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What's next for the Penn State football program?



beserkr29's picture

Basically no chance that PSU gets the Death Penalty, but I could see some various penalties for JoePa's role in the cover up.  Maybe...

RBuck's picture

Normally I would say it's not an NCAA matter. But in this case the NCAA and the Big Ten are in a position where they just about have to address the situation. 

Long live the southend.

osunut2's picture

I completely agree, and I'm really torn on this. There is a part of me that thinks the repeated black eyes and gut punches that the university continues to receive are punishment enough, but the more I think about it, the NCAA has to at least consider levying some kind of punishment.

"Without winners, there wouldn't even be any god-d*mned civilization." 

cronimi's picture

Agree 100%. The NCAA will take some action because (1) for them not to would make the organization appear callous and/or feckless, and (2) the rules are loose enough that they'll be able to shoehorn the cover-up into a rules violation, probably some generic statement about maintaining integrity or honesty.

jedkat's picture

If there is even the slight bit of justice, Sandusky will get placed in general population...
I wish there was a "mind" vote and a "heart" vote.

"Can we please stop the message board fighting? I really can't stand the message board fighting..."

"No. You're an idiot, and your posts are terrible."

Bucksfan's picture

This is most certainly an NCAA matter, guys.  I don't know what planet some of you are living on.  This was a cover-up by the most powerful people at a university, including THE most powerful man at that university: the head football coach Joe Paterno.  It involved a coach under Joe Paterno raping children not just on campus, but in football facilities.  Moreover, this was not just a coverup for no was a coverup to maintain the football program's reputation so that they could continue to win football games and preserve Joe Paterno's own legacy.  This was bullsh*t to the highest degree.  Football and Joe Paterno obviously became too big at Penn State, so big in fact that child rape would be ignored.
There have been incidents of rape on campus by football players (the Colorado incident from a few years ago comes to mind), and the NCAA does get involved in those cases.  The Penn State situation is the worst thing that has happened on a college campus involving a football program, maybe EVER.  This is way, way, way worse than what happened at SMU, where the school board repeatedly ignored the NCAA's direction to stop paying their players.  We are dealing with criminal neglegence that resulted out of the football culture that Joe Paterno himself created.
The punishment has to fit the crime, and I don't think any of us should be surprised if the NCAA takes football away from Penn State for a while.

Denny's picture

Pretty sure Penn State needs to worry more about the Department of Education than they do about the NCAA.


hodge's picture

If the NCAA can tell USC that they "Promoted a culture of non-compliance", I don't know how they cannot consider a criminal coverup THAT WAS PRECIPITATED BY AN AD AND HEAD FOOTBALL COACH to not be the very personification of "Lack of Institutional Control".
I hate the phrase, "This isn't a football issue", because it is.  It's a football issue, it's an athletic issue, it's a power-structure issue, it's a human issue; but more than just that it's a God damned tragedy.  And all responsible parties will pay: Sandusky will rot in jail, Curley, Spanier, and Schultz will face perjury charges, the victims will be compensated via civil suits, the institution will suffer the collective wrath of the DoE and the civil suits, and the indominitable brand that is Penn State football--the very thing Curley and Paterno were so insularly focused on protecting--needs to face sanctions.
This is a tragedy, and every single party that can hold these fuckers accountable deserves their pound of flesh: not for justice, but to prove the lesson that protecting the brand is never worth the sanctity of human life.
I quoted Shakespeare yesterday, I'll quote him again: "ALL are punished."

LouGroza's picture

Heard on espn radio Gottlieb (sp?) saying the NCAA should leave PSU alone because they will have enough problems without them getting involved. What? Wow.

Pam's picture

The same Doug Gottlieb who called Ohio St. a "cesspool"? Really now

hail2victors9's picture

Michigan and OSU fans come to an agreement on something!  Doug Gottlieb has 0% of my respect.  I think Colin Cowherd is a 1000x better than DG and I can't stand CC half the time.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

faux_maestro's picture

I stopped listening to Cowherd when he said Joey Votto shouldn't win the MVP because his home run total was helped by playing in the "bandbox" that is GABP. When people in Cincinnati pointed out that he HIT MORE HOME RUNS ON THE ROAD he went on a 30 minute rant about how Ohio was the armpit of America and no one wanted to live in there (you may agree) and that no team in the last 50 years from Ohio had won anything (1975, '76, '90 Reds, 2002 Buckeyes disagree) and the whole state just plain sucks. Cowherd is a tool. But Doug Creditcardtheif Gottlieb is a bigger tool.

