It is most certainly a new era in regards to punishments levied via governing bodies of various sporting entities. It probably should be that way. There may be no more influential organizations in the USofA, and much of the modern world than sporting franchises, both collegiate and professional. But it’s a little hard to get on board with the NCAA’s punishments offered to Penn State.
The NCAA made their mark on the Penn State scandalous tragedy by hammering severe sanctions on the university’s football program, and the move came as a shock to the advisory board, which was not consulted by the university before accepting the sanctions.
What are the sanctions, you ask? Let’s start with the 60 million dollar fine. Yep. You read that right. Add to that lump sum, the fact that the NCAA record books will vacate all of the program wins from the last 14 years. Yep. You read that right, too. The NCAA felt that the university put winning, and protecting Joe Paterno’s legacy ahead of doing what was right and responsible.
I’ll preface the following by first stating that I hate the NCAA. Do I believe this is too much? Yes. I do. Fine the university–that’s understandable. Yet vacating victories, and records–the NCAA is not doing that to a school, they’re doing that to hundreds of football playing student-athletes who knew nothing of the Jerry Sandusky nonsense. Everything that the kids worked for, according the NCAA, never happened. Guilt by association. It just doesn’t make a lick of sense. There were a handful of individuals who were responsible for this going on as long as it did, and the punishments should end there.
At a certain point, you have to ask yourself how these punishments are helping anyone who was victimized. They don’t really change anything. Those kids, many of them now men, will take little solace in a governing organization dropping the hammer on thousands of individuals, because of the actions of one sick man and several “sweep it under the rug” types.