Earlier today, we at Crystal Ball Run wrote on Penn State’s official decision to take down Joe Paterno’s statue on campus. Now, we may know what was behind the timing of the decision, as well as the haste with which the statue was brought down.
The reason? Well, according to a report by CBS News, the NCAA has called a press conference for early Monday morning, where they will apparently levy severe and “unprecedented” penalties upon the school.
CBS News has learned that the NCAA will announce what a high-ranking association source called "unprecedented" penalties against both the Penn State University football team and the school.
"I've never seen anything like it," the source told correspondent Armen Keteyian.
NCAA President Mark Emmert will make the announcement Monday morning at 9 a.m. at the organization's headquarters in Indianapolis.
Already, speculation has run rampant on what the penalties may be. They could range from something minor like a TV ban, bowl ban or scholarship reductions, but from the sound of things, they appear to be much more serious. In a worst case scenario, the entire program could be shut down and not allowed to play the 2012 season and potentially beyond. In NCAA terms, that’s known as the “Death Penalty.”
The decision by the NCAA of course comes in light of the recently released Freeh Report, an independent investigation of the school, football program and former coach Joe Paterno, conducted by former Director of the FBI Louis Freeh. The report was damning, implicating Paterno and three other high-ranking Penn State officials of covering up the crimes of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky was convicted in June of 45 counts of sex abuse against minors, with Paterno, former school President Graham Spanier, former Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley aware of the crimes as early as 1998.
And since then, the debate has raged as to if the NCAA should get involved with the punishment of the school.
For many, the thought of NCAA jurisdiction in a case that involved such serious criminal affairs seemed laughable; after all, this isn’t about a high-profile football coach lying to the NCAA about actual NCAA matters (like Jim Tressel), but about several high-ranking officials covering up some of the most heinous criminal matters imaginable. With that in mind, why would the NCAA get involved? What good does removing scholarships or taking away bowl games do here? Isn’t it almost insulting to the victims to equate on the field football matters (scholarships, bowl bans etc.) with the crimes that were committed against them? And that doesn’t even factor in the idea that all the culprits in the crimes and cover-up are either in jail (Sandusky) awaiting trial (Spanier, Schultz and Curley) or dead (Paterno).
Again, there is a difference between a football matter and a criminal matter, and for many observers, this is way outside the NCAA’s jurisdiction.
Then again, there are others who felt like the NCAA had to do something.
While this wasn’t a football matter per se, it did have to do with one of the most iconic coaches and programs in the sport. Many also believe that the absolute power that Paterno and the football program held at Penn State was what allowed Sandusky to get away with his crimes for as long as he did. Would this have happened if football wasn’t the biggest entity at the school, and Paterno the most powerful man? It’s tough to say. It’s also tough to argue that it played a major part.
These were the questions that had been asked, and apparently on Sunday we got our answer. If the CBS report holds correct, the hammer is coming down at Penn State.
And it could be a long time, if ever before they recover.
For all his opinion, insight and analysis on college football and beyond, please follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.
Remember MikeToby, its only a game.. these guys that play football are tough,when one door shuts, another one opens.Maybe there are better possibilities. Ones that won't be tainted. This should have never happend, I hope that Sanduskys wife goes to jail. She is just as aweful as he is along with the rest that allowed this.
Football revenue is about 70 million a year with a net of about 53 million. In fact, football revenue pays for the entire athletic dept. Yes, football players can transfer, but other scholarship athletes can't. PSU's state funding is very, very, little. The NCAA will have to make a big show because it got itself neck deep in the issues. A few sports writers, even those hang Paterno and tear the statue down guys wrote that this is better handled by the criminal justice system. The death penalty, as I understand it, has to be approved by 60% of the schools. At the start of the 2012 season. it goes to 70%; maybe, that's why the NCAA is moving quickly. Keep in mind, PSU can appeal the decision if they feel it's too harsh. I'll be listening at 9AM.
See, it's that football-first-because-of-the-all-the-money-it-brings-in bit again. This attitude is what got Penn State in the mess it's in.
Penn State wasn't a big football school before Paterno and somehow it managed to survive. The school was founded in 1855. Paterno came onboard in 1966, 110 years later. And not sure about Penn State's football revenue paying for the entire athletic department. In fact, according to "Nittany Lion Club 2010 Annual Report," Penn State's football program provided for 46% of "intercollegiate athletics revenue." And lest we forget, there are many colleges out there with no football team-- yet, somehow, they manage to get by.
