NCAA reduces Penn St sanctions; sends wrong message to college sports



No one will ever accuse the NCAA of being consistent in their punitive rulings. And in reducing the Penn St sanctions today, you won’t see a lot of people calling the NCAA fair and just either. The college football governing body claims the University is complying with the sanctions imposed, and that’s why the ruling was eased.

Call it “time off for good behavior” in relation to the Penn St sanctions. And perhaps PSU is behaving well, and indeed they truly deserve to be rewarded for that.

However, let’s not overlook the financial hardship Penn State claims they are enduring because of the NCAA penalties imposed. Maybe the fiscal issues in Nittany Nation have something to do with why the NCAA is backing off? Does Indianapolis now have remorse for how they squarely hit a college gridiron cash cow right where it hurts- in the fiscal ledger?


Then again, if that were true, they wouldn’t give back scholarships.

Instead they would just reduce the $60 million fine.

Regardless, the NCAA’s decision to modify the Penn St sanctions was based on the recommendations of Senator George Mitchell who has been serving since August 2012 as the independent overseer of how the Penn St sanctions were being implemented.

Or at least I think that’s what he’s doing based on the legalese statement sent out by the Big Ten today. The lawyerspeak and corporatespeak was so thick arcane and boring that I found it difficult to translate it into something a normal person would actually read.

Nevertheless, the NCAA has said today, by reducing the Penn St sanctions, that they will no longer impose severe penalties on anyone. Regardless of the crimes committed. What happened under Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno was the atrocity of all college sports atrocities. It deserved a Death Penalty, like SMU received in the 1980s. Of course, that would never happen today or in the future. College football is too big a business now.


A lot of people have “scandal fatigue” when it comes to hearing news about big time revenue producing college sports breaking the rules.

I yawned and didn’t care when I heard about the Sports Illustrated expose of Oklahoma State football.

Pay for play? Meh. Arian Foster just owned up to that at Tennessee.

Thinly veiled prostitution in the hostess program? Yawn.

Academic fraud? Don’t care. We just learned how deep and ridiculous that is at North Carolina.

And then of course, it all came unraveled for SI, and the credibility of the expose fell apart. So then I really didn’t care about what SI has to say about corruption in Stillwater. OSU is an example of a larger phenomena- we’ve heard and seen it all in college football and college basketball scandal. We’re not shocked anymore. We’re numb.

Sandusky and Paterno are a big reason for why that is so. After hearing about the crimes perpetrated in State College, everything else pales in comparison. So if the NCAA isn’t going to punish that situation to the fullest extent, then what malfeasance will they reprimand fully?

And kudos to PSU for complying. They’re taking their medicine like a man. The University is doing what they should, given the situation at hand. I have no criticism at all today for Penn State University.

The NCAA on the other hand? Well, there’s a lot I would have done differently there.

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and Facebook

Powered by


  1. Bit Ten Fan says:

    Can’t wait to read what this misinformed delusional hack has to say when all the sanctions go away. Here is one simple fact that has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Joe Paterno did the right thing. Period. This point is beyond debate. Furthermore, there is no evidence that Penn State mishandled the 2001 incident. None. All evidence suggests they handled it in a responsible manner given what little they knew. Justice will be served. Can’t wait to celebrate the day the statue of Joe, the greatest most honorable coach in sports history, returns to its rightful place.

Speak Your Mind