Greetings, readers. I have been thinking long and hard about whether or not I am going to amend in any way my blog entry titled “Tribute to Joseph Vincent Paterno.” Since this blog entry was posted, much has transpired, such as the guilty verdict of his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, and the Freeh report which implicated Coach Paterno himself.
To my family and me, Joe Paterno, I must admit, was three notches below a deity. Yes, I always knew deep down that he was a man, and fallible as all men are, but I still found it difficult to accept that Coach Paterno might have known about all this and did as little as he did.
The NCAA sanctions, I believe, are a wee bit strong, however justified. If that sounds like a contradiction in terms, let me explain. All of the players on all those teams since 1998 whose victories got erased must know deep in their hearts that they were indeed victorious. What is being punished is the institution of Penn State, as well as Coach Paterno and Jerry Sandusky. With that said, here is my personal opinion on the four major points of the NCAA ruling.
Loss of scholarships: Absolutely. To me that is standard for any school who commits major offenses in any capacity, and it will allow PSU the opportunity to put academics and athletics on even ground.
The $60 million fine: I agree with it completely. Yes it is a lot of money, but I am glad it is going to programs for abused children. Most appropriate.
No bowl appearances for four years: I agree in principle but have no clue where they got the number of years they chose.
And finally, the loss of 112 victories: This number, I’ve learned, was determined by the first time that Mr. Sandusky was caught in any wrong doings. Lord only knows if there were more before that. When I first heard this I was outraged, but the more I’ve read and studied, the more I agree with it. As I’ve said before, those kids from the past know they won those games.
Was the Freeh report really free? No. It has come with a humongous price tag. Not only to the creditability and the reputation of this university, but also to the possible and probably crunch on the local economy. Instead of doing their own investigation, the NCAA based their sanctions on this report. And it will cost money to implement the recommendations that Freeh laid out. I have not heard whether
or not people have sold back their season tickets or not. As I understand it, the big 10 football network has not dropped their TV coverage. It will take years to know the full extent of the damage. Both Rebecca and I are proud of the new administration of the University for accepting the consequences with such grace.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.