NCAA To Drop The Hammer On Penn State
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Sunday, Joe Paterno’s statue was taken down. Monday, the program that he coached for so many years will be taken down as well.
One day after Penn State University president Rodney Erickson made the decision to have Paterno’s statue in front of Beaver Stadium taken down and secured in an unnamed secure location, the NCAA is expected to hand out some harsh penalties to the football program that some believe may be harsher than receiving the so-called “death penalty.”
First, Erickson’s decision to remove the Paterno statue was a sound one. "I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno's statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our university and beyond," Erickson said. "For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location."
Ironically, Erickson decided not to remove Paterno’s name from the school library citing Paterno’s contributions, monetary or otherwise, to the university over the course of his 61-years at the school.
Monday morning at 9am, the NCAA is expected to hand out some harsh penalties to the Penn State football program but will stop short of handing it the “death penalty.”
Various reports say that Penn State football will receive a postseason ban of multiple years. Some believe that the program may be banned from bowl games for the next 4 years.
In addition to a postseason ban, there have been reports that there will be a significant reduction in the amount of athletic scholarships the program is allowed to hand out over the next few years as well as a possible fine of up to $60 million.
If any or all of the above speculated penalties do come to fruition, some believe that they will have more of a negative impact on the program than if it were to receive the “death penalty” for one year.
Some of Penn State’s incoming recruits are standing behind the program via Twitter saying they remain committed to the program regardless of the penalties the NCAA may be handing down today.
Former Patriots’ offensive coordinator and new Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien will have a very difficult road to navigate over the next few years as he sees the program through these difficult times. However, he should be afforded some leeway by the school’s athletic administration and Nittany Lions fans because of all that the program has been and will be going through.
There’s an old saying in sports that, “you never want to be the one to succeed the legend. You want to be the person who succeeds the person who succeeded the legend.” However, in this case, O’Brien should have the support of everyone who follows the program as Penn State tries to turn the page on what has been the most embarrassing and shameful moment in the school’s 157-year history.