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Penn State: Death Penalty? Ouster from B1G?


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#1 Greg Pappas

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 06:15 PM

ESPN: PSU hid 'critical facts'

I understand it's early yet, but in lieu of the findings today by The Freeh Report, it seems to me that the NCAA may soon begin the process of determining what actions will be taken against Penn State. Could Penn State football face the death penalty, and could this shameful situation even lead to the Big Ten seeking to oust Penn State from their storied conference? I feel pretty strongly that they will indeed receive the death penalty, but am merely speculating on what the Big Ten could do.

My heart goes out to the victims, whose pain/suffering can last a lifetime, and while I'd hate to see an entire program ended because of the actions/inaction of a few, I feel that when compared to the reasons for the death penalty (and other stiff penalties) levied against other schools in the past, the Penn State situation is -for me- the most egregious.

The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors have already had discussions about Penn State, and have made it clear to Penn State that the league may "impose sanctions, corrective or other disciplinary measures" whether the NCAA chooses to do so or not. In my opinion, the NCAA will eventually hammer Penn State with unprecedented measures. I wouldn't be surprised to glean into a future that finds Penn State ousted from the Big Ten. Apparently, I'm not the only one whose considered it.

Again, it's early, but not too early to speculate.

This whole situation is charged with anger and emotion, but I don't want this thread to delve into the sick details of the Sandusky crimes or get too crazed. I just want some sensible discussion, and am genuinely curious about what my fellow posters think could happen in the future.

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#2 Chris B

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 06:42 PM

If the NCAA gives punishments to schools for sending text messages to recruits, they should also give punishments to schools that hide a sexual offender and his acts from the public.

#3 BSLRobShields

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:44 PM

Nothing should happen to the football program.
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#4 SammyBirdland

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:50 PM

Will Penn State football ever cease being a laughing stock or inducer of sick stomachs from this day forward?
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#5 DJ MC

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:50 PM

Will Penn State football ever cease being a laughing stock or inducer of sick stomachs from this day forward?


One can hope. Because I would think that most people can separate awful things in the past from what happens going forward.

#6 SammyBirdland

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:54 PM

One can hope. Because I would think that most people can separate awful things in the past from what happens going forward.


Perhaps. I'm sure the Catholic church is hoping that's true too.

I just can't help but think that if a top football recruit has any other options besides Penn State, he's probably going to exercise those options. In the past, all a highly recruited quarterback had to worry about at Penn State was being ruined by Jay Paterno. Now they have to see the snickers on the faces of prospective employers when they see their Alma Mater listed on their resume.
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#7 DJ MC

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:58 PM

Nothing should happen to the football program.


While I don't think this is true, I also don't think they should, or frankly CAN, end up with the death penalty.

As I said in the other thread, there would have to be proof that:

1) The football program actually received an advantage--that being the key word--from this university-wide cover-up.

2) This is different enough from other criminal activities withing college athletics, like the Baylor murder and scandal, to go beyond the penalties given to those programs (which did not include the death penalty).

While emotions may carry the court of public opinion, if there is one thing that the NCAA has proven over the years it is that they care almost nothing for what the public wants and instead follow their own rules and precedents. Sometimes that is infuriating, but other times it is actually helpful.

#8 DJ MC

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:59 PM

Perhaps. I'm sure the Catholic church is hoping that's true too.


The Catholic Church is proof that two thousand years of involvement with really awful events doesn't override the two thousand years of even more good that they did. So, kind of a poor example.

#9 SammyBirdland

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:00 PM

1) The football program actually received an advantage--that being the key word--from this university-wide cover-up.


How long did Sandusky coach after the 1998 incident? He was a highly respected coach. If he did continue to coach at all after the 1998 incident, could that be perceived as an advantage gained?
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#10 SammyBirdland

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:01 PM

The Catholic Church is proof that two thousand years of involvement with really awful events doesn't override the two thousand years of even more good that they did. So, kind of a poor example.


I don't think it's a poor example. If "Things you think about regarding the Catholic church" was a category on Family Feud, I bet "pedophile priests" would make the board. It's such a heinous crime that it tends to stick with people, regardless of all the good that the church does and the fact that the overwhelming majority of priests would never do such a thing.
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#11 DJ MC

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:05 PM

How long did Sandusky coach after the 1998 incident? He was a highly respected coach. If he did continue to coach at all after the 1998 incident, could that be perceived as an advantage?


He retired after the next season.

By advantage, I literally mean the ability to use the events to gain some upper hand on their opponents. I don't see any way they did or could have used the situation to their advantage, and I don't consider the absence of a disadvantage (which is really what the argument is about) to be the same thing.

#12 DJ MC

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:08 PM

I don't think it's a poor example. If "Things you think about regarding the Catholic church" was a category on Family Feud, I bet "pedophile priests" would make the board. It's such a heinous crime that it tends to stick with people, regardless of all the good that the church does and the fact that the overwhelming majority of priests would never do such a thing.


