Nearly 24 hours after the removal of Joe Paterno’s statue from outside the premise of Beaver Stadium, Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, announced Monday morning the “unprecedented punishment” the Penn State Football program will receive. The University has been fined 60 million dollars, a four year postseason ban, loss of 10 initial and 20 total scholarships for four years, and the vacation off all wins from 1998 to 2011.
Though many demanded the “death penalty” to the program, a punishment of this size may be just as devastating. The four year post season ban will not allow Penn State to play in any bowl games. The loss of 40 scholarships over the same four year period will hurt recruitment incredibly, and in all likelihood result in the transferring of current players. Luckily for these players, the NCAA has allowed their transfer and eligibility to play for other programs.
The vacation of all wins from 1998 to 2011 will not only cost the Penn State program 112 wins, but it will also take away just as many wins from Joe Paterno, lowering his all-time wins from 409 to 298 and removing him of the title of all-time winningest coach in college football.
Most importantly, the 60 million dollar sanction on PSU demands that all funds must be endowed to child abuse prevention programs across the nation.
Although there is nothing left but a few smears amongst the surrounding walls where the iconic figure of Joe Pa used once stood, it is important that the past is not dwelled upon nor forgotten. In reality, there truly is no punishment that could ever fit this crime, thus the focus must be shifted from the catastrophic fall of a legendary program, coach, and mentor, to helping and remembering the ailing victims. Penn State University must bring together its students, fans, and surrounding community to remember, aid, and prevent victims of child abuse while restoring the pride and prestige that once emanated from “We are, Penn State.”