Penn State partisans have rarely been on the wrong side of the NCAA. So the notion that players and fans would be punished for a school’s actions comes as a shock to them.

They’re absorbing some of the most severe penalties ever, including a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, scholarship reductions, and the revocation of wins dating back to 1998.  All because of the actions of a handful of individuals.

The NCAA had few options for dealing with those directly involved, the organization’s only recourse to punish supporters and individuals involved in a program with such misplaced priorities.

One is tempted to feel sorry for Penn State fans, except for the fact that many of them were making excuses for a coaching icon and the football program. We doubt University of Louisville fan have cause to be concerned but one doesn’t have to look very far to identify fan bases overlooking the excesses of those in charge.

The NCAA needed to send a message that it the new get tough policy is for real and will be consistently administered. If that doesn’t occur, the Penn State lesson will be shortlived.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

7 thoughts on “Penn State, example or exception?”
  1. I am really torn between backing these penalties and saying they go too far. The financial penalties may be appropriate. Any discipline against those in charge is more than necessary. But, I hate the way it affects the kids who had no knowledge or influence in the wrong-doings.
    I guess you gotta dance with the one that brung you; but maybe it should be that those that brought this about are banished from dancing ever again and leave it at that. The fault was with, of course that pervert, and then it was with the powerful; punish the powerful who failed the rest, and let the kids play? Wouldn’t that be more just than punishing the innocent too?

    1. Good points, Rick, but the NCAA may not have the authority to punish the “powerful” people involved. So it punished the institution and the people who support it. Fortunately, they, as well as the university, can still be challenged in the legal system, including criminal and civil charges. Wouldn’t want to be them

  2. In a situation like this, when the punishment is handed out, even the innocent will be harmed.

  3. The punishment is appropriate, The NCAA is doing the right thing by allowing kids to transfer without sitting out, they are being punished however those kids that choose to stay will still get a great education for free and still play in front of the 2nd or 3rd biggest crowd in college football.

  4. An interesting question came up among my friends last night. Sandusky was a highly regarded Coach at one time he was even considered the heir apparent to Paterno; and then he was off the coaching succession radar and no other school hired him either.

    So, the question was raised, why didn’t other schools hire him? Were they told something? And, if they were, are there others who share in the blame for keeping his secret?

    Inflammatory questions, I know, but if we remembered his credentials correctly it does seem strange that he never got offers, or a job elsewhere. Any insight on this?

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