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

Hasbro's picture

This situation is worse than any other actions by any other football program in NCAA history.
Not only were many young boys raped multiple times on school property;
not only were multiple officials in charge aware of the multiple incidents without alerting the appropriate authorities;
not only did those multiple officials actively prevent the alerting of the appropriate authorities, but;
some people (see Janitor A and Janitor B) saw incidents and did not report them out of fear of the overwhelming power of one individual.
Nothing defines Lack of Institutional Control more than this case. Not the SMU situation. Not the Miami situation. Not the USC, OSU, and UNC situations combined.
The NCAA should give PSU the Death Penalty and the Big Ten should expel them from the conference.

onetwentyeight's picture

Been saying this since the scandal broke: Death Penalty, then kick them out of the B1G ASAP. Have to protect the B1G brand from the stench of their fallout.

GrayDay's picture

PSU has far bigger problems right now than any NCAA hammer, but there is no way they are going to miss that hammer.  The email exchange where officials decribe bad publicity as the "only downside" and then decided it would be less harmfull to cover it all up is crucial.  How does the NCAA read that and not become determined to make it obscenely painful for any NCAA sports program to ever make that kind of choice again?
I woulld not like to see them get a death penalty, but I wouldn't be surprised by it.  When the NCAA gets its swing at them it will be very severe.

OSUBias's picture

The question isn't what should happen to PSU, it's what is next. Meaning what is going to happen. So let's be realistic; the death penalty is never going to happen. PSU is one of the college football programs that is too big to fail. The NCAA knows this and wouldn't do that to itself. Everyone keeps saying "if the ncaa had any sense of right and wrong, they'd give them the death penality." Well we all know that they don't, it's not going to happen, let's move on. Or at least acknowledge any death penalty discussion is theoretical only.
Should they get the death penality? There's a strong case for yes. I wouldn't argue against it as a theoretical. But since it's not going to happen and this is just a theoretical discussion anyway, I'd rather have them keep the football team with a slight tweak. First, they will be required to change their mascot from the Nittany Lions to The Enablers. Their uniforms will be black from head to toe, in mourning for the tragedy. For the next 14 years (to roughly coincide with the Sandusky reign of abuse and terror) every single dollar that is earned from the football program will be paid to victims of sexual abuse. None of it will be used to pay for athletic department expenses, coaches, travel expenses, or lawyers or PR people. If they can't fund it from somewhere else, then the institution can cut sports. Oh and they'll be forced to rename Happy Valley as well. And pull down the Paterno statue...or blow it up. That's my vote for theorteical punishment that will never happen.

Shitter's full

buckeye76BHop's picture

Agreed BIAS: the death penalty will NEVER happen.  I'd be surprised if anything happens...

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Hasbro's picture

I appreciate the sanity of your comment. However, if the NCAA has forced itself into other situations and is permitted to do so, why assume that they won't in this case? Every time a school gets in trouble, we compare the situation to every other documented case (i.e. USC was worse than OSU, etc.). Since the Death Penalty has been given, why is asserting that, "death penalty is never going to happen" being "realistic"?

OSUBias's picture

Fair comment. I guess because it's my opinion, I'm predestined to thinking it's rational and realistic, when that may not always be the case. The basis for my opinion is this: there are enough reasons for the NCAA to decide NOT to give the death penalty, that's a less of a no brainer to them than it is for fans and people who are only thinking of the victims. The whole "punishing the wrong people" angle won't be ignored, nor will the NCAA ignore the fact that not having a PSU football program would damage the NCAA (financially) as much as it may improve PR for them (for getting the punishment right, once out of ten times). But in addition to that, I don't think they fully understood how much aftermath the death penalty would have on the future of the football program and the institution when they made the decision the first time. SMU is still irrelevant 20+ years later. Having at least some understanding now, based on that, I don't think they would risk ruining a program at one of their bread and butter universities. So to answer your question, maybe it's not realistic that it will never happen again. But I think it's realistic to assume that given a choice that's not 100% right or wrong (and I think for the NCAA this qualifies), the NCAA will make whichever one helps them the most. In this situation, that decision would be avoiding the death penalty for PSU.
Also, I should clarify that I'm not saying the NCAA won't do anything. I'm not 100% sold that they will, but overwhelming public sentiment may push them to do something. I just don't think they're ready to axe the football program.

