Monday, July 23, 2012

Sanctions and Their Repercussions

Well, there you go. Joe Pa's wins are gone. 4 year bowl ban. And Penn State football is now being run by the NCAA. And what for? For a man who committed horrible atrocities and was not an employee of the University? Because criminal courts can't adequately punish those who committed the crimes? No, they are punishing a program because they feel they need to act.

And my problem with the punishments is just that. Sandusky is a monster. Who committed awful crimes. But he was not an employee. I can't stress that enough. He was not an employee. Did Sandusky's actions give Penn State a competitive advantage? Were their players committing crimes? Their coaches giving an advantage? No. None of the above.

So my question is, where does the NCAA get this power? It's an organization that was founded to promote fairness among athletic programs. And that is an admirable thing. Fairness is important. But this is so far outside of the NCAA's jurisdiction it's scary. There was no question of fairness, no question of on the field problems or infractions.

So now Penn State faces a 4 year bowl ban. And loses their win records. And all of these things may have been warranted. But the circumstances just seem a little off. Yes it was a horrible thing that occurred. But the NCAA didn't commission an investigation. They gave their president dictatorial power to lord his will over the Penn State football program. So where do we go from here?

Bill O'Brien had a nearly impossible job. Now it's even harder. His program has literally no incentive to bring players into the program now. you won't see a powerful Penn State football team for a decade or maybe more now. And that will have repercussions beyond just the football field. A bad football team will lead to a lack of fans attending the game. A lack of fans will hurt central Pennsylvania in a way the NCAA can't quite see. Central PA depends quite a bit on PSU football for economic prosperity. That will go away.

So was this the right thing to do? No. The people who committed these crimes are being punished criminally. Or they are dead. Vacating the wins? That I have no problems with. But the bowl ban? And the financial penalties? These are leveled by an organization far overstepping their bounds.  Penalties for a crime that had nothing to do with the football program.

And people will say hero worship. People will say it's a cult. And they can. But that's not what it is on my end. I'm completely fine with the loss of the wins. Take JoePa's wins. if he did everything they claim in the Freeh Report, that is a viable punishment. But to punish a program, when in reality it as the action s of a select few, all of whom are dead or being punished criminally, I think these are inappropriate punishments.

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