Five experts: What happens to Penn State football?
Large crowds and Penn State victories at Beaver Stadium may be a thing of the past, college football experts say.
July 23rd, 2012
01:29 PM ET

Five experts: What happens to Penn State football?

Saying it is "a stark wake-up call to everyone involved in college sports," the NCAA announced a $60 million fine against Penn State University on Monday and took away 14 seasons of football victories from the late Joe Paterno.

The school's football team was also banned from the postseason for four years and will lose 20 football scholarships a year for four seasons, NCAA President Mark Emmert said.

Emmert said the unprecedented fine will be paid over five years to fund programs that serve the victims of child sexual abuse.

The Big Ten Conference also acted Monday, ruling Penn State ineligible for its conference title football game and saying the Nittany Lions' share of bowl revenues for the next four seasons - approximately $13 million - will be donated to charities that "protect children."

So what does that mean for the future of Penn State football? Five experts weigh in:

Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel says a year of the "death penalty," a complete ban on football, would have been preferable to the sanctions Penn State received.

"It could've been abolished for a year, continued mostly business as usual and been back long before these recruiting sanctions will endure," Wetzel writes of Penn State football.

"It's nearly impossible to recruit a great or even good player when he knows he can't participate in the postseason until he is, at best, a senior. Any player worth his scholarship wants to compete for championships. Penn State players can't. So why wouldn't recruits just go to Michigan or Alabama or wherever?"

Dan Levy, national lead writer for the Bleacher Report, calls the sanctions "murder by suicide, college football style."

"Make no mistake: The NCAA sanctions are a death knell for Penn State football," Levy writes.

"The NCAA stepped in to make it virtually impossible for Penn State to field a competitive team this year, next year or any year in the next half decade," Levy says. "If that's not death, what is?"

Fox Sports' Jason Whitlock lines up with Wetzel and Levy.

"The sanctions cripple Penn State football. The four-year bowl ban, four-year scholarship reductions and the freedom granted to current players to transfer immediately without penalty or simply decline to play while maintaining their scholarships will make Penn State the Vanderbilt of the Big Ten," Whitlock writes. (Vanderbilt is a longtime doormat in the powerhouse Southeastern Conference.)

"The reduction to Vanderbilt’s level of competitiveness is likely permanent," says Whitlock. "It’s going to take two decades for Penn State football to recover."

Stewart Mandel, writing on, says the NCAA's decision will have a long-lasting impact.

"It assured that the Nittany Lions won't be a contender in the Big Ten for half of a decade - if not longer - and that their idol-worshipping fans will no longer cheer for a winner," Mandel wrote.

"Penn State will remain at the front of the news for many years to come, not for the criminal acts of a former assistant coach or its leaders' abhorrent inaction in handling him, but for its football players' inevitable on-field futility," Mandel said.

ESPN football analyst Lou Holtz, a former college football coach himself, also cited the severity of the scholarship reductions and the ability of current football players to transfer freely or remain at Penn State and still take scholarship money without playing football.

"I cannot think of a more devastating decision made by the NCAA," Holtz said.

The sanctions will hurt football attendance, Holtz said, limiting crowds to 55,000 to 60,000 in Beaver Stadium, where average attendance last year was more than 101,000, according to Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal.

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Filed under: College football • Football • Joe Paterno • Penn State • Sports
soundoff (719 Responses)
  1. joe

    I agree with all of the penalties, except for one. Taking a way fourteen seasons of victories is over kill and accomplishes nothing. The kids who played those games did nothing wrong.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TJ

    Five experts that still only give a damn about football.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rett

      Ok, They are ALL wrong! It has been 20+ years since SMU got the Death Penalty and they STILL haven't recovered. PSU will be competing for Big Ten Championships in 6-10 years.


      July 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DJ

    The freed report is seriously flawed. Heard an interview with a former board member of PSU that gave a long interview regarding the whole incident.. The Q is who knew what when?

    It was totally mishandled, but PSU being overly punished, but personal cupability of those involved is still in question.

    There are a lot of unanswered questions to be resolved. But Jerry Sandusky I the big villan, not the students of PSU.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • jkflipflop

      I would have permanently abolished all sporting programs at the university. Universities are for higher learning, not playing sports.

      July 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheThinker

      Overpunished... right...

      Just a question, who in their right mind would even WANT to join that football organization? Something really, really serious happened, and maybe Penn State football should end for good.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sean

    Wow although I agree harsh actions should be taken towards all those who turned there heads..this seems a little overboard...I don't remember the catholic church being banished due to employees of the church who have done the same thing..glad the money will be going to help those who need it tho..good luck PENN STATE

    July 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      Last I checked, the priests of the Catholic Church were not NCAA athletes. Being banned from bowl games isn't really going to hurt them much.

