NCAA Reduces Penn State Penalties, but Does It Matter?
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In a move that many of my brethren in the media called for, the NCAA reduced its penalties imposed on Penn State in the wake of the Sandusky scandal.
The Nittany Lion football program will now be able to get its full allotment of 85 scholarships by 2016. It will be a slow and gradual build up over the next few years to get back there, but my question is, does it matter?
"Obviously, we're able to sign some more guys and have a roster of 75 scholarship players next year," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "So things will change, and we'll see how things go.
I know many media members screamed and hollered how horrible the sanctions were against Penn State, but let's be truthful here. It could have and should have been worse.
This is not a pay-for-play situation or academic fraud. This was a major cover-up by a university and its head coach to protect a pedophile.
Penn State was lucky that it wasn't hit with the death penalty, like SMU. That was a sanction that virtually destroyed SMU football. These sanctions only wounded PSU football.
Another truth is that Penn State is not the Penn State of 20 years ago, when they were relevant in college football. So they get their scholarships back by 2016 and ...
It's going to take a while for the program to bounce back. It didn't happen for Alabama overnight when the Crimson Tide was hit hard by sanctions back in the late 90's and early 2000's. We're watching what's still happening at USC right now. So, it won't happen for PSU overnight, either, and it shouldn't.
The point of sanctions is to hurt your program. You aren't supposed to bounce back right away. And even if you do, the luster is off the program.
The 'mighty' Nittany Lions no longer exist. They haven't for a while, and NCAA sanctions had nothing to do with it.