How could American culture grow so corrupt as to value a game over protecting children?

OG_slinger wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

I'll agree it became more important, but the primary mission was never corrupted--they never failed in that mission of higher education because of football.

We've yet to see the final damage the civil lawsuits will do to the university, so never say never...

Either way, the football scandal most definitely endangered Penn State's primary reason for existence. Additionally, there's no way to determine how many professors, students, alumni, etc. were turned off by--or will be turned off by--this entire travesty.

Yes, I'm aware of that, but then they'll have failed by putting it at collateral risk. Not by allowing higher education to slip. That's like the difference between the Catholic Church shuffling around criminal priests between Catholic schools and parishes, and the Catholic Church having to shut down Catholic schools and parishes to pay for all those civil suits, especially with people turned off to showing up to put money in the collection plate.

OG_slinger wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Yeah, but that doesn't change the equation--if you need to change the fans, you need to change the fans. That said, I understand that maybe every little bit helps, but at least now there's a context for talking about punishing Penn State beyond deterrence and beyond institutional reform to the point of changing the fan culture.

Short of shutting the program down so the fans have nothing to be fans of there isn't much that can be done. The NCAA can't punish them individually and the new Penn State management policies and procedures don't apply to them since they (mostly) aren't employees.

That's my point--let's admit there's nothing much that can be done unless we're talking about shutting this thing down long enough for this fan base to go away.

OG_slinger wrote:

It was an obsession with the football team and whatever twisted thing it represented in the minds of the fans--youth, the good ole days, an excuse to get drunk on a Saturday morning, the excuse to throw a party or tailgate, etc. It doesn't have to be about winning.

You wrote: "One of the best ways for Penn State to resist all the alumni waving donations around that come with the caveat that anything and everything must be done to get a winning football team." That's what I was responding to.

All of these folks, like workers and athletes were let down by Paterno and the other guys that covered this up. This is not the NCAA hurting them. If own a business, but end up in jail and broke because of laws I broke, my employees that are out of a job should be pissed at me, not the government.

Jayhawker wrote:

All of these folks, like workers and athletes were let down by Paterno and the other guys that covered this up. This is not the NCAA hurting them. If own a business, but end up in jail and broke because of laws I broke, my employees that are out of a job should be pissed at me, not the government.

I think this penalty is punishing all the wrong people. Almost every single person who had a role in covering up this horrific crime will in no way be hurt or even inconvenienced by the enormous punishment the NCAA levied. Go after the people responsible, charge them with crimes, and fine them, not bankrupt an entire school who had no idea this was going on, and possibly resented the football program for other reasons even before the story broke.

CNN[/url]]A recent university study said the football program had a $161.5 million impact on Pennsylvania in 2009. The football team made a $53.2 million profit in 2010, according to CNN Money. The school made $24 million more through general merchandise sales, CNN Money reported.

That's well over 3 quarters of a billion dollars over 5 years if you do the math...

Whose pockets is this 60 million dollar penalty lining as well? I know that the bowl income that Penn State is due will be going to a children's charity (about $13 million), but the penalty is separate from that amount.

Jayhawker wrote:

For the record, it's $73 million now, as the Big 10 has fined PSU another $13 million dollars. I still think they should have kicked them out of the Big 10.

Technically, that $13 million isn't a fine. It's just the slice of the Big Ten Bowl game revenue that Penn State won't receive because it's ineligible.

CheezePavilion wrote:

Yes, I'm aware of that, but then they'll have failed by putting it at collateral risk. Not by allowing higher education to slip.

No, they allowed the football program to become the priority of the university.

Had higher education truly been Penn State's highest priority then none of this would have been allowed to happen for the simple reason the football program wouldn't have had the political juice inside the university to cover all this up.

Had this happened to the Penn State theater program (if there's even one) then the university would have fired everyone involved and shut the program down once the first report of abuse was filed. That didn't happen with football because it was judged a priority by the administration even when they themselves recognized that their actions would look horrible if they ever became known.

