Penn State Might Ask NCAA To Reduce Sanctions

By Johnny Ginter on July 13, 2013 at 10:53a

In what will probably amount to the functional equivalent of farting against a hurricane, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien recently submitted a presentation to the Penn State board of trustees that encouraged them to push back against NCAA sanctions.

O’Brien addressed the trustees for more than an hour Friday morning behind closed doors during the board’s executive session at the Penn State Fayette branch campus. The presentation’s slides were visible from a hallway through several full-length glass-paned doors into the room where the session was held.

The specifics about the proposal were not available, and officials, including O’Brien, declined to go into details about his visit, which was initiated by the board.

But, one of the presentation slides had the heading “potential proposal to modify sanctions” and another had a heading concerning the impact of the scholarship reductions that are part of the sanctions.

This is actually fairly interesting. On one hand, it's hard to argue that Penn State didn't (in some way) deserve punishment for a systematic covering up of a pedophile's activities while under the auspices of their program. On the other hand, the completely draconian and arbitrary way that punishment seems to have been handed down can be argued against, especially in light of how badly the NCAA botched the Miami investigation.

Adding to this is that the NCAA used the Freeh report as a guideline, and according to PSU, they've implemented almost all of the report's recommendations.

It appears that O'Brien wants to push for an ease on the scholarship reductions that he knows will gut his program in a few years, but it remains to be seen if the NCAA will have any sympathy for his plight.


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tdible2132's picture

I'm still pissed at how easy Oregon got off the hook when they were actually gaining a competitive advantage. Nothing the NCAA could possibly do going forward would surprise me.

captain obvious's picture

North Carolina getting off basically scotfree is the real travesty

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

BED's picture


The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

hodge's picture

I feel you, but honestly it's just best to let that frustration go. The NCAA's arbitrary hammer is justice is complete bullshit, but until the system is changed we'll never see an end to it. 
Sure, UNC, Oregon, and other schools are going to get off relatively scot-free, but just be happy that we've served our time and in doing so have given the NCAA the biggest middle finger of all: actually coming out of our sanctions better off than we were before, rendering the "program-damaging" sanctions almost completely useless.  

cajunbuckeye's picture

The NCAA's attempt to deflate the Buckeye's did not turn out the way they'd planned.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

BROSEPH's picture

While still illegal, Oregon's crimes were extremely exaggerated.  I think their punishment is sufficient, after all, it was all Chip Kelly, and he is now gone.  Now use punishing the players who had no hand in any illegal activities. 
UNC on the other hand committed academic fraud, correct?  As well as stuff with agents.  I don't know what actually happened, but if they committed academic fraud, they should've been punished severely. 

BED's picture

Who the hell downvoted this?  UNC did things 1000x worse than Oregon!

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

Oyster's picture

It's the people that don't understand or refuse to follow the rules and ding comments they don't agree with instead of those that break the rules.  This is why the forum is now sanitized from vibrant discussions back and forth: the fear of the dreaded downvote. 

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Troy0782's picture

So I read the headline...and yeah, this is all I've got

Hovenaut's picture

My reaction at both the headline and upon seeing your gif.....well done Troy.

SilverState's picture

"Penn State may ask the NCAA to reduce some of its sanctions, university officials said Friday after football coach Bill O’Brien gave a private presentation to the board of trustees..."
"...O’Brien addressed the trustees for more than an hour Friday morning behind closed doors during the board’s executive session at the Penn State Fayette branch campus."


"The presentation’s slides were visible from a hallway through several full-length glass-paned doors into the room where the session was held."


Oyster's picture

I said it before and I'll say it again.  The NCAA had no business in this incident.  The NCAA is not a legal authority and should not be getting involved in matters of the law.  They simply piled on and handed down sanctions as a PR stunt.  If the NCAA is going to rule on something like this, which is a criminal matter, they should then rule on every issue involving staff and students who get in trouble with the law.  Traffic tickets and up, everything.

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Buckeye1996's picture

I thought PSU got hammered for turning a blind eye to the crimes as a way to save the face of football.
The theme of the punishment between OSU and PSU sounds very similar to me as a Buckeye fan (although our issues were much less heinous to be sure).