Shitter's full

onetwentyeight's picture

BIAS- interestingly enough, a lot of the reasons you gave are reasons why I feel the NCAA will find it in their best interest TO death penalty PSU. Same factors, different conclusion.
Look at it this way: we all know the NCAA is a bunch of incompetant fools who only care about their own financial interests. You think this sentiment will STOP them from hammering PSU even though PSU deserves it. On the contrary, what I think is that this is WHY the NCAA will get involved in something that is arguably outside its pay grade (ie. should be left to the DOE / Feds).
I also think you shouldn't dismiss bad PR so easily. Bad PR leads to a bad bottom line down the road. If every time PSU played a footbawlll game on TeeVee against another one of our esteemed B1G schools and all anybody could talk about was CHILD RAPE ETC ... doesn't that hurt all the other NCAA schools associated with PSU? You treat PSU as if it's STILL currently a "too big to fail" institution. The way I see it, now is the PERFECT opportune time for a self-interested NCAA to cut their losses w/regards to PSU. We've already seen how URBZ pillaged PSU's recruiting class this year. They hired some nobody to be their new coach. Face it: they're going to really, really SUCK on the field for the foreseeable future. What kid or father will send their son to play there and train in that building and shower in THOSE showers? (#shudder). If the on-field product is careening into a massive crater, then very soon PSU will not be the money-making product we know it to be. It's not like they have a national fan base beyond alumni (seeing as they're secluded deep in the middle of nowhere, geographically).
The smart thing for the NCAA to do would be to jump into this, warranted or not, and shut down PSU football entirely, forever, so as to wash their hands of the blood and divest themselves. Because with the DOE investigation, the civil suits, possible class action, this story isn't going away anytime soon. Any every time it's mentioned in conjunction with NCAA Football, the ncaa loses a little bit of good PR/money making potential.

Kalamazoo Steve's picture

Last I checked, they have the #13 ranked class coming in next year. 

buckeye76BHop's picture
^^^^This above is why I feel nothing will happen to PSU.  Too many ppl view this as a "legal" matter as opposed to a "NCAA" collegiate matter.  IMO PSU should get WAY worse than OSU did from the NCAA for this being aloud to happen on PSU's campus as well as football facilities and protected by officials including Joe P, but I seriously doubt it will because all that were involved have been fired or are gone.  It makes me sick to read about how this was aloud to happen for 14 years but still Penn State fans will defend the legacy tooth and nail, even if they have kids...just sad and sickening to me. 

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Bucksfan's picture

Pat Forde is dead f'ck wrong on this one.  The NCAA is going to get involved whether he feels they should or not.  The NCAA NEEDS to get involved whether anyone feels that they should or not.  Penn State, its administrators, and its FOOTBALL PROGRAM facilitated child rape, and as you mention the culture that these men created at that institution bred a nation of loyalists who defend it as a religion.  PSU just raised the 2nd-most amount of money they have ever raised in a calendar year in the wake of this scandal.   They also broke a record for the shear number of donations as well.  If that doesn't tell you that their football culture is despicable, I don't know what does.  Well, this isn't a religion.  Hell, let's look at a religion for a moment.  Is the Catholic Church seeing an outpouring of support from their parishoners in the wake of their molestation scandals?  Are they seeing record donations?  Or are they seeing people lose their faith and leave in droves?  Something is wrong with Penn State, from the top of the pyramid, to the beat press, to the fans.  There were several questions during the press conference yesterday questioning Freeh's findings, wondering if there were ANY other people involved (as if he forgot to put them in), and the last question of the day was by a woman who was so distraught she didn't even ask a question and instead went on a rant against the charity, saying it was deserving of more blame.  
These men aren't dieties.  These men were monsters.  The university doesn't get it.

spqr2008's picture

Is it a surprise Pat Forde makes an idiot out of himself once again?

