Having lived in the area, I know how much this will hurt the local economy, and with all the fines, Tuition will go up, not to mention the possibility that the state of Pennsylvania pulls the funding.
It’s a whole new program with whole new people, and you are hurting students, the people who live in the area, and the people who make their livelihoods at Penn State. If the death penalty was given, the town would die quickly. The town developed because people came for football. The scholarships, fines, and bowl games will hurt, but that’s not my issue. The NCAA shouldn’t have messed with this, it wasn’t in their jurisdiction. It wasn’t a part of their rules. Maybe a punishment is deserved, but it’s being issued by the wrong people. To quote Sports Illustrated “There is a reason why the IRS doesn’t punish murderers that pay their taxes.”
Morally, the school is in the wrong, but looking at it according to NCAA rules, they are not guilty. This is a form of Ex post facto punishment, and anybody knows that is not acceptable. The founding fathers didn’t even wait for the Bill of Rights to tell us this was unacceptable, it was right in the Constitution.
I do know why they vacated the wins. They are afraid to talk about what happened, and they want people to forget. That’s why they removed the statue as well. I believe it should have remained as a teaching tool. They decided to remove Joe, but the rest of it should have remained. It documented victories by players, it was a tribute to them as well. Forgetting isn’t a solution, people need to know this happened. That’s why we are all taught about the Holocaust, and why many camps remain to show us what has been done so we do not make the same mistakes. Instead of banning the school from Bowl games, they should have required all proceeds from bowl games go to anti-abuse charities. That would have made a larger impact, and showed that they wanted things to get better, not hide them.
You don’t want to talk about the most successful football coach being Joe Paterno, because this will always be brought up and nobody wants to talk about it. So, they made sure he wasn’t the best. But, in doing this, they have Invalidated the hard work of honest students who have done no wrong, the sacrifices they made for the team are gone. What about memorabilia? I’ve got an orange bowl victory mug. Is that now contraband?
I don’t know what will happen in the coming years, but I believe a lot of talented players will transfer and O’Brien will have a hard time assembling a team. He looks to be a promising coach and will hopefully lead Penn State into a new era if he is willing to be patient and work with what he has available. Taking away scholarships was too much, many players had already made housing arrangements on the expectations that they would have scholarships, and I know for a fact that players will not be taking up student loans to go to Penn State if they can get a scholarship elsewhere. It isn’t right that they have to change their locale because somebody else messed up.