NW Buckeye's picture

Exactly.  PSU got hammered because they covered up the crimes for such a long time.  It was a clear violation of the ethics code in the NCAA bylaws.  Similarly, OSU got smacked because the NCAA said Tressel covered up the tattoo scandal although it was a much different magnitude of what went on at PSU for so long.  
What is troubling is that in both the Oregon and UNC cases there were cover ups of some sort.  Oregon gets treated with kid gloves, most likely because of the Nike connection (big sponsor of NCAA sports) and UNC gets off lightly because the academic fraud was available to other students instead of being limited to athletes (I know, this just does not make sense, but there you have the reasoning of the NCAA). 

hodge's picture

It's worth noting that the bowl ban came from the failure to monitor charge levied due to the DiGeronimo business. And even then the postseason ban was largely due to our "repeat offender" status. 
Still, the ban was largely to placate the pitchfork-wielding masses, but it wouldn't have happened at all had we been solely punished for Tressel's indiscretions. 

razrback16's picture

+1 NW.
Penn State got blasted because by covering up their violations and pitching their program as a "success with honor", "we've never been accused of any violations", squeaky clean program for all those years, they gained a competitive advantage in recruiting that they would otherwise not have had. They got off light, IMO.

Bucks's picture

Can't blame a guy for trying to lessen scholarship restrictions that are going to obliterate PSU football for a long long time. Even if they were successful in easing the number, I cannot see the NCAA allowing any more than a 1/4 to be lifted. So, 15 instead of 20. Not going to help much.
Give their coach credit. Held the team together last year but twenty freaking schollies is just insurmountable, IMO.

Oyster's picture

These sanctions are like trying to stop a large freight train.  You put on the brakes, but it takes a very long time before you see the effect and actually stop.  PSU will start to feel it this year and by next season, the real pain will be there.  What gets me is that the NCAA not only went after PSU, but they also have punished the business owners in Happy Valley who depend on football for part of their revenue.  When this takes full effect in a few years and the stadium isn't full anymore, you are now hurting mom and pop.

"Scrolling hurts my finger"

(and FitzBuck was clearly the winner)

Bucks's picture

Well said.
The NCAA never surprises me mainly b/c they're all over the place with penalties. When the ones for PSU were announced though, I was shocked.
Have a few PSU buddies and all but one of them can see how bad this is going to be. That one, well ... lose your hair trying to understand how he thinks.

hetuck's picture

The presentation title probably was "Do this or I'm gone when the NFL Calls."

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

Buckeye Beast's picture

I do think about the potential of the Big 10 conference if Penn State were at full strength. Bill O'Brien I think obviously has the potential to be a top 5 (Ceiling) to top 10 (Floor) coach in the college game. Hackenburg throwing to Breneman also sounds pretty dangerous, considering what O'Brien accomplished with Matt McGloin last year & the tight ends in New England. I think that some form of punishment was warranted, but not to the extent that it's crippling the team, and especially that community. Obviously, the city of Columbus is a growing American metropolis & just a happening place in general these days. But can we imagine the economic effect on the areas around the horseshoe if our program was sanctioned to such an extreme degree? To see them back would be good for our conference. The potential 3 headed monster of Ohio State, Michigan, & Penn State is intriguing. Add in a competitive Northwestern, a competitive Nebraska, & a pretty good Wisconsin, & I think the Big 10 would be quite the respectable conference. Also the fact that Michigan State's defense is always up to par can't hurt. Put the people responsible in jail for a long time, drive out those who allowed it to happen & hold them accountable, make the school give a fair amount of financial compensation to the families involved, offer good counseling, & make sure it never happens again anywhere. But to derail an economic freight train just to look good in the public eye is uncalled for. Some scholarship losses and a bowl ban or two make sense, but it really wasn't the football program that hurt those boys. That's my opinion.

Even Squirrels hate Michigan

buckskin's picture

With the NCAA's recent inconsistent decisions, he's a genius for trying it.  Hell, they probably forgot what punishment they gave them in the first place (sarcasm).

DannyBeane's picture

I think PSU should be punished but I would still like them to be relevant since they are in our division. I'd keep the 60 million dollar fine and scholarship reductions and would have a bowl ban this year but would cancel the other bowl bans.

AngryWoody's picture

Maybe while the NCAA is at it they can reduce the emotional scars of all the poor children who were molested by that monster while PSU sat on their thumbs for years after being aware of an eye witness account of a grown man raping a child in a shower...ohh wait they can't. But what the hell! Bill O'Brien is a pretty likeable guy! LETS GO EASY ON THEM!
I say no way.

Our Honor Defend!

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Just stop!  No wonder why everyone calls you Pedo State. 

Class of 2010.

HotSauceCommittee's picture

I am thinking they are thinking time heals all wounds. Let's hope that the NCAA ain't buying it.

BED's picture

NCAA reaction:

The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009

Knarcisi's picture

Happy Valley = Twilight Zone