And it's simply too soon to tell if Penn State's academic programs will suffer. Penn State will be lucky if the civil damages coming from the law suits are only $60 million. That means Penn State is going to have to make some difficult budget decisions in the years to come and I imagine a the budget's of a lot of academic programs are going to suffer because of the football program.

Jayhawker wrote:

For the record, it's $73 million now, as the Big 10 has fined PSU another $13 million dollars. I still think they should have kicked them out of the Big 10.

The NCAA probably doesn't want to open up the whole realignment issue, and the Big Ten teams won't mind a weakened PSU.

OG_slinger wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Yes, I'm aware of that, but then they'll have failed by putting it at collateral risk. Not by allowing higher education to slip.

No, they allowed the football program to become the priority of the university.

Had higher education truly been Penn State's highest priority then none of this would have been allowed to happen for the simple reason the football program wouldn't have had the political juice inside the university to cover all this up.

Had this happened to the Penn State theater program (if there's even one) then the university would have fired everyone involved and shut the program down once the first report of abuse was filed. That didn't happen with football because it was judged a priority by the administration even when they themselves recognized that their actions would look horrible if they ever became known.

And it's simply too soon to tell if Penn State's academic programs will suffer. Penn State will be lucky if the civil damages coming from the law suits are only $60 million. That means Penn State is going to have to make some difficult budget decisions in the years to come and I imagine a the budget's of a lot of academic programs are going to suffer because of the football program.

I don't actually see where you're disagreeing with me at this point. Of course they allowed it to become the priority of the university. If they hadn't, they wouldn't have put higher learning at risk in the first place.

As a PSU grad.. nothing short of shutting down the football program for good will really affect long term cultural change at the University. Part of me realizes that this is probably the "right" thing to do.. but it effectively would drastically alter the footprint and the makeup of the school permanently. The Campus would shrink..as would the faculty and administration.. they (PSU) would have to figure out a way to make their University work with a far less budget and endowment. But at this point the stink is just so horrifically bad.. I'm not sure that its not the right thing to do.

As well.. I don't believe the cover up for one minute stopped at the 4 individuals that have been so far so really who knows how far and wide this spread among the PSU staff

edit

Side note.. most of my fondest memories of my days at PSU have nothing to do with football.. not sure what that means really.. I'm certainly a much larger NFL fan than College football fan.

Nomad wrote:

I think this penalty is punishing all the wrong people. Almost every single person who had a role in covering up this horrific crime will in no way be hurt or even inconvenienced by the enormous punishment the NCAA levied. Go after the people responsible, charge them with crimes, and fine them, not bankrupt an entire school who had no idea this was going on, and possibly resented the football program for other reasons even before the story broke.

Even though he's dead, I'd say Paterno was hurt by this. If he were still alive, I believe that it would be devastating to him to see his legacy erased.

But the point made here by others and the NCAA is that it was the cult of football, the prioritization of a game over human decency that instigated the cover up. It was the institution of the football program that was at fault. The lesson being made of PSU (at least by the NCAA) is that this will not be tolerated. If you simply went after the small number of (known) perps, then others would simply think that they can do it better...it would be at the individual level. If you cripple the entire football program then later assholes down the line may pause before they decide to hide a child molester (or similiar horrific action). The program must be penalized.

TheGameguru wrote:

As a PSU grad.. nothing short of shutting down the football program for good will really affect long term cultural change at the University. Part of me realizes that this is probably the "right" thing to do.. but it effectively would drastically alter the footprint and the makeup of the school permanently. The Campus would shrink..as would the faculty and administration.. they (PSU) would have to figure out a way to make their University work with a far less budget and endowment. But at this point the stink is just so horrifically bad.. I'm not sure that its not the right thing to do.

