Penn State Sanctions Bring Fate Far Worse Than Death Penalty

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJuly 23, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JULY 23:  NCAA president Mark Emmert speaks during a press conference at the NCAA's headquarters to announce sanctions against Penn State University's football program on July 23, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The sanctions are a result of a report that the university concealed allegations of child sexual abuse made against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who was found guilty on 45 of 48 counts related to sexual abuse of boys over a 15-year period. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Penn State football fans were just hoping to have a team this season when they tuned in to ESPN to see the NCAA news conference, but the imposed NCAA sanctions were far worse than the fears of Nittany Lion fans.

It would have been kinder to Penn State to give it the death penalty for one or two years than to do what the NCAA did. The team has essentially died anyway...but for four years.


NCAA penalties: 4 year bowl ban, 20 total/10 annual scholarship recuction for 4 yrs, $60 million fine, Vacating all wins from '98-2011

— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) July 23, 2012


The NCAA has listed and explained the imposed sanctions in detail on its website, and just reading through them tells you that the death penalty would have been better for Penn State football.

The death penalty would have been for one or two years. After that time, the program would have been allowed to rebuild and bring attention to itself again. Even with a two-year hibernation, Penn State football would still be a big part of Happy Valley, and the program would have interest.

Not anymore.

No postseason, no interest. Thanks to the four-year postseason ban, the school will not be featured for twice as long as USC, and every player who was supposed to be on the team is allowed to transfer immediately.


These #PSU sanctions far worse that #USC. Double the bowl ban. Roster of 65 for 4 years vs roster of 75 for 3.

— Ryan Abraham (@insidetroy) July 23, 2012



Penn State athletes may transfer immediately to any Division I school without penalty

— Indy Star Sports (@IndyStarSports) July 23, 2012



Ohio cornerback Ross Douglas has decommitted from #PennState, per Bill Greene.

— Greg Pickel (@GregPickel) July 23, 2012


Because every player currently on the team would not be able to go to the postseason during their time at Penn State unless redshirted and they are now allowed to transfer and play in the upcoming season, the program has nothing to offer to athletes.

Other programs will be playing in bowls, and the kids will undoubtedly want to transfer to those schools.

Head coach Bill O'Brien appears to know that his program is facing a mass exodus, and he will be meeting with his players today.


#PSU players meeting with Bill O'Brien at 10. Hope to have comments from them afterward.

— Cory Giger (@CoryGiger) July 23, 2012


With a heavy majority of the players wanting out and very little to offer recruits over the next few years, Penn State's team will become one of the weakest in the NCAA.

There is no reason to play for PSU now, save for academics. Even if Penn State lands kids who come for the school itself and not the football program, those are not the recruits who can help make Penn State a national powerhouse again.

These sanctions have ended the success at Penn State, and it will take more than a decade to rebuild the program.

While the death penalty would have taken about the same amount of time to rebuild, the difference is that now the program will have very few recruiting tactics that will appeal to recruits for four years, not to mention however long it takes to become a decent program again.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports and Bruce Feldman of CBS have voiced their opinions about the sanctions and how they compare with the death penalty.


The NCAA may not call the Penn State sanctions the death penalty, but that's exactly what it is. This is the NCAA's "New Death Penalty".

— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) July 23, 2012



Ncaa has crushed penn state football. Feeding frenzy on psu roster and recruits just began.

— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) July 23, 2012


By issuing such brutal punishments against Penn State football, the NCAA has done much worse than the death penalty.

PSU football is in serious trouble, and we may never see the Nittany Lions reach the level of success we remember them having over the last 11 years (even though the record books say they lost every game).