Since the scandal, alumni donations have increased, supposedly because they love Penn State and everything the school did for them. At least that's what so many claimed in their posts. If Penn State gets the death penalty, it will need its loyal and generous alumni even more. This will give us a chance to see how they really feel about their alma mater, minus the football team, that is.
PSU's 2011/12 operating budget shows total athletic expenditures, all sport's,support, etc. at 73,492 (that's 73 million); of that) football accounts for 50,582 (Million) That's 69% of the total expenses. Their operating budget in total is 4.3 billion. Just research PSU's operating budget to verify what I've said. PSU has played football for 125 years and they rank 5th with 828 all time wins and 11th with an .689 winning percentage. They were good before Paterno and they'll be good after---as soon as this NCAA stuff gets settled. What I'm about to say may seem rude and nasty, but it's really not meant that way. The abused have faced their abuser and won. Sandusky will be put away for life. Now, it's been reduced to civil suits and money. In fact, it's how much money, dollars, will you give me for what I've been through? Will a couple million ease your pain? Will a couple million help you forget? Point is it comes down to bucks---pure and simple----for PSU and the abused. Life is monetary. It revolves around the almighty dollar. Not just for PSU, but the whole world works that way.
The donation numbers are not all that acurate. One person who is big in the oil and gas industry donated 88 million. without that they would have dropped significantly this year.
I agree with you totally terrizoe, but I just can't get over the innocent football players (that are totally innocent) should be punished, but maybe GimmeeCoffee is right and the innocent players will find a new place to play football, maybe.
I think that most people are missing the point of what this is about. There are lives that, in a sense have been taken and will never be the same. This is due to the staff at Penn State. Not just one but 10, and still others are coming forward. If you can't get this, then think about what has just happend in Colorado....it is the same degree but worse. The people who were in charge allowed it to keep going on when they could have spared some lives. Remember that school is definitly a priviledge. Sports are extra....academically the school is the same. Football gets away with sooooo much all time. Thats why this staff covered up this sick behavior. Is football more important than a persons life? Is that really even a question being asked? People amaze me....
Hi GimmeeCoffee, I'm from Big 12 country, but I just don't believe in punishing innocent bystanders (not sure if any of the current players had anything to do with this). I agree with you Hockeymom, this entire case is incredibly sad for the victims and their families. I wish Paterno had lived so he could be punished by the law, because his refusal to turn in Sandusky to save Penn State pride is a joke. I also agree that by closing down the Penn State football program that the NCAA has just included a huge number of other victims, nothing in comparison to what happened, but, oh well, that's the NCAA and it will probably happen.
I feel sorry for the victims. I am a mother of a young son and cannot even begin to understand the depth of hurt these poor kids have suffered. I hope the removal of the statue brings the victims comfort.
The people being punished should be anyone associated with the cover-up - the administrators, the football staff in-place before "today" and the law/legal personnel who drug their feet investigating. The football staff should start with a clean slate as well as the board, administrators and anyone else they can prove had the smallest notion of what was happening.
I have never been much on the whole Penn StateFootball/JoePa culture (I graduated from a different PA university); however, the young men who have worked both academically and athletically should not suffer for this. What about the students currently attending the university - it must be difficult to try and enjoy a normal college life with this constant media attention.
If the NCAA shuts down the football program with this "death penalty" (awful name by the way-has to be a less violent term they could use), all that is doing is adding a different set of victims to the list - the current players who have committed no crimes and the student body. This does nothing to help the real victims. The NCAA should put the $$$ the football program receives from TV coverage for the next handful of years and start a foundation for these victims of sexual abuse (that way, these victims aren't "forgotten about"). Just seems like finding a way to heal and prevent might be better than a sweeping punishment to the non-guilty portions of the university.
It seems all these people worrying about the statue are not the victims or their families but Penn State haters in general (read the posts from students at other colleges). I know there are many posts from people who want to see the whole program shut down, but it would be helpful to stop and think, if it happened at my school- would I want this to be the result? Should I be held accountable for the sins of others?
There are many sick individuals out there and you never know when your school could be next.
NSS, so you believe in punishing a lot of players that are innocent because of a 5 or 6 coaches that should really be punished. The NCAA is actually talking about closing down the entire football program for Penn State, if you didn't know. If you did know this, then maybe you should apply for a NCAA leadership role. I agree what the coaches did was totally wrong, despitefull, pathetic, SICK, but don't destroy the kids hope. Fine the school $50 million or higher, keep them out of Bowl games for 10 years, if the school program collapes from that then so be it, but it shouldn't be up to the NCAA to close down the football program and that is what they are talking about right now!!