I've probably been inelegant in saying this, but that's part of what I meant by "get their house in order" as well. I have no clue how you can focus on your core mission with this front and center. At the very least minimize the import of the football program. Drop to D1-AA, something. They're going to play games this year. There will be fans at games with signs saying "Ped State" and other things like that. It's going to hang over the college for a long time.

Grantland had an article a while back where the author, a Penn State grad, mentioned that there was pioneering work being done on a cure for cancer at Penn State. And part of what distressed him is that no one knew about this. You could make the argument that football helped Penn State grow and thus enabled that very research, but at what cost?

TheGameguru wrote:

As well.. I don't believe the cover up for one minute stopped at the 4 individuals that have been so far so really who knows how far and wide this spread among the PSU staff

We know from the report that a bunch of janitors new about it, to start with.

TheGameguru wrote:

Side note.. most of my fondest memories of my days at PSU have nothing to do with football.. not sure what that means really.. I'm certainly a much larger NFL fan than College football fan.

I played college football and most of my fondest memories have nothing to do with football. I quit playing after my sophomore year due to injuries and financial concerns and really enjoyed my last two years, making lifetime friendships sitting outside the library smoking menthols and talking about the latest English assignment or a discussion of history, etc. That stuff sticks with me more than anything sports related.

Nomad wrote:

I think this penalty is punishing all the wrong people. Almost every single person who had a role in covering up this horrific crime will in no way be hurt or even inconvenienced by the enormous punishment the NCAA levied. Go after the people responsible, charge them with crimes, and fine them, not bankrupt an entire school who had no idea this was going on, and possibly resented the football program for other reasons even before the story broke.

The NCAA has also said that it is reserving the right to punish individual people responsible for this. However, they are waiting until after all criminal investigations are complete as they do not want any punishments they had down to be mistaken as criminal punishments. Only after the investigation and charges are complete will they levy penalties against individuals responsible for this.

And I have to say, I agree completely. You've already started to blend the line between the NCAA and the government (As seen by the bolded part above.) That is exactly what the NCAA is trying to prevent. They aren't a government. They can't charge people with crimes.

Kinda makes you wonder what the death penality is ever going to be used for, doesn't it?

Ego Man wrote:

Kinda makes you wonder what the death penality is ever going to be used for, doesn't it?

Not really. It's been used once for repeated, flagrant violations of NCAA rules. I would suspect that's what it's reserved for.

Ego Man wrote:

Kinda makes you wonder what the death penality is ever going to be used for, doesn't it?

If any team gets the death penalty for a scandal with agents after this it will be a joke. It really does beg the question of what it would take these days.

The death penalty is the popular term for the National Collegiate Athletic Association's power to ban a school from competing in a sport for at least one year. It is the harshest penalty that an NCAA member school can receive.

It has been implemented only five times:

The University of Kentucky basketball program for the 1952–53 season.[1] (
The basketball program at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) for the 1973–74 and 1974–75 seasons.
The Southern Methodist University football program for the 1987 and 1988 seasons.
The Division II men's soccer program at Morehouse College for the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
The Division III men's tennis program at MacMurray College for the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_p...

Part of the problem is that the 'death penalty' wasn't intended to punish bad behavior: it's intended (as far as I can see) to punish (really, to 'kill off') programs that repeatedly violated the NCAA rules intended to provide a level playing field and the integrity of the actual games.

That's what makes this case so difficult from an NCAA standpoint: it's obviously way more horrible than offering scholarships under the table at a D-III school or point shaving, but it didn't have anything to do with the actual athletic competition.

DSGamer wrote:
Ego Man wrote:

Kinda makes you wonder what the death penality is ever going to be used for, doesn't it?

If any team gets the death penalty for a scandal with agents after this it will be a joke. It really does beg the question of what it would take these days.

CheezePavilion wrote:
The death penalty is the popular term for the National Collegiate Athletic Association's power to ban a school from competing in a sport for at least one year. It is the harshest penalty that an NCAA member school can receive.

