The Penn State Nittany Lions’ football team received the news today that it had been dreading for months, as NCAA president Mark Emmert handed down several penalties to the program because of the sickening Jerry Sandusky scandal, penalties which include a $60 million fine (money which will go to help child abuse victims), a four year bowl ban, a reduction of 80 scholarships over the next four years, and the vacation of all of Penn State’s wins from the 1998 season all the way up to today.
The penalties greatly hinder a school that was once looked upon as the example of class and dignity in the world of college football and will more than likely mean it’s disappearance from being a power in the sport for at least the next five years, probably even the next decade. Although these sanctions don’t even come anywhere close to making up for the pain and suffering that Sandusky’s victims have endured over the past thirty years, I would like to take a closer look at what exactly they mean. While the situation is damaging to so many people associated with Penn State, including current players, who now have the option to transfer immediately to leave the messy situation, and new head coach Bill O’Brien, who left a cushy job running the offense for the New England Patriots to take over a team that was expected to be hurting but not at this magnitude, the person whose image this hurts the most is the man who meant the most to the university, the same man whose statue caused a bit of an uproar on Sunday when it was removed: the late Joe Paterno.
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