Monday, July 23, 2012

07/23 (Penn State) Quickie

I've seen a few people with the "We were... Penn State" line, and it is entirely apt.

The NCAA has obliterated that program.

The scholarship reductions -- 10 immediately, 20 per year for the next four years (capping them at 15 schollys per year and 65 scholarship athletes on the team, period) -- are brutal. You can't compete with that dearth of depth. Not against the Big Ten, not against the Atlantic 10.

Letting any incoming or existing player transfer without penalty -- no sitting out a year. I appreciate the loyalty of those who stay, but if it was me and I cared about the commitment I'm about to make for the next 1-4 years of my life, I'm leaving. It will be fascinating to see how many leave.

The fine ($60M) sounds huge, but it's a big school with a big endowment and rich donors. They'll put that together in a weekend. And it's $12M a year over 5 years -- hardly taxing for a school that size.

The bowl ban is of a piece with the transfer rule -- it speaks to the experience the athletes will have if they stay. It keeps the team from practicing in December. It keeps them off TV in bowl season.

And then there are the vacated Paterno wins from 1998-2011 -- entirely symbolic, but much more important than typical vacated wins, because of Paterno's place as the all-time winningest coach. That is about humiliation, and it is an appropriate piece of this punishment.

Taken in total, the punishment is as comprehensive and obliterating as any since SMU -- perhaps more. There is an argument that the program will be in tougher shape after this than if they had shut down the program for a year. I think the NCAA knew that.

The entire thing isn't justice for the victims -- not even close. But it is punitive for a football program that deserves it.


*Sucks to be Adam Scott.
*NBA Summer League ends: Damian Lillard is even better than the hype.
*USA Hoops: Needs tests like Argentina yesterday to remind them to stay focused.

This Penn State story will dominate the day -- maybe all the way up to the Olympics on Friday.

-- D.S.

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