
- $60 million fine
- Vacating of wins from 1998-2011 (112 wins)
- Four-year postseason ban
- Four-year scholarship reduction (10 initial; 20 total)
- Players may transfer and play immediately at other schools
- Athletic department placed on five-year probation
The backlash that we now hear from fans and Penn State alumni was expected. But as I always say, things could be a lot worse.
For starters, that $60 million fine is chump change to Penn State University. According to reports, Penn State turned more than $50 million in profit in 2010, on over $70 million in revenue. In other words, that $60 million fine accounts for about one season of revenue at PSU.
I’m not implying that a $60 million penalty doesn’t hurt, but when you look at it over the amount of time needed to actually pay it off — in addition to the millions of dollars that Penn State receives in alumnus support — the Nittany Lions shouldn’t sweat this one.
Secondly, the vacated wins seem to be the worst part, in my opinion. While I understand the method behind this specific penalty, I’ve never been a supporter of vacating wins and acting as if those games were never played.
It’s not necessarily about fairness to former players, or coaches or boosters. It’s about the simple fact that those games were played between opponents, on a fair playing field, at a fair time, talent against talent. Erasing such and acting as if they never happened just seems absurd.
On the other hand, vacating Paterno’s wins because you don’t think his past actions merit a legendary coaching achievement is understandable. But just come out and say that. That’s why we have an asterik anyway, right? Just use that bad boy in the record books.
The four-year postseason ban, scholarship reduction and probation are three things that I group together. And if someone really wants to bicker at how much that hurts the program, think about what the death penalty would have done.
Sure, it’s going to suck knowing that a 10-win season won’t mean anything past regular season games. But imagine having no football at all for five years.
Over the past couple weeks, I’ve talked to a lot of people regarding the Penn State scandal and, more recently, about the sanctions placed on the university by the NCAA. As anticipated, graduates of Penn State were more somber than others, and they were most opposing of the sanctions. But what bothered me most were some of the feelings by both alumni and non-Penn Staters alike.
When discussing the sanctions and implying that a death penalty would have been justified, everyone countered with generally the same response. “The death penalty would’ve been terrible. With something like that, innocent people would have been affected and that’s just not fair.”
While this statement is true, I encourage those to look at tramatic incidents and recognize why it is that they’re so severe.
The reason is because, in all instances, innocent people are hurt in one way or another. In the case of Penn State receiving the death penalty, innocent people, players and businesses would be affected. But have we forgotten about the innocent children that were forever scarred because of Penn State’s lack of institutional control and actions of the university brass?
Although Happy Valley may not be all that happy following their penalties, just remember that it could always be worse.
Too bad, so sad for the New York frickin’ Yankees.
The easy-to-hate Alex Rodriguez will head to the 15-day disabled list after taking a pitch to his left hand and suffering a non-displaced fracture. The first-place Yankees plan on using both Eric Chavez and Jaysen Nix to fill the void (which probably overjoys New York fans).
By the way, the pitch that landed Rodriguez on the DL was a changeup. Not saying I wouldn’t cry like a three-year-old girl if I was hit with a big league pitch, but I also don’t get paid $250 million. Toughen up, son.
You know who cares about A-Rod breaking his hand? Other teams in the AL East. And as a fan of the Baltimore Orioles, I enjoy the fact that New York is losing A-Rod’s bat.
But do you know who’s concerned about Rodriguez breaking his hand? Absolutely no one. I don’t even think Yankees fans like Alex Rodriguez. He just has that look to him that screams “toolbag!”
And there’s nothing he can do to help it.
I assume his continued relationships with random muscle-inflated females is really all he needs.
Better known as George Jefferson from the smash American sitcom The Jeffersons, actor Sherman Hemsley passed away at his Texas home on Tuesday of natural causes. He was 74.
Because of his work on The Jeffersons, I consider Hemsley to be an entertainment icon. Not only was he hilarious on screen, but that particular show broke down barriers that helped change the landscape for awesome comedy that came after it.
And that’s not to take away from guys like Richard Pryor or George Carlin. Simply put, Hemsley was able to push so much with only family sitcoms as his primary platform.
Rest in peace, sir.
Have you heard the latest regarding Dwight Howard and his future with the Orlando Magic?
The summer soap opera remains at large, as Howard still demands a trade, yet says he’ll test free agency next summer, all while the Orlando front office make weekly calls to the six-time All-Star begging him to stay with the Magic. But at the end of day, whether it’s now or after January 15, we all know Howard won’t be with the Orlando Magic for much longer.
At first, when Howard demanded that he only wanted Brooklyn, I could at least partially understand it. He’s a young guy, he wants to be a part of something special and he has a thing for the big city. Fine.
But after the Los Angeles Lakers get involved (which they really always have been) and begin to throw out their feelers AFTER they’ve already acquired Steve Nash, that’s where I begin to lose it.
Does Dwight want championships or not?
I know the kid is 26 and has time to build something in Brooklyn, but there’s championships to be had on the West coast.
And with that, someone should also inform Dwight that Kobe Bryant isn’t getting any younger. Dwight has the opportunity to win a couple rings with Kobe, watch him retire, and then become the new face of the Los Angeles Lakers. Oh yeah, and probably win a couple more championships.