Angles: Reaction to NCAA sanctions on Penn State
Monday, in the wake of Jerry Sandusky's conviction on 45 counts of sexual abuse and the release of the Freeh Report, the NCAA handed down Penn State's penalty. Although the "Death Penalty" was avoided, the sanctions were severe.
The football program was slapped with a $60 million fine, vacation of 112 wins from 1998 to 2011 (which reduces Paterno's win total to 298 -- good for fifth on all-time list), a four-year postseason ban, a four-year scholarship reduction and five years of athletic department probation. Additionally, all current players on the Penn State roster are free to transfer to other schools and play immediately.
The staff at Arizona Sports 620 and ArizonaSports.com have offered up their reactions to the Penn State penalties.
Dave Burns, Co-host of Burns and Gambo
Even though it seems to be of little consequence to most, I keep going back to the vacated wins. Clearly this is the punishment, posthumously of course, for Joe Paterno. His climb to the top of the record books as the all-time Division I wins leader was a driving force to extend Paterno's career. Frankly some wonder if that's all he was hanging around for. Stripping him of those wins is akin to removing Barry Bonds' name from atop the all-time HR list. Maybe it means nothing because Paterno is dead or maybe you find it to be nothing more than a symbol? I think it's significant.
As for the rest, it obviously plunges Penn State football into a deep dark hole. The loss of scholarships will require the use of walk-ons and will allow for roughly the same number of scholarship players as a I-AA school. The postseason ban will make recruiting next to impossible. But outside of Paterno's legacy (already shredded before today's announcement) who has the NCAA really punished here? Not Spanier, Schultz or Curley; the ones who actually covered it up. The current players are certainly punished but the fact that they're allowed to leave without penalty makes up for some of that.
Paul Calvisi, Arizona Sports 620 and 92.3 KTAR
Punishing only Penn State serves to make only Penn State suffer - deservedly so. But, we've seen enough suffering. More than suffering needs to come out of this, right? Beyond punitive action against Penn State, the question needs to be addressed: how can Penn State benefit others going forward? Don't just pay for its transgressions, but pay it forward.
We wrote nearly two weeks ago that the NCAA should turn Penn State Football into a non-profit. From PSU into PBS. Allow the program to generate revenue on behalf of those worthy of such largesse. Never again should the university be allowed to profit from football. Play football? Sure, but only to fund other sports programs. Sell and market football? Okay, but only to enhance revenue that will ultimately fund programs to eradicate the "reckless disregard of children," as the NCAA termed it. If only the $60 million fine was imposed on an annual basis indefinitely…
Doug Franz, Co-host of Doug and Wolf
I hate hypocrisy.
Either the NCAA has no power to punish Penn State because they did not commit a violation of the rules or Penn State should not be playing football.
As it stands right now, selling memorabilia for tattoo money is a one-year bowl ban. Buying a house for a Heisman running back's parents is a two-year bowl ban. One adult raping boys in campus showers and four other adults working to cover up the crime is a four-year bowl ban.
The NCAA rules committee is designed to set the grounds for equal play. It is not a criminal court. If they can punish for these crimes, will they start punishing coaches for a DUI?...other players for sexual misconduct?
If institutional cover-ups are indeed part of the NCAA umbrella, then why is Penn State playing football? Every aspect of the heinous acts of these men strips away the credibility of this University to be trusted in running a football team. Make them sit for 5 years and PSU football returns in 2017.
If you want to be a power monger, Mark Emmert, then have the guts to use it. If the power is wrong, have the guts to take the bullets for leaving it up to the court system. What the NCAA did to Penn State is talk tough and run scared.
Adam Green, ArizonaSports.com columnist
The biggest issue with discipline handed down by the NCAA is that it's always too late and never enough.
Will this hurt Penn State? Absolutely. Will it punish those responsible for the horrible things that happened? Nope.
Banning them from bowl games, a monstrous fine, giving up scholarships and vacating wins (whatever the hell that really means) all sound good to a public that was looking for blood, but this is a situation that requires justice, and until those involved are held responsible in a court of law that simply will not happen.
Vince Marotta, ArizonaSports.com columnist
I've never been a fan of vacating wins as a penalty for athletic programs that have run afoul of the rules. The NCAA can add an asterisk, but I still remember those victories, and Mark Emmert can't erase my memory.
In this case, I think the vacation of 112 wins is significant because of how it further affects Joe Paterno's legacy. After all, that's what Penn State was ultimately protecting in the first place, right?
The penalty handed down was severe, and will certainly cripple the PSU football program for years to come, which is deserved.
But I personally think the "death penalty" was deserved. That specific sanction has been handed out only once -- to SMU in 1987 for widespread recruiting violations which included payment of players.
The lack of action in the Penn State case was far more egregious than anything SMU did. Those in Dallas were positioning themselves for winning football games. Those in Happy Valley were covering their butts to avoid shaming a coaching legend and a storied program, and lives were destroyed in the process.
- Steve Patterson, ASU athletic director - Tuesday May 14Patterson talks to the guys about the Territorial Cup & scheduling with Notre Dame Football
- Steve Patterson, ASU athletic director - Tuesday May 7Patterson talks to Doug & Wolf about the state of Sun Devil Athletics
- Steve Patterson, ASU Athletic Director - Thursday May 2Doug and Wolf talk to Patterson about the latest news coming out of the Pac-12 meetings.
- Brandon Magee , Former ASU Linebacker - Wednesday May 1Doug & Wolf ask Brandon Magee about signing with the Cowboys after going undrafted.
- Steve Patterson, ASU Athletic Director - Tuesday April 23Patterson talks to Doug and Wolf about ASU football games potentially being played at Chase field du