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Deke: NCAA's Penn State sanctions...It had to be done!
by Deke Bellavia,posted Jul 23 2012 11:38AM
The landscape of college football has changed forever! The date of Monday July 23rd, 2012 will forever be remembered for many things. But most importantly, it will be noted for the NCAA doing the right thing.
The President of the NCAA laid down the hammer on one of sports' most prized institutions, and he did so with the world listening and watching. NCAA's Top Dog (and former Chancellor of LSU) Mark Emmert levied penalties on Penn State that will not likely ever be duplicated again.
For their non-involvement in helping many victims and their involvement in covering up the worst scandal ever in the history of college sports, Penn State football is basically in its knees and will have to completely rebuild. The question—are the people of Penn State bigger than the scandal?
But with that said, it’s hard to imagine that anything could be worse than what Emmert did levy on Penn State. Five years of probation, a four-year bowl ban, and Penn State must also reduce 10 initial scholarships and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period, and pay $60 million dollar fine. Those are the big penalties that Penn State must now deal with.
But that’s only half of the story! The once-sometimes called ''God'' of college football has been stripped of wins dating back to the 1998 season, which has dropped the late Joe Paterno from 1st on the all-time win list to 12th. And now, when you look at the foundation of the PSU Football Program, the school itself, and Paterno’s Legacy, Penn State must now literally start from scratch with nothing to sell their potential students or recruits on!
Yes, you see for years students and athletes alike have attended Penn State University for one reason and one reason only, and that is Joe Paterno and Penn State Football. Now, with all of the tradition and history wiped out and stricken from the record books, what Penn State higher-ups will do to try and begin repairing all of this damage will be interesting to see.
Coaches will no longer be able to sit in the kitchens and living rooms of recruits and bring up the history of Joe Paterno. Instead those very same coaches will have to sell parents and recruits on something that is new. Like a new beginning.
I think as fans in general we have all thought of Penn State and Joe Paterno as one and the same, and for nearly seventy years that has been something that has been in place. Now a once-proud university, that prided itself in keeping a clean football program with a coach that was old-school and considered like a father, must try and distance itself from the very same person it built its solid foundation upon.
I understand that this had to be done, in order to try and pick up the pieces. Move forward, and begin what is the so-called healing process that all of these penalties were the right call by the NCAA.
But to those who grew up, to those who followed, and yes those of us that loved Joe Paterno must now also begin to move on. Regardless if you played for Paterno or just admired what we thought he stood for, from afar this is all really sinking in even more now.
And as the construction workers began to take down Paterno’s statue on Sunday morning right outside of Beaver Stadium in Happy Valley, the mood was anything but happy. And many of us, including myself, also took down our pictures of Joe Pa. It was something that we, and I you all had to do. It was not just the right thing to do...It was the only thing to do!