It has been implemented only five times:

The University of Kentucky basketball program for the 1952–53 season.[1] (
The basketball program at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) for the 1973–74 and 1974–75 seasons.
The Southern Methodist University football program for the 1987 and 1988 seasons.
The Division II men's soccer program at Morehouse College for the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
The Division III men's tennis program at MacMurray College for the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_p...

Part of the problem is that the 'death penalty' wasn't intended to punish bad behavior: it's intended (as far as I can see) to punish (really, to 'kill off') programs that repeatedly violated the NCAA rules intended to provide a level playing field and the integrity of the actual games.

That's what makes this case so difficult from an NCAA standpoint: it's obviously way more horrible than offering scholarships under the table at a D-III school or point shaving, but it didn't have anything to do with the actual athletic competition.

It should be restated that the penalty Penn State got was far worse and will be felt far longer than the 1 or 2 year "death penalty" that these other schools received.

Nomad wrote:

It should be restated that the penalty Penn State got was far worse and will be felt far longer than the 1 or 2 year "death penalty" that these other schools received.

You state this like it is a fact. It is just your opinion.

goman wrote:
Nomad wrote:

It should be restated that the penalty Penn State got was far worse and will be felt far longer than the 1 or 2 year "death penalty" that these other schools received.

You state this like it is a fact. It is just your opinion.

It's actually a very widely-held opinion. The general idea is that the actual death penalty kills the program for a year, but, after that year is up, you can starting rebuilding. PSU's penalty effectively means they'll be unable to attract recruits of any real quality for four years, as, frankly, if you're actually good (i.e., you may have some hopes of playing in the NFL), you're going to want to go somewhere that wins, gets media coverage, and can get to some bowl games. There's going to be four straight years of dead recruitment, plus four years is a long enough timespan for the short attention spans of the sports world to forget about Penn State being a winning program. Add to that the massive fines that will negatively impact the school in general, and PSU has been utterly stomped.

One year, it's over. With one year, alumni and supporters can jump in and help fill the gap while they're still feeling wronged and use that "us against the world" mentality to help pick the program up again. That mentality doesn't last four years, people will start to not care as much.

So, yes, it's worse than a one-year ban.

Additionally, I'm hearing that the fine is restricted to come from the football program specifically, and the NCAA is appointing an independent monitor to watch the athletic department. I'd say that the NCAA is acting from self preservation at this point. We'll see how it plays out, but from here this looks like the NCAA razed the program and salted the earth.

Go to the wikipedia page on the Death Penalty for those schools. SMU, Moorehouse and MacMurray St., the most recent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_p...

Yes they got the Death Penalty but they also were fined, lost scholarships, and no postseason play.

I'd say,
Death for a couple years + fined, lost scholarships, and no postseason play
is worse than
fined, lost scholarships, and no postseason play.

Didnt see if anyone posted this...

http://www.johnziegler.com/editorial...

goman wrote:

Go to the wikipedia page on the Death Penalty for those schools. SMU, Moorehouse and MacMurray St., the most recent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_p...

Yes they got the Death Penalty but they also were fined, lost scholarships, and no postseason play.

I'd say,
Death for a couple years + fined, lost scholarships, and no postseason play
is worse than
fined, lost scholarships, and no postseason play.

SMU, Moorehouse and MacMurray St. were never a Division 1 football powerhouse. No one gives a sh*t about their programs other than their alumni. Their programs won't generate $60 million worth of income in a decade. Penn St. is going to have trouble finding non-conference schools that are even willing to play them.

What the NCAA did is make Penn State's football program a non-entity for the next 10 years. They're now a Division 3 school and no blue chip athletes are going to go there and the ones that are there now will leave. A two year "death penalty" pales in comparison to what the NCAA did.

Bear wrote:
goman wrote:

Go to the wikipedia page on the Death Penalty for those schools. SMU, Moorehouse and MacMurray St., the most recent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_p...

