Should the NCAA Give Joe Paterno His Wins Back?
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After a positive report from former Senator George Mitchell, the NCAA decided to reduce the Sandusky-related sanctions against the Penn State Nittany Lions.
As the university's independent athletics integrity monitor -- a position imposed by the NCAA -- his clean-bill pronouncement brought cheers from around the country, not only from Penn State fans and media.
While it's good to see the program get back on its feet so quickly, I for one thought the punishment fit the crime.
The focus now for Nittany Lions fans, influential friends, and Joe Paterno's family is to restore the 111 victories he forfeited.
What are the odds of that happening? Here's the reaction from two reporters from the nearby Lancaster News, who have covered the story from Day One:
And that's what's bothered many observers throughout the entire process. To date, they claim there have been statements provided but no confimed evidence that Joe Paterno or anyone in administration absolutely knew what Jerry Sandusky was doing. That's for the courts to decide, and the general feeling has been the NCAA jumped the gun with the severity of its punishment before the judicial system weighed in.
As we've seen in these two clips, the NCAA became increasingly nervous that it did go too far. The fact that it's been crushed in other court rulings -- with another bombshell on the way -- surely had something to do with their lightening up, as well.
However, with the details cited in the Freeh report, it's going to be an uphill climb to restore Paterno's reputation.
So, yes, Sandusky was a monster.
My belief is Paterno's and his higher-ups' culpability is not a rumor. The Freeh report cites a series of sworn statements that a coach told Paterno about Sandusky and he didn't do a damn thing about it.
Just because the NCAA might have been slightly overzealous in giving out punishment doesn't mean Paterno didn't deserve to get punished as well.