Business Tips & Topics,  Football

Needs to be Said: The Penn State Sanctions

The news quickly spread this morning regarding sanctions imposed on the Penn State football team.

By the time I publish this blog post, you probably have already heard some of all of the sanctions imposed on the school.

The sanctions include:

* A 60 million dollar fine

* A four year ban on bowl games

* All wins by the football program, from 1998 though 2011, have been vacated.

* The loss of 40 scholarships over the next four years

Current players on Penn State, as a result of the sanctions, are free to immediately transfer to any school.

Media reports say that the school will not appeal what was handed down by the NCAA today.

A few thoughts about this story.  One time.

How can the NCAA impose the death penalty on SMU football while allowing this program to continue playing?  I am at a loss for words.  I do not mean to compare apples to oranges, but can someone please explain to me why the Nittany Lions will kick off its 2012 season on September 1 vs Ohio University?

Second point:  Meant for the new leaders at the Penn State Athletics department.  When something so significant like this comes down, I think you may want to change the home page of your Web Site, as shown below.  Other than the prepared statements posted, everything appears to be business as usual on the site, including the football countdown clock in the upper right hand corner of the screen shot I took.  The department has had enough time to prepare for this day and it should have altered the look and feel out of respect.  This is a small but significant message that nothing has changed.  Games are not being played right now.  A perfect time to send the right message to the world.

Third point:  So many people have been impacted but this.  Current students, alumni, staff and professors, athletics department coaches and staff.  None of these workers get to transfer or vacate anything.  They still must show up each and every day, facing the media circus short term and scrutiny that will attach itself to this school for the next few decades.

Fourth and Most Important point:  The sanctions above do not matter to me.  I could care less about the loss of money, scholarships or bowl games.  Football became bigger than human life to leaders entrusted to run a very profitable educational institution.  As a father, I cannot fathom the horrid nightmares and impact the children/young adults/adults might still be going through each day/night.  Their innocence cannot be bought nor brought back.

You will forgive me but I did not get the name of one of the men, who during today’s press conference, said the following statement:  ”Football will never again be placed ahead of educating nurturing and protecting young people.”

Really?  Check the news.  According to the Sporting News, “The total payout for the new playoff, beginning with the 2014 season, could be as much as $600 million a year.”

I pray that college university presidents, football coaches and athletic directors will show  more integrity and better leadership moving forward.