I bet that "greedy Popes" and "assisted the Holocaust" and other things would come up, too. Are they really what define the church, though? Especially in 30 or 40 or 50 years?

#13 SammyBirdland

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:12 PM

I don't consider the absence of a disadvantage (which is really what the argument is about) to be the same thing.


I'll gladly agree to disagree with you there.
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#14 Ricker Says

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:13 PM

He retired after the next season.

By advantage, I literally mean the ability to use the events to gain some upper hand on their opponents. I don't see any way they did or could have used the situation to their advantage, and I don't consider the absence of a disadvantage (which is really what the argument is about) to be the same thing.


Well it is. That's the whole point. Why else would they even cover it up? As bad as this all is, I don't think JoePa covered it up to keep Sandusky happy and because he liked hearing of children getting raped. He covered it up because he knew what would have happened to his program if he didn't. That he covered up, undeniably created the pristine, great circumstances at Penn State to continue, when there is no mistaking the fact that those conditions would have taken a hit if he had come forward with the information.
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#15 DJ MC

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:17 PM

I'll gladly agree to disagree with you there.

I don't think that we're as far apart on this as it may appear, but this is probably a good idea :)

#16 DJ MC

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:30 PM

Well it is. That's the whole point. Why else would they even cover it up? As bad as this all is, I don't think JoePa covered it up to keep Sandusky happy and because he liked hearing of children getting raped. He covered it up because he knew what would have happened to his program if he didn't. That he covered up, undeniably created the pristine, great circumstances at Penn State to continue, when there is no mistaking the fact that those conditions would have taken a hit if he had come forward with the information.

Even conceding that point (which I don't) you're still not addressing the other issue, though: from the perspective of the NCAA, how is any advantage received in this situation different enough from other programs in the past that didn't receive the death penalty.

Also, it should be mentioned that the cover-up, while it may have pushed back ALL fallout from Sandusky's crimes, only made things worse in the end. If Sandusky had been arrested and charged in 2000, while there may have been some damage to the reputation of the school it would have been seen as his problem, not that of the university. Even if he was still discovered at the same time, only the school had cut off all contact after he retired, so much less would have come back on to Penn State, let alone Paterno. All of them had to know going in that, even if they thought they could get away with it, they were only making things infinitely worse would the events eventually come out. I just can't see that as having any advantage.
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#17 Remember The Alomar

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:35 PM

Nothing should happen to the football program.


I strongly disagree with this assessment. If you punish USC and Ohio State, you have to punish Penn State.

That being said, I think the NCAA is a hypocritical joke of an organization.

#18 Ricker Says

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:35 PM

Even conceding that point (which I don't) you're still not addressing the other issue, though: from the perspective of the NCAA, how is any advantage received in this situation different enough from other programs in the past that didn't receive the death penalty.

Also, it should be mentioned that the cover-up, while it may have pushed back ALL fallout from Sandusky's crimes, only made things worse in the end. If Sandusky had been arrested and charged in 2000, while there may have been some damage to the reputation of the school it would have been seen as his problem, not that of the university. Even if he was still discovered at the same time, only the school had cut off all contact after he retired, so much less would have come back on to Penn State, let alone Paterno. All of them had to know going in that, even if they thought they could get away with it, they were only making things infinitely worse would the events eventually come out. I just can't see that as having any advantage.


Interesting points. Good post.

It's so hard not to get completely wrapped up in the raw emotions of all of this and just wish for the hammer to come down. I'm VERY guilty of this.
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#19 DJ MC

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:45 PM

Interesting points. Good post.

It's so hard not to get completely wrapped up in the raw emotions of all of this and just wish for the hammer to come down. I'm VERY guilty of this.

I know. Believe me, I hate Sandusky and want very, very bad things to happen to him. After seeing what came out today (which in all of my past Paterno defenses is really what I was waiting to see) I'm not JoPa's best buddy, either.

I just think that for one reason or another, people are jumping to conclusions when there are other issues to think about and procedures to follow. People want Paterno's name torn off the library, but that was something paid for by the family and would be fought in court. People want to see the football team get the death penalty, but nothing in the NCAA's past suggests that they would come to that conclusion.

I haven't even brought up all of the innocent people, both within the football program and associated with the university at-large who are already negatively affected by the terrible things Sandusky did and the awful-in-a-different-way cover up by the university administration, but who appear to be forgotten in the raw emotion of the moment.

#20 mweb08

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:50 PM

He retired after the next season.

By advantage, I literally mean the ability to use the events to gain some upper hand on their opponents. I don't see any way they did or could have used the situation to their advantage, and I don't consider the absence of a disadvantage (which is really what the argument is about) to be the same thing.


It's not the same thing, but the reasoning and the importance of what they did in regards to the health of the program parallels cheating to get better players or covering up doing that.




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