Yes they got the Death Penalty but they also were fined, lost scholarships, and no postseason play.

I'd say,
Death for a couple years + fined, lost scholarships, and no postseason play
is worse than
fined, lost scholarships, and no postseason play.

SMU, Moorehouse and MacMurray St. were never a Division 1 football powerhouse. No one gives a sh*t about their programs other than their alumni. Their programs won't generate $60 million worth of income in a decade. Penn St. is going to have trouble finding non-conference schools that are even willing to play them.

What the NCAA did is make Penn State's football program a non-entity for the next 10 years. They're now a Division 3 school and no blue chip athletes are going to go there and the ones that are there now will leave. A two year "death penalty" pales in comparison to what the NCAA did.

I disagree. 60 Million is not as much as it looks at first blush. It has to be paid over 4 years and to put it in perspective, their program generated $15 million in profit last year. Granted they will not get the bowl money or the conference championship money, but they will still be getting their share of the Big Ten Television money. They will also have a 108,000 seat stadium that they can fill 7-8 times a season.

SMU was getting to be pretty big, when they got hammered, the rest of the Texas schools were there to pick up the scraps. PSU has no real competition in the general area, a very rabid fan/alumni base and a TV contract that will keep them in front of recruits for years.

From here

But to suggest that Penn State's punishment is comparable to or worse than SMU's is to forget just how difficult it has been for the Mustangs to recover. And make no mistake, 25 years later, SMU football is still recovering.

"Until you've completely killed a program, it's hard to understand all that it takes for a program to operate on a day-to-day basis," said Andy Bergfeld, a receiver on SMU's 1989 team, its first after the death penalty.

"The fact that SMU had to start completely from scratch — they went from playing in Texas Stadium to converting their 1920 home stadium into a place we could play our home games — it was very, very difficult. I think Penn State, when all the dust settles, will have a lot better chance to recover more quickly."

Look at the other national schools that have these advantages going for them. Heck, USC had no real issues after the Reggie Bush penalties came down. The PSU coach is telling his recruits and current players today that they will still be on television and playing in a 108k stadium is more of a bowl game than playing in, say, the Outback Bowl.

The mere suggestion that NCAA sanctions against Penn State were worse than receiving the so-called death penalty were enough to make first-year coach Bill O'Brien raise his voice a notch.

"No. We are playing football," O'Brien said forcefully during a conference call Tuesday with reporters. "We open our season on Sept. 1 in front of 108,000 strong against Ohio University. We're playing football and we're on TV. We get to practice. We get to get better as football players, and get to do it for Penn State."

PSU will be down for a few years, but the NCAA had to protect itself and the Big Ten's television network. They understand symbolic moves, that is why they eliminated all of JoePa's victories. But they didn't want PSU to have to make another 25 year comeback.

I personally think that PSU will be facing a 25 year comeback. They actually won't be at a full scholarship load until 2020. In the mean time they will be recruiting on the level of a bottom tier Big 10 school or MAC school.

Also, here is another take on SMU:

Only one program has been handed the death penalty, SMU in the 1980s. The reason it's struggled to find success since then, however, isn't because of that penalty. It's because the school de-emphasized football.

The NCAA banned the Mustangs from one season of play. The school added an additional year. Then it applied strict academic requirements to recruits that completely altered the type of athlete it was bringing in. It never got caught up with the competition in terms of building opulent facilities or a massive stadium, items the Nittany Lions already have.

Source.

It's ironic that the NCAA is so ready to break rules on transfers after always pushing the 'scholar-athlete' line. Sort of like the NCAA is telling the world, 'the football program is gone, so why else would they want to stay at PSU?'

Funkenpants wrote:

It's ironic that the NCAA is so ready to break rules on transfers after always pushing the 'scholar-athlete' line. Sort of like the NCAA is telling the world, 'the football program is gone, so why else would they want to stay at PSU?'

