Sunday, November 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Penn State Pain

Expecte a hue & cry from"happy valley" but the NCAA sanctions on Penn State were earned over more than a decade of disregard for what was right.

Penn State Pain

Penn State football Monday was tackled hard by the NCAA.

Expect a hue & cry out of "Happy Valley" along the lines of it isn't fair to punish young athletes and new coaches who had no role in the Sandusky scandal and cover-up.

Expect more from the Paterno family over removal Sunday of the iconic statue outside Beaver Stadium and the NCAA order Monday to vacate many of Paterno's football victories.

But the punishment meted out Monday morning was earned by the university over more than a decade of wrongdoing caused by what NCAA President Mark Emmert called an "athletic culture that went horribly awry."

A $60 million fine, the eqivalent of one year's worth of gross revenue from the football program, will be easy for PSU to tolerate.

The four-year ban from bowl or any post-season play will unquestionably hurt football recruitment and put the new coaching staff at a distinct disadvantage for years.

Vacating all PSU wins from 1998 through 2011 will further punish the Paterno legacy and strip him of the record of winningest coach in Division I history.

But there is no ban on TV coverage and there is no "death penalty" because, according to Emmert, the latter would punish too many who had nothing to do with the scandal and did nothing wrong.

While this strikes me as odd, since much of what has been imposed punishes many who had nothing to do with the scandal and did nothing, it's hard to argue with NCAA sanctions given the unspeakable harm to so many victims who did nothing wrong.

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John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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