Penn State Football

Joe Paterno Firing: Why Penn State Should Ban Itself from Postseason Play

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - NOVEMBER 08: Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno leaves the team's football building on November 8, 2011 in University Park, Pennsylvania. Amid allegations that former assistant Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse, Paterno's weekly news conference was canceled about an hour before it was scheduled to occur. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
William PenfieldCorrespondent IINovember 10, 2011

Just moments ago, the Penn State Board of Trustees announced that Joe Paterno is no longer the head coach of the football team, effective immediately.

This is a monumental moment in college football history as the legacy of the coach with the most wins in college football history is now tarnished forever.

JoePa said earlier today in a statement that he will retire at the end of the season and the Board of Trustees should not waste a minute of time on his status as head football coach.

"At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can."

Well Joe, if you wanted to make this as easy for them as you possibly can then you would have resigned yourself.

But now that JoePa is out, where does Penn State go from here?

Well, assistant coach Tom Bradley was named interim coach but perhaps more importantly is the fact that Mike McQueary, the man who allegedly witnessed Sandusky molest a child in the Penn State showers, has been retained on the coaching staff.

Amidst everything that has happened, Penn State should consider banning the football team from postseason play this season.

There were no real NCAA rule violations, so they can not really sanction the program, but some form of punishment needs to happen. 

All this was allegedly happening under the roof of the Penn State football program, and the fact that nothing was done about it could be argued as lack of institutional control, although unlikely. If the NCAA deems it that, they could step in and sanction them but that is unlikely.

Something needs to be done with all this happening at the university, with so many people allegedly knowing about it and not doing anything. Every single person who had any knowledge of anything, even if they believed it not to be true, should have brought it to some superior or the police.

The fact that McQueary allegedly witnessed Sandusky committing one of these acts in the Penn State showers and didn't report it to police is disgusting. It is even more disgusting that he still has a job.

If there was ever a time to make a special exception to punish a football program, this is the time.

Justifying punishing the current players for something that happened years ago will be tough but something needs to be done.

A postseason ban this year would hurt Lions' football greatly—they are undefeated in the Big Ten Conference currently and looking at a possible Rose Bowl berth.

It would certainly be a hefty slap on the wrist for the football program.

In the end, a ban is unlikely but it could be a justifiable punishment for all that has happened within the football program while blinded eyes looked on.

What has happened is bigger than football. Until the investigation is complete and the right people are persecuted, football should be out of the question in Happy Valley.

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