Let's not kid ourselves here, the NCAA is looking out for the NCAA. This is survival: if they didn't act, they risked someone outside acting for them. And by acting decisively, they funneled off most of the criticism of themselves. That said, I believe they also provided for the students who wanted to stay by saying that they can keep their scholarships even if they're not playing football.

Ego Man wrote:

I disagree. 60 Million is not as much as it looks at first blush. It has to be paid over 4 years and to put it in perspective, their program generated $15 million in profit last year. Granted they will not get the bowl money or the conference championship money, but they will still be getting their share of the Big Ten Television money. They will also have a 108,000 seat stadium that they can fill 7-8 times a season.

SMU was getting to be pretty big, when they got hammered, the rest of the Texas schools were there to pick up the scraps. PSU has no real competition in the general area, a very rabid fan/alumni base and a TV contract that will keep them in front of recruits for years.

From here

But to suggest that Penn State's punishment is comparable to or worse than SMU's is to forget just how difficult it has been for the Mustangs to recover. And make no mistake, 25 years later, SMU football is still recovering.

"Until you've completely killed a program, it's hard to understand all that it takes for a program to operate on a day-to-day basis," said Andy Bergfeld, a receiver on SMU's 1989 team, its first after the death penalty.

"The fact that SMU had to start completely from scratch — they went from playing in Texas Stadium to converting their 1920 home stadium into a place we could play our home games — it was very, very difficult. I think Penn State, when all the dust settles, will have a lot better chance to recover more quickly."

That's true but I think we can agree that $60M is just the initial financial penalty. Much of a D1's revenue comes from having games on TV. I don't see a lot of networks lining up to put Penn State's D3 players on national television. Their program isn't going to raise anywhere the $60M per year that it used to so the financial penalty is likely to be much much higher.

TheGameguru wrote:

Didnt see if anyone posted this...

http://www.johnziegler.com/editorial...

Barf... poor Sarah Palin.

Bear wrote:

That's true but I think we can agree that $60M is just the initial financial penalty. Much of a D1's revenue comes from having games on TV. I don't see a lot of networks lining up to put Penn State's D3 players on national television. Their program isn't going to raise anywhere the $60M per year that it used to so the financial penalty is likely to be much much higher.

Umm...all of their home games are guaranteed to be on TV. And, honestly, if you think the team is all of a sudden going to be full of division 3 talent, you really don't know anything about college football.

goman wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

Didnt see if anyone posted this...

http://www.johnziegler.com/editorial...

Barf... poor Sarah Palin.

After reading that article and a few more of Ziegler's I slogged through bits of his website until I realized that everything I need to know about John Ziegler is under the Features section on his website, on the Atlantic Magazine Article page where he writes:

In 2005, almost a year after spending two months shadowing John Ziegler, "acclaimed" writer David Foster Wallace penned a cover story on Ziegler and talk radio for the Atlantic.

On September 12th, 2008 Wallace was found dead by his wife. He hanged himself.

Nice scare quotes around "acclaimed" there, John-o. DFW wrote grocery lists that had more interesting things to say with more style than your whiney maunderings. And mentioning his suicide (due to severe depression) seemingly to discredit the article, is especially classy.

iaintgotnopants wrote:

Umm...all of their home games are guaranteed to be on TV. And, honestly, if you think the team is all of a sudden going to be full of division 3 talent, you really don't know anything about college football.

Most of their starting talent is currently being recruited by other schools and I'm guessing that more than half will leave. You're right though, they won't be D3, they'll be solidly in the D1 basement. Penn State hasn't been a national powerhouse for more than a decade. Even with that scumbag Paterno on the sidelines or upstairs. His name carried that program, now that name is a stain.

So far only about two dozen players have confirmed they're staying. When they start getting beat down regularly recruits are going to go elsewhere. There's simply too many options for the players.