By Beasley Reece
The NCAA flexed its muscle today, pounding the Penn State football program into the tundra. Sixty million dollars in fines for a fund to battle sexual abuse, the loss of scholarships, bowl game bans, and current talent allowed transfer without penalty.
The Big Ten Conference ruled today that Penn State will not be eligible for the Conference Championship Game or share in the money collected as a result of bowl revenue. That will amount to about $13 million, money that will be added to the $60 million fund to fight child abuse.
The presidents took back their universities.
The swift and dramatic action taken by the NCAA will shift all power back to the proper place. The educators rule the day. Coaches like Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden, Ara Parseghian, Woody Hayes, Barry Switzer, and Tom Osborne once had influence equal to that of governors. Osborne retired from football and actually became the governor of Nebraska. The next generation of coaches will return to the status of university employees controlled by university executives.
It is the Death Penalty.
I don’t care what anyone tells you, Penn State received the death penalty today. What blue chip athlete is going to enter into the murky waters of a program under such a microscope? Which all-star level performer is going to remain at Penn State when the NCAA has offered an open door exit? What would you say to a top flight recruit to get him to consider playing for the Nittany Lions? Even Tony Robbins couldn’t spin that into a sell.
I feel badly for the alumni and Coach Bill O’Brien. I feel bad for the Paterno family; they went from a proud family to a name in disgrace over night. I feel badly for my co-workers who, for years, have worn the Penn State logo with honor.
It is said that time heals all. This wound will fester.
While Jerry Sandusky plays solitaire in a jail cell, his evil handiwork continues to pile up victims. Now, add to the young lives he abused the near total destruction of the program he helped bring to the pinnacle of college sports.