NCAA Penn State sanctions: Who pays the price?
Readers react to the NCAA sanctions levied against Penn State University, including stripping wins from coach Joe Paterno.
July 23rd, 2012
02:47 PM ET

NCAA Penn State sanctions: Who pays the price?

The sex abuse scandal that rocked the Penn State University community and football fans across the nation culminated Monday in an unprecedented fine of $60 million levied against the school and severe sanctions for the Division I football program.

NCAA gives Penn State 'stark wake-up call'

The Nittany Lions are banned from the postseason for four years and will lose 20 football scholarships a year for four seasons, NCAA President Mark Emmert said. The NCAA also took away 14 seasons of football victories from the late coach Joe Paterno.

Money raised from fines will be used to start a charity supporting programs that serve the victims of child sexual abuse, Emmert said.

Penn State has accepted the NCAA's decision, and university President Rodney Erickson said it will not appeal.

But CNN.com readers had much to say on the penalties incurred and whether or not justice is being served. You can join the conversation on Facebook, CNN.com or CNN iReport. Here are what some had to say:

The wrong people punished

Olive Oiil: "The thing is that this only hurts the students and athletes that are there now. It doesn't do anything to change what has happened."

Seth Stuck: "Not sure what punishing today's student-athletes does to help the victims of the old, corrupt coaching staff."

Jane Colwell Glynn: "... (T)he student athletes are paying the price for one man who has died, another incredibly horrible person who will be in prison for life, hopefully two others will serve time ... and in the end are the abused children better off? To the students of PSU, I am sorry that those in charge let down the children and you the students."

Gesilene Gonzalez: "I think they should have fined the people involved in hiding the crimes but not penalize the school and rob the school of money that can potentially help many students pay for an education they can't afford themselves."

Jeff Campbell: "I think what he did to those kids was wrong but why strip the college and football team of winnings, scholarships and titles? What he did personally with those boys was wrong but had nothing to do with how good of a football team Penn State had. ... Make the person responsible pay the penalties. ... I agree if Penn State could have prevented this, then they should have responsibility and pay the fine, but don't take it out on the other athletes ... to now say they technically don't have a title under their belt."

NCAA role questioned

ironmonger99: "... Penn State gets a monetary slap on the wrist. ... They cover up child rape, and this is the response? There should be no more football at Penn State. Sorry students, blame the university leaders. ... Their "leadership" is what gets you your legacy now. ..."

blogwriter: "The Penn State case places the NCAA in a nearly impossible position. While there is no evidence anyone at Penn State broke any actual NCAA rules which mostly govern amateurism, competitive equity and academic integrity this could be the worst scandal to hit major college sports. How can the NCAA ever punish another program for paying players, fixing grades or practicing too much if it doesn't punish Penn State? On the other hand, there are no procedures in place to punish a program for violations of (a) state statute. If Penn State gets punished in this case, why hasn't the NCAA punished any other programs because someone broke the law? The NCAA has very obviously overstepped its authority in this case, and I definitely see a major lawsuit in the works. ..."

Who will really pay?

andyoo: "Where (does the $60 million come) from? Not from the Penn State ex-president and not from the ex-sports director and definitely not from the millions they pay to the dead coach or from the child molester himself. ... (Yeah) ... The $60 million is from the extra money students (will have) to pay to go to Penn State in the future ... just like the bankers took the money and the customer has to pay for the penalties the bank got fined after the financial bubble. ... "

NCAA not going far enough

Terri Grigoroff: "Way too much time, money, energy and human sacrifice was spent on this football team. (S)hut it down completely out of respect for the victims."

Darlene Ranek: "As a Penn State fan (who has) one daughter attending there ... no, they should of also gotten the 'death penalty.' ... Children and covering up child rape (are) more important than football!"

Aaron Tyler: "If the NCAA really had wanted to send a message here, I would have started with the entire athletic program getting the death penalty for the 2013 school year (allowing for the fact that it would be extremely difficult for student-athletes to transfer this close to the beginning of the school year), plus the football program's death penalty running through at least the 2015 school year. Then, go ahead with the fine, but I would be in favor of doubling it, and the rest of the penalties begin once the football team is allowed to participate again."

Learn from the past

Tim Printerdude Denison: "(It was) wrong to "bury" the past. Should be left there as a reminder to not repeat the past. What will they have learned from this many years down the road?"

Ali Liliana: ‎"(Giving) $60 million to programs for preventing child abuse, yes. Punishing current student-athletes and 'taking away wins' from those who graduated, no. You can erase it from paper, but you can never erase the memories I had at Penn State."

Justice was served

Melissa Sokol: "I feel sorry for the students and players that had nothing to do with this. But I understand that the NCAA had to make a point that this behavior will not be tolerated by anyone. Something had to be done."

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Filed under: Justice • Overheard on CNN.com • Pennsylvania • Sports • U.S. • Uncategorized
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. PDXSerric

    There is a clear and purposeful message in the NCAA’s sanctions on ‘today’s players’ and staff. That message is “If you don’t do the right thing and protect the right people, there will be a hefty price to pay.” It is meant both as a punishment for the school (current administration included) for allowing Sandusky to prey on children while they attempted to ‘deal with it internally’ as well as, and possible more importantly, deter future administrators of not only Penn State but all schools, programs, etc. from allowing the threat of embarrassment outweigh proactively putting an end to such attacks.

