Monday, July 23, 2012

PENN STATE SANCTIONS OUTRAGEOUS, HYPROCRITICAL AND HURTFUL

NCAA = Hypocrisy
Today the NCAA announced that Penn State was being fined $60 Million, was being banned from Bowl games for 4 years, would be caused to forfeit all wins from 1998 to 2011, would have its scholarships reduced from 25 to 15 for the next 4 years and would be on probation for the next 5 years.  Click Here for further details.

In a curious wrinkle that exposes the illusory nature of its decision, the NCAA announced that existing PSU scholarship players may transfer and play immediately for another school.  Usually, trasferrors must wait one year after transferring from one school to another before they can play for their new school.  By this act, the NCAA professes to care for Penn State's current student-athletes.  Yet, what about the kids that played for PSU in between 1998 and 2011 that have now seen all of their achievements "vacated"?   Have they not been punished?  How are they different from the current players?

In my view, the NCAA's decision to allow current players to immediately transfer without penalty was primarily borne not out of sympathy for the players, but rather as an additional mechanism to punish the University.  The NCAA knows that its actions today will spur current Nittany Lions to explore transfer, and that each transfer will further decimate the PSU program.

Moreover, where are the current players going to go?  Most attractive programs have already accounted for all of their scholarships.  The NCAA knows this.  It is nothing but a wolf in sheep's clothing in this regard - it has sounded the death knell for PSU's program with its decision, and it cannot save the innocent players that its penalties have hurt with an illusory opportunity for penalty-free transfer. 
Sanctions Far Too Harsh

As a Pennsylvania resident, and one whom I must point out has been sharply critical of JoePa and the PSU administration with regard to the entire Sandusky situation (and father to a Pitt grad and a Pitt student), I find the NCAA sanctions OUTRAGEOUS.

My first thought when I heard the announcement was: Penn State must appeal.  Alas, I soon heard Penn State agreed to these sanctions via a Consent Decree.  WHAT?! 

This is the final act in what has been a comedy of errors borne out of tragedy.

Here are my thoughts - see how many you agree with:

1.  The Penn State Administration, and Joe Paterno, badly mishandled the Sandusky abuse situation;
Penn State PRESIDENT Graham Spanier
Penn State FOOTBALL COACH



2.  Joe Paterno was a football coach and, though he went to Brown and was highly intelligent and powerful, it was in fact PSU's President, Graham Spanier, that had the final authority over what to do - it was, ultimately, Graham Spanier that failed.  Yes, JoePa bears responsibility, but the ultimate failure was not his.  Graham Spanier ran Penn State, not its football program - this was, in the end, not a football administration issue;

3.  Penn State has on numerous occasions bent over backwards, too far in my view, to remedy this situation since it arose - the Board of Trustees has mangled what was already a terrible situation. 

Steve Garban - Former Chairman of Board - Since Resigned

* They fired JoePa when they should have placed him on leave (yes, JoePa forced their hand by resigning, a bad mistake, but they could have figured things out). 

*  The Board hired Louis Freeh to do an investigation - and allowed him to make his findings public.  Bad mistake.  They already knew what in essence had happened, and they should have known that a guy like Mr. Freeh would devastate them. 

Freeh: What are his thoughts?
*  Then, they agreed to these sanctions, which were entirely predicated on the Freeh Report for which they had spent millions. If I was PSU's Board, I would have said to the NCAA, "Go ahead, give us the death penalty, fine us, take any Draconian measures you want.  But this in not about our entire university, and we will fight you to the death on this."  It is amazing to me that, in less than a month's time, the Board agreed to resolve this situation in this fashion.  PSU's Board believes it is "putting this matter behind us" so "we can start fresh."  Not so.  Instead, you have set a course of failure that it will take many years to overcome.  Terrible decision-making.

 
No good deed goes unpunished; PSU should have known that when it hired Louis Freeh.

Now, Pennsylvania's leading state university has in essence been devastated.  With the football program having been eviscerated, where will PSU find the $60 Million to pay these fines?  Bumps in tuition, cuts to academic programs, reductions in force.  And who suffers?  The residents of Pennsylvania, the children who worked so hard to get into the school, the parents who have sacrificed to pay tuition, room, board, books, etc.

What will happen to PSU?  In my view, it will see a large reduction in student applications, an exodus of qualified professors and staff, and the ultimate death of its football program as a major power - with concomitant loss of funding and prestige that made PSU one of the finest institutions in America. 
I say - put it right back up
Like JoePa's statute (which I believe should have remained), Penn State has been torn down.  Why?  Because 4 human beings made tragic errors in judgment.  You do not destroy a University because of the failings of 4 men.


Guilty of Nothing
Now, all of those boys who sacrificed so much to play football in between 1998-2011 - study, practice, sleep, repeat in the morning, over and over again - have seen their accomplishments made to disappear.  And why?  What did they do wrong? 

Emmert = Sanctimonious
The NCAA made clear that it levied these sanctions in an effort to clean up Penn State, to eliminate its "football first" mentality.  SERIOUSLY?   Then, let's take a look at Alabama, USC, Oregon, Ohio State, LSU, Florida, Boise State, Auburn, Tennessee....  I am too flabbergasted to say any more concerning the hypocrisy of such a statement by the NCAA in this regard. 



The NCAA has just punished many children, PSU football players and regular students alike, who have done no wrong because of the acts of  PSU's Administration.  Children once again paying for the sins of the fathers...

The Monster
This is a bad day, a sad day, for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which has seen its leading public institution decimated for no good or apparent reason by a body, the NCAA, that has a record of unfair, sanctimonious, bureaucratic, judgmental, hypocritical, misguided, self-serving, greedy and illogical decisions.  

The NCAA has just punished many innocent children due to the actions of the custodians that were supposed to guard and protect them. Sounds familiar.....
Proud to be Pennsylvanian



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