Penn State Scandal: NCAA Sanctions Off Target And Fall Short

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NCAA President Mark Emmert announced earlier this morning the sanctions levied against Penn State University: 1) four-year post-season ban, 2) 10 scholarships cut this season and 20 scholarships cut for the next four years, 3) vacated 112 victories from 1998-2011, and 4) a $60 million fine. Harsh, but misguided.

Earlier in the week, we argued that Penn State should receive the death penalty (where the NCAA would cancel an entire football season for the university). While the NCAA did not deliver the death penalty outright, the sanctions will essentially shut down the football program for many years. Athletes currently in the football program are permitted to transfer to other schools without any penalty. 

The issue we take with the sanctions is the $60 million fine. The NCAA fining Penn State, which is a public university, will now result in the general population of students at the school being punished.

Without a doubt, Penn State will lose revenue because of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Either by way of lower enrollment, weaker football program or a softer endowment. And let's not forget about the civil suits Sandusky's victims will file against the school. And now the school is forced to pay the $60 million fine.

In order to make up for the lost revenue—and to pay the fine—Penn State's tuition will spike. And with that spike, the entire student body of the school with have to pay for the heinous acts of Sandusky and Joe Paterno, among others. The NCAA missed their target with the $60 million fine.

The other issue we take with the sanctions is what is not in the sanctions: a recommendation to the National Football Foundation that Joe Paterno be removed from the College Football Hall of Fame. 

The first criteria NFF listed in order for a coach to be inducted into the Hall is the following: 

"He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man with love of his country."

Paterno helped to conceal Sandusky's abusive reign at Penn State and allowed victim after victim to suffer at the evil hands of a child rapist. Paterno falls woefully short of fulfilling even the first requirement to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The NCAA should have made the recommendation that he be removed. By failing to do so, they allow Paterno, and his family, to remain in a place reserved for coaches and players who possess only the strongest character and impeccable honor. That, Paterno does not.  

Cedric Hopkins

Cedric Hopkins Bio

Cedric Hopkins runs this sports law/fantasy football blog. If you have issues with it, it's all his fault. Cedric was an athlete-student at the University of New Mexico (Basketball - Go Lobos!). He then morphed into a student-athlete when he attended law school in San Diego. Age replaced athleticism and now he writes appellate briefs for criminals (alleged criminals, of course) in state and federal cases, including writing U.S. Supreme Court briefs.

For years Cedric has researched and written about legal issues but maintained a love for sports. With FieldandCourt.com, he's combining his two passions: researching and writing about sports. When he's not in court arguing a case before a judge (or writing about himself in the third person), he'll be doing the same with his articles on FieldandCourt.com. Follow me, er, him on Twitter (opens in a new window).

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Cedric Hopkins

Cedric Hopkins runs this sports law/fantasy football blog. If you have issues with it, it's all his fault. Cedric was an athlete-student at the University of New Mexico (Basketball - Go Lobos!). He then morphed into a student-athlete when he attended law school in San Diego. Age replaced athleticism and now he writes appellate briefs for criminals (alleged criminals, of course) in state and federal cases, including writing U.S. Supreme Court briefs.

For years Cedric has researched and written about legal issues but maintained a love for sports. With FieldandCourt.com, he's combining his two passions: researching and writing about sports. When he's not in court arguing a case before a judge (or writing about himself in the third person), he'll be doing the same with his articles on FieldandCourt.com. Follow me, er, him on Twitter (opens in a new window).