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The Penn State scandal which led to the Nittany Lions vacating 111 wins over 14 seasons and cost legendary head coach Joe Paterno his job after 46 seasons makes our list at the No. 3 biggest scandal of the BCS era.
With everything so fresh in our memories, many will wonder why this shocking and horrifying scandal didn't top our list. Primarily, this scandal revolved around one man—Jerry Sandusky—who, at the time of the incidents, was not an active employee of the university. Furthermore, the actual events of this scandal had very little to do directly with the program itself. No players were involved and the perpetrator was a former assistant coach.
Still, this is easily one of the most shocking and heart-wrenching scandals ever to hit collegiate sports.
By now, we all know the story. Former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was accused of some pretty heinous acts with children, some of which apparently occurred at Penn State football facilities. Sandusky was arrested, tried and convicted for his actions, and will unquestionably spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The lasting impact on Penn State football, however, will be monumental. It could take years, or even decades for the program to regain its footing—if it ever does. Penn State has completed one season of its four-year postseason ban and harsh scholarship reductions. The deeper into the sanctioned time frame we go, the more prominent the repercussions are likely to get, and things are going to get much worse for the Lions before they get any better.
Maybe that's the way it should be. Maybe some good will come of this. Maybe, just maybe, college programs around the nation will realize that there are more important things than football.