AcrossTheField11's picture

Sanctioning this team won't do anything but hurt the players and fans.  They may very well need football to get back to some sort of normalcy at the university.  There are hundreds of thousands of players, coaches, students, alumni, and fans who have had their world rocked.  Sanctioning the team isnt going to help anyone heal or move forward. 
The people responsible have been identified and will pay for their crimes in a court of law.  Lets leave it at that.

Time and change will surely show how firm they friendship... O-HI-O.

cplunk's picture

The point is to make sure things don't go back to "normalcy", because the mindest of "normalcy" at PSU is what allowed this to happen. 
I feel badly for the people not involved that will be hurt, but the whole program has to be forced to take a break from football awhile to reboot the priorities. If they don't, by half-time of thefirst game of the season PSU fans will have exactly the same football-is-king mindset that let all this happen.
Frankly, it speaks poorly of the PSU board that they haven't initiated such a break themselves. It shouldn't have to come from outside the program. 

Nick's picture

So you are saying any NCAA punishment of ANY team is wrong because I would say the majority of punishments are served by coaches and players that were not even around when it happened. 

Maestro's picture

@ATF You are aware that Ohio State isn't going bowling this season right?  What you suggest is just not reality.

vacuuming sucks

superbuck's picture

My thought is for the years that this went on #1 is kick Penn State out of the Big 10 they don't deserve to be associated with the quality schools the Big represents. #2 No TV broadcast , No Bowl games for 5-10 years to equal the time those kids were being molested. #3 No scholarships for 5 years . Yes this sounds harsh but look at all the lives that were ruined .


Bucks43201's picture

It just doesn't feel right if this program were allowed to play this season. If nothing else, out of respect to the victims - PSU should self-impose a heavy sanction. Maybe take a year or two off. Everybody keeps talking about how this would affect the team, the program, the school, the athletic dept., etc. ... but what about the victims --- PSU fans or not, I think they would like to see something symbolic done. After all, it was the almighty football program for whom these crimes were covered up for.

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

hail2victors9's picture

I don't disagree with you, 43201, and anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but when the Sandusky case is officially closed (maybe before then) won't the victims file civil suit against the university and those involved?  If so, those will likely be million dollar + settlements, I would think.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

DCBuckeyeFille's picture

^ Agree completely. 
I feel like way too many people keep saying "What about the football team? You can't do that to the football team! That will hurt the Penn State (or Big Ten/College Football) brand (or identity/bottom line)"    Isn't that what Paterno/Curley/Schultz/Spanier said, too?
I actually don't think that Penn State will get the dealth penalty primarly b'c the rule stipulates that you must be a repeat offender. And Penn State has been very good at staying out of the NCAA purview until now.   However, the punishment should be severe. It should be severe enough to serve as a wake up call to their fan base that the football-first mentality played a role in this.  It should penalize the Institution enough that they will have no doubt in their minds as to how to act on those situations in the future. And it should serve as a cautionary tale to all other institutions and fanbases on the consequences of overblown football hubris.

NW Buckeye's picture

Per your first paragraph, that is exactly want Paterno/Curley/Schultz/Spanier said.  Anyone who continues to hide their head in the sand and say this in not a football/NCAA/athletic issue is just as sinister as the 4 cover up artists at PSU.  If this had happened in any other department at PSU most likely the perpetrator would have been brought to justice many years earlier.  It was the PSU football culture that allowed these terrible acts to occur. 
We should also remember that the Freeh report focused solely on the events that allowed Sandusky to continue his molesting of young boys.  It did not investigate the many other instances of questionable dealings by Mr. Paterno with his players.  Dr. Triponey has stated on may occasions that Mr. Paterno had a different standard for his players and he thwarted her efforts to hold them accountable for their actions just like any other student would be.  However, Mr. Paterno dismissed her criticism as rantings from a disgruntled former employee.  Now, many other past PSU employees are echoing her statements saying they are not surprised at all by the revelations of the Freeh report because this is how things happened all the time in the PSU football culture. 
The Freeh report proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Mr. Paterno lied about his knowledge of Sandusky's crimes.  Those lies now make everything that he said suspect.  This was an individual running out of control.  What we now know is that Mr. Paterno was a master cover up artist.  And, one does not become a master at a craft overnight. 
This is why the NCAA needs to be involved.  Everything that we think we know about the "win with honor" PSU system needs to be scrutinized. 

