Who Will Sanction the NCAA in Wake of Penn State?

The NCAA, the organization that’s normally as inflexible as a PVC pipe, gave it up last week.

So what if part of the settlement of a filed court case was that it didn’t do anything wrong. Smart people know what was at work here: that even with the wrongdoing at Penn State, this NCAA revealed itself as a lying, cheating, and oft-incompetent organization infatuated with a beer-muscle bully pulpit. And they did it all under the guise of “protecting” college athletics. In many ways, it is the married preacher who teaches you the wonders of God, but after the sermon sneaks behind the altar to bang the church secretary.

So the Penn State football program got its 112 wins restored (taken away in the original “consent” decree), while Joe Paterno got re-credited with his 111, to become once again the all-time winningest college football coach, and the $60 million fine on PSU was fine-tuned to help child abuse programs only within the state of Pennsylvania.

Penn State nation celebrated this development, which I found somewhat peculiar. Joe Paterno may have been wronged in the manner with which he was fired as football coach, and his character may have been besmirched. But I think we go too far when we make Paterno a victim. This was a dark chapter of Penn State’s history that isn’t going to be wiped away by smearing the campus with Paterno’s total win number of 409. When we do that, we cheat the kids who were the true victims of Jerry Sandusky’s heinous child abuse.

Read more »

Why 409 Is the Most Controversial Number in Pennsylvania

A banner in the parking lot tailgating outside Beaver Stadium before football game between Penn State and Temple in State College on Saturday., November 15, 2014.

A banner in the parking lot tailgating outside Beaver Stadium before football game between Penn State and Temple in State College on Saturday., November 15, 2014.

When Penn State had its vacated football wins restored as part of a deal the NCAA made with Pennsylvania officials, one number was immediately on the minds of Penn State football faithful: 409. That’s the number of times the Nittany Lions won under Joe Paterno, the most of any major college football coach.

Ever since Paterno was fired in November 2011, the number has become famous, even fetishized. Those who defend Paterno say he was made a scapegoat. Defenders usually mention his generosity to the university and his well-liked status among former players. And 409 has become shorthand for that. There’s a car in my neighborhood with 409 bumper stickers. There’s a restaurant in State College called 409 Pizza and Wings. People once held vigil at the spot where a Paterno statue once stood. Hundreds of people rallied in celebration when the wins were restored.

Read more »

What They’re Saying About the Penn State Deal

Earlier today, the NCAA and the state of Pennsylvania reached a deal that restores all 112 wins vacated in the of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The late Joe Paterno had 111 wins restored in the agreement, which once again makes him the all-time winningest coach in major college football history.

The Paterno family released a statement in the wake of the ruling. Here is a part of it:

Today is a great victory for everyone who has fought for the truth in the Sandusky tragedy. The repeal of the consent decree and the return of the wins to the University and Joe Paterno confirm that the NCAA and the Board of Trustees acted prematurely and irresponsibly in the unprecedented sanctions the NCAA imposed on the University, the players, coaches and the community.

This case should always have been about the pursuit of the truth, not the unjust vilification of the culture of a great institution and the scapegoating of coaches, players and administrators who were never given a chance to defend themselves.

Read more »

Deal Restores Penn State’s Vacated Football Wins

 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Joe Paterno is once again the winningest coach in major college football history.

In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, the late Penn State coach had 111 wins vacated in 2012. But Pennsylvania officials and the NCAA reached a proposed settlement that will restore Paterno’s wins, bringing his record to 409-136-3 — and 24-12-1 in bowl games. (A 112th win, which was won under interim head coach Tom Bradley following Paterno’s firing in the wake of the scandal, was also restored.)

The deal was approved by the Penn State Board of Trustees this afternoon. Here is the NCAA announcement containing details of the settlement.

Read more »

NCAA Could Restore Paterno’s Wins

 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Penn State and NCAA are in talks to reconsider the sanctions imposed after the Jerry Sandusky scandal, according to multiple reports — a reversal that could restore former coach Joe Paterno’s vacated wins back tot the record books.

Read more »

Penn State Makes First Bowl Since 2012; Temple Snubbed

shutterstock-penn-state-football-temple-football-940x540

The Nittany Lions are Bronx bound. Penn State’s players learned yesterday the team will play Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl on December 27th. It’s the first bowl game since 2012 for the Nittany Lions, who were banned from bowls the next two seasons in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

A team needs just six wins (and a .500 or better record) to qualify for a bowl. Penn State went 6-6 this year, its first under new coach James Franklin. The Lions opened the season 4-0, but lost 6 of its final 8 games. With its Big Ten Conference bowl tie-ins, that was enough to get the Nittany Lions into a bowl.

The 6-6 record was not enough to get Temple into the a bowl game, however.

Read more »

Penn State President to Review Freeh Report

Penn.State.President.Eric.Barron

Penn State President Eric Barron will review the Freeh Report that castigated the school’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal — and provided the basis for NCAA penalties against the school.

The announcement comes after a week of revelations that the NCAA and former FBI Director Louis Freeh communicated closely during his investigation, as well as suggestions the NCAA bullied Penn State into accepting the penalties.
Read more »

Nobody Cares That Penn State Got Railroaded by the NCAA

penn-state-ncaa-sandusky-940X540

The world no longer cares whether Penn State University was wronged by the NCAA when, two years ago, the organization imposed crippling sanctions on the Nittany Lions football program.

So what’s come to light this week — that not only did the NCAA bluff Penn State into accepting the sanctions, but the chief “independent” investigator PSU hired to sort out the Jerry Sandusky scandal at the school was actually in bed with the NCAA all along — is almost irrelevant.

Nobody’s talking about it. ESPN.com had the latter item on its home page Wednesday for a little while. By night fall, the item had been moved to the NCAA football page, and buried down the list of items; even below the blockbuster scoop that the University of Michigan president apologized to his lousy football coach for making harsh statements about his team being loaded with lousy students.

Here’s what most people are comfortable in believing: Penn State was a pompous institution that deserved to be sawed off by the NCAA because its glorious football program was harboring and protecting a valuable assistant coach who just happened to be a predator, all for the sake of winning football games.

And what a load of astonishing malarkey.

Read more »

Some Trustees Say Penn State Bullied by NCAA

2012 AP Photo

2012 AP Photo

The Centre Daily Times today reports that some Penn State trustees want the university to challenge the consent decree it signed with the NCAA, accepting guilt and punishment in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Those trustees say that NCAA emails — revealed in the ongoing lawsuit over whether the $60 million fine levied in the case will stay in Pennsylvania — show that the organization “bullied” Penn State into accepting the decree.

Read more »

« Older Posts