    The reason Sandusky’s activities were kept hidden was out of fear that the truth would tarnish the school’s reputation and prevent income. Money and fame took precedent over the protection of these children. That simply can NOT be allowed to happen again, and these sanctions serve as a clear and present warning to all that such behavior will not be tolerated. So, in a way, they do serve to help the current and future players, coaches and families by serving to avoid this being allowed to happen again.

    The school will survive. Paterno’s success record will speak for itself. In the end, this will be nothing more than a footnote, a slight blemish for the school. Games will be played and games will be won. For the children and families involved, however, it is a life-long scar. Let us not forget who the true victims are in all of this.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. fernace

    I totally agree w/PDXSerric that this sanction serves as a warning to Penn State & other schools & organizations! It is a shame that innocent parties must be punished along w/those who are truly guilty of wrong doing! On another note, all the disparraging remarks about the "lack of eliteness" of the school & the blue collar kids attending, sound decidedly un-American to me! Is this not the country where even the most impoverished can pull themselves up by the "bootstraps" & make something of themselves! I doubt any of the kids attending are getting an education to become janitors or fast food workers! Which by the way, are necessary & honorable jobs! While these remarks seem designed to belittle the school & it's student, they speak volumes about those who make them! In my estimation Every school is prestigious & Every student is worthy! Just my take!!

    July 24, 2012 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. fernace

    @frankleyfedup-soooo totally agree w/your post! Maybe this is just the beginning & Any school, program or organization can consider themselves put on notice! Raping kids is an attrocity that Must Stop & I think more Catholics need to get angry, involved & figure out their own sanctions, since the Church has put forth such an anemic response! If I was Catholic I'd be shouting my "fedupness" from the pews!!

    July 24, 2012 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. BeaReasonable

    So, let me get this straight. They are punnishing today's young athleats at Penn State because, in the past, Penn State allowed other young athletes to be victimized. Further, they are imposing a fine that will be paid out of coffers filled by Pennsylvania Tax Payers and teuition fees paying students. And lets not forget those scholarships that will be taken awayy, which usually go to poor African-American athletes who would not otherwise be able to pay for college. Sounds like the NCAA has done a great job all right.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. NCAA is a joke

    Absolutely Penn State should be punised and the $60 million for victims should have covered it. Now that the NCAA is punishing schools retroactivly for criminal actvity will they punish Washington State for their criminal activity while Mark Emmert was president, will they punish Edward Ray's Oregon State whose own football coach says that his teams behavior is "Totally Unacceptable"? The answer is "no", Penn State was the symbolic sacrificial lamb for the evil that is the NCAA ad so that Emmert and Ray can protect their own interests. The NCAA is a joke!

    July 24, 2012 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dr. Tracy M. Baker

    The sanctions are not enough! The $60 million looks good in print, but will never be paid I'll bet. And the no bowl games and no championships is a slap on the wrist. This all occurred because college football is a "god" to Americans. That needs to change. Jerry Sandusky's pedophilia was hidden because Joe Paterno and the rest of the hierarchy did not want to risk the interruption of the flow of dollars coming into PSU's football program. The NCAA needs to send a REALLY TOUGH message. What I suggest is: NO football for PSU for as many years as Sandusky got away with his crimes OR, if they really want to send a message, no football for PSU FOREVER! It is time that colleges and universities get it in their heads that school is for education, not sports. Education needs to become their #1 priority again. As for the former PSU President and his cohorts who knew about Sandusky and didn't do anything, lock them up and throw away the key!!!

    July 24, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. Powwowman

    You must Forgive those that hurt you. Penn State I forgive you. Punishing people who did not cause the pain is what normally happens with unforgiveness.

    July 24, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Powwowman

    If Blacks did not forgive for slavery that America put us through and what they continue with unfair laws and business practices that keep blacks down. What Fine Should USA pay for unjust treatment of blacks and Indians who was slaughter off the land. If Penn State Has to pay the United States Goverment Has to Pay. If this the standard all colleges that mistreated blacks should pay. Who can truly pay for Sin no one. We must live by forgiveness. How often should we forgive our brother 7 times 70. We must pray for all who have suffered at the hands of others that they be able to forgive and move on we know it's not easy but with God help it's possible.

    July 24, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. Deni

    I think it is appropiate that Paterno will be remembered as collaborator and supporter of a child rapist. Soon people will say. "Was he also a football coach, what team? I just remember how he helped evil."

    July 24, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  10. honest I am

    How about the honest, decent and hard working players and staff that gave so much on the field in the name of school integrity? should "they" lose face over a couple of low life people? It's like cutting off the head because you have a pimple. Wipe Paterno and Sandusky from the every corner of written school history, implement a new monitoring program and rules governing association with programs involving children but, don't wipe out the spirit and pride of all the "honest" students and staff.....shame on NCAA for such an unthoughtful and unjust decision .

    July 25, 2012 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Patty

      Good post!

      July 25, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
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