DCBuckeyeFille's picture

NW Buckeye-
I couldn't agree with you more, on all accounts.  I want to emphasize too that I think this is an important moment for all college football fans, not just PSU, to be a bit introspective. I think there are plenty who are guilty of investing too much in a football hero, whether it be time, money or trust. Penn State has and will continue to pay dearly for that mistake. I just hope we learned from that, too.
(I also want to clarify in case there was any confusion on my point about the death penatly.  I think they deserve to have it handed to them, as I think it will be the only thing that gives them the true wake up call.  But, since JVP was good enough at covering his tracks PSU doesn't have a major NCAA infraction against it. Since being a repeat offender is a stipulation of the DP, they may escape that penalty through a technicality, not because it wasn't warranted).

NC_Buckeye's picture

Voted for Reduction but I could be talked into Death Penalty. This is damn serious stuff. And PSU getting off with no penalty is not an option.
+1 on the Forde comment SPQR.

UncleBuck's picture

PSU has been having huge fund raising numbers since this happened. Doesn't quite seem fair. I feel like the university may be punished in some ways, but I don't think the football program will be hit with anything directly.

onetwentyeight's picture

So I actually was lurking on BSD recently (it's been a slow work week OK) and some of the folks there were actually talking over this very thing - ie comparing the endowment and amount raised since the scandal, to any potential payouts. They were using the Catholic scandals as a comparison point. And they concluded that PSU could easily survive financially, for what it's worth.
When you're comparing your school and football team to the Catholic Church (circa child rape era, no offense to catholics in general) ... then you know you got issues.
Also found it stunning how of ALL the things they should be worried about (like the 50 or so RUINED LIVES MAYBE??!!) in the end a lot of them were still all about ensuring the "survival" of that "institution".

HighBallAce's picture

As much as I hate to think about it, if you consider what must have been going through Sandusky's mind, you almost have to realize that the NCAA should get involved. Consider this, Sandusky must have had a reason for taking those kids onto Penn State's campus. You have to wonder if what he was thinking was that if he did it on campus, someone would cover it up for him..To me, that makes more than one person culpable in the matter.
And yeah, I think Sandusky should be released to the general population in prison.

Seabass1974's picture

In my personal opinion, I find myself in agreement with others. If I was in charge of either the NCAA or the BiG I would expel them from being member organizations and let the chips fall as they may. The Federal govt. is now involved. After removing them just sit back and wait and see. Perhaps in time they could come back as a member in good standing but as of right now removal of the entire school is the best option on the table.

The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender. - Woody Hayes

Alex Root's picture

I don't know if they should get the death penalty but something pretty close. At first I thought why should the NCAA get involved this is a legal matter and not having to do with sports. But after the Free report it is clear that every new about this and covered it up because it would ruin Penn State football and  Joe Pa wanted to be the all-time winningest coach. So clearly this had a lot to do with Football and for that reason I think the NCAA has to get involved. Maybe other schools aren't covering up child rape for 14 years, but covering anything up for the benifit of your program should be penalized. I think a lot of there recruits this year are going to change there mind, there is no way I would want my kid to go to Penn State with this going on.

southbymidwest's picture

There are some former big school/big program D-1 athletes in our building, some with PSU connections, so of course the Freeh report has been a topic of discussion. To a person, they think that PSU should get the death penalty, with the football program being wiped off the face of the earth. I was pretty surprised. When I asked, "but what about the athletes who had nothing to do with this?", their answers all echoed each other-basically, if a kid plays sports for Penn State, they can play at another big program, this won't hurt them as much a people think it will. They do have a point. They also said that if their kids were being recruited by PSU for ANY sports, they would not allow them to play for the Nittany Lions.

HighBallAce's picture

I could be wrong but I think there is a clause that allows D1 recruits to transfer schools without having to sit out a year under extenuating circumstances such as whats going on at Penn State.