Forget pay-for-play scandals. Forget discounted tattoos; forget fathers shopping their children around as recruits; forget recruiting violations. If the recent allegations and indictments at Penn State turn into convictions, then it has birthed a new and ugly scandal that has never been seen in college football.
Following the Saturday arrest of former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, Penn State has been rocked with an alleged child sex scandal coupled with an administration that supposedly did little about it.
Sandusky is a former defensive coordinator for Penn State, who coached two national championship teams in 1980s. He was arrested Saturday on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years. A ninth came forward Tuesday.
After retiring in 1999, Sandusky stayed at Penn State in a noncoaching role with his charity, The Second Mile. It was during this time that the alleged sexual abuse occurred.
According to the indictment papers served to Sandusky, one of the cases included an assistant coach discovering an incident. He reported it to his boss, Joe Paterno, who in turn reported the incident to Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley. Ultimately Curley, along with Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz, chose to not report the incident to police.
This past weekend, Schultz and Curley were charged with failure to report and perjury. They have since stepped down from their positions at the university.
With some of the top officials at Penn State ousted because of this scandal, it looks like even the legendary can’t get away cleanly.
Joe Paterno, one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history, is on his way out as the Nittany Lions’ head coach. The New York Times first reported that the board of trustees at Penn State is working to get Paterno out as head coach, as quietly and calmly as possible.
Planning the exit began yesterday when Penn State canceled Paterno’s weekly press conference.
If the allegations and charges turn into convictions, this could be the ugliest scandal in NCAA history. How can the NCAA punish this?
Those guilty should be punished, and the NCAA is the chief executor of punishment in college football. However, this may be the first major scandal in college football that doesn’t involve players or recruits.
Because it is presumed from Penn State’s actions that it will clean house and remove any administrator or coach who was involved in the debacle, the NCAA can’t remove any guilty parties from the program.
If the NCAA decides to punish the Nittany Lions through actions like vacating victories, they will be penalizing innocent players who had nothing to do with the incidents. And since the scandal didn’t involve recruits, it is not justified in removing scholarships.
Yet, it would be unthinkable that the NCAA would do nothing about the situation. It’s an earth-shattering scandal that could taint Joe Paterno’s career and lifetime achievements. It could tarnish the reputation of one of the most esteemed programs in college football. It’s another stain on college football that no one wants to see.
The scandal rocking Penn State is a beast that has never been seen before. It’s ugly, and it could permanently ruin the reputation of some of the most revered icons in college football.
J.D. Moore is a sophomore journalism major from Honolulu, Hawaii and is the host of the Fort Worth Four Sports Show on 88.7 The Choice.