Sounds more like you're concerned with missing out on your blue and white fix.
If PSU gets the death penalty, the players can transfer to other schools with no penalty. No one has a problem with that and it's been done before. I'd also like to see any players who want to stay at Penn State be able to retain their scholarships-- provided they meet the usual requirements (attendence, grades, course load, discipline, etc.). This covers the players who didn't play a role in the cover-up but did participate in the football fiorst mentality that helped get Penn State in the mess its in.
I am one who believes that Paterno's absolute power at Penn State, combined with the culture of football at Penn State (from the top administrators all the way down to the students, fans, and alumni) allowed Sandusky to get away with his crimes for as long as he did. Since the story broke last year, and even with the release of the Freeh report, I see no indication that Penn State has learned its lesson.
A great number of fans, students, and alumni crowd the posts decrying any blame on the part of Paterno, citing his many football wins and all the money he gave to the school as if this somehow negates his part in the cover-up.
In the midst of the scandel, a new coach is named and Penn State sends him to locations across the state to meet fans and alumni and reassure them that the blue and white will be okay, as if that should somehow be a major concern in the midst of the football program's problems.
The trustees have also missed their chance to show they are repentant, choosing to respond to the scandal by reducing trustee terms from 15 years to 12 years, but only for new members. Existing members, those present through the years of mismanagement, are free to serve the original 15 years. They also announced that they would be rennovating the showers where the abuse took place. Rennovating the showers... as if new look would somehow make it all go away As for the statue, they left the decision in the new president's hands, one trustee remarking that many of the students, fans, and alumni were still very fond of Paterno and removing his statue could cause problems. Proof that, even now, even after the Freeh report that they comissioned, the culture of football reigns supreme. Did the trustees really think these actions were meaningful and appropriate responses to the scadal and the Freeh report? To me, they illustrate a continuing lack of leadership on the part of the trustees.
The president of Penn State claimed he was still weighing the options regarding removing the statue, with his answer expected this coming week. Paterno's popularity was cited as a large factor. I figure the PSU president got wind of the information included in this article which prompted his decision to remove the statue in hopes that it would send the NCAA a message. I don't think the NCAA is stupid. They probably got the same message I did-- that at Penn State football is still king.
Which is exactly why the NCAA needs to bring the hammer down on Penn State, death penalty and all. Lawsuits don't scare them. They plan on insurance covering any awards. Public opinion doesn't scare them. They are living in their own world in Happy Valley and like it fine the way it is, thank you. NCAA sanctions are the only punishment that will have any meaning to Penn State because it is the only thing that can touch their beloved football program.
The NCAA is a joke. Glad the statue came down, but don't punish the kids (players), they didn't have anything to do with this. Fine the school for a ton a money and if they decide to close down the football program then that will be on their hands. I'm sick of NCAA management!!!!!!!!!!!!
@MikeToby The kids (players) are not punished. They may either stay on full scholarship *whether or not the play football,* or may transfer to other schools on PSU's athletic scholarship. Some will be welcomed in the B1G, Big 12, or SEC.
Meanwhile there are 8 or more young men whose lives are screwed up because the leaders cared more for a member of the football community than for them. When Sandusky told those kids "no one will believe you," and "no one will do anything," he knew the athletic department had his back.
PSU was hammered for not hammering Sandusky when they coulda/shoulda.
The Death Penalty for the football program should be a given - anything less would be a travesty. The NCAA also needs to hit Penn State very heavily in the pocketbook. No share in the Big Ten's revenue sharing for the next year - including conference bowl games, NCAA basketball revenue, and revenues from the Big Ten network. The Big Ten Conference should kick Penn State out. This would be a conference decision - but I believe the NCAA should strongly encourage the confence to do so. The penalties need to be so severe that no one, at any school, will ever again consider covering up a crime against children to protect a sports program.
@NSS I agree,I agree,I agree.Money or chid safety? NCAA shut it down never to rear it's ugly head again.The message needs to more than strong. Unforgettable and historic. Unfair you say?
What about innocent boys molested and no one caring about them?Come on people ,caring more about a football program is just absolute insanity.It should be a horrible and disgusting part of Penn States history and one that should take decades to heal from.Learn your lessons well and take your punishments with more dignity than the low life coaches and school trustee's could ever imagine. Only then can anyone associated with Penn State be able to walk tall ever agin.