      July 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jkflipflop

    I would have abolished all sporting programs at the university. A university is for higher learning, not playing sports.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • CRK

      If that is the case, then why not abolish all sports at all schools.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • JDM

      Abosolutely! In the big picture, football and sports mean nothing, IMO.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Bernie

      Then by your mentality why should any DIV. 1 college have sports....wake up azzholes...your ignorance is overwhelming You all say Penn State can not have this or not do that, but all other schools can continue with their so called worshipping of football or basketball and have their cult like atmospheres. Can't wait for another NCAA violation to come out against another school so all you vultures can start some new rants on how you are all knowing and that your pathetic lives are so sanctimonious and sinless....hopefully the Myans were right about 2012....this world needs something cataclismic to happen to rid it of its pride and idoltary.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • PSU77SWO

      @jkflipflop: so who says you can't learn something playing sports? Learning is about more than academics. Social interaction. Communication. Planning. Teamwork. Collaboration. name a few areas of learning. Heck, that's why they have HIGH SCHOOL sports provide an extracurrciular element to the high school and life experience.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BUB TAT

    From now on, wearing something that says Penn State will be like wearing a sign that says 'Child Molester'.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. trex

    ...PSU Football will suk for about 7 years..................and I get it, NCAA........................

    July 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • trex

      ................YOU WANT PSU to be non competetive for years punish the ............uhhh, punish those that..........................are NO LONGER THERE..............................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Apatheist

      Agreed... they shouldn't have received any punishment! The best way to right this wrong would have been for PSU to win the National Championship this year!!! [sarcasm]

      July 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BUB TAT

    Must be super embarrasing to be a PSU alumni. I wouldnt tell anyone if I was....

    July 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tanker

    So, basically, you are saying that a game is more emportant that the example being set.

    Everything is forgivable if you rack up enough wins, eh?

    July 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      good does it do to punish Penn State as a whole. Are they going to let the students transfer because they came to penn state because of its football program. What about the faculty. Punish the people responsible, but not a single student, athlete, or coach there should be punished for choosing penn state. Witch hunt. That's what this is. Lock up the ppl responsible.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      NCAA is pathetic. Should have outright banned Pen State Football a year for each year they covered up the Sandosky problem. 14 years of no football at Pen State should have just been the starting point. No money to Paterno's estate should have also been forced upon Pen State.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snuggie

      What good does it do to punish Penn State as a whole are u serious.... Penn State should be crucified.... Sorry your team is going to suck for the next 20 years but I wonder how many people actually knew about Sandusky.... I bet more people knew than u think.... Maybe even some players knew.... Who knows all I know is a child is the most helpless being on the face of the planet... Penn State need to be puished as a whole because this scandal was covered up as a whole right down to the fans who buy tickets and watch games as Beaver Stadium.... Who cares about whos going to be punished at Penn State.... What about the kids? Everyone at Penn State is responsible.....

      August 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      "emportant!" Really!??

      July 23, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lboogie

    I believe the punishment fits the crime because lives have been ruined. Who cares if Penn State does not play in the post season for 4 season...some of these boys victimized by everyone that turned a blind eye will never be the same. It amazes me that people don't understand the signifcants of this tragedy. What if it was your nephew, son, brother...Sports was held to hire standard than little boys...So Sad!

    July 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • local

      My son/brother would not have been stupid enough to let that behavior go on. And if it happened , Sandusky would have been pushing up dasies.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blacky

      How can your ideas be seriously considered when you can't spell correctly?

      July 23, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Pscyclepath

    The NCAA's decision sounds about right. Given the conditions that allowed this situation to happen, maybe it's time that they took a breather to consider what's important about running a university... and athletics has nothing to do with the important things. At nearly every university in the U.S. the athletic tail wags the rest of the dog, and the students get short-changed for it.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CS Madison

    Then ol' br'er O'Brien said,"Please br'er NCAA don't throw that $60 million fine at me. An' please don't take away my 20 scholarship playas. An' please oh please don' take away my school's previous year's wins!!!" So that was exactly what that ol' NCAA did an that Penn State football program got clean away!

    July 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mark Lovett

    I dont know the ins and outs and subleties of college football, but it certainly seems the NCAA is trying to kill not only Penn State football but apparently and also Penn State itself!
    Justice has been served. The individual who commited these act of violence against young people is behind bar perhaps for the rest of his life. The widespread complicity of University officials in this case demands a strong response and a strong penalty, but it seemingly hurts college students who depends on academic scholarships..the same kind of young men Sandusky apparently abused.
    Now that the cancer in Penn State football is gone, the NCAA seems determined to kill the body of the Penn State Football. I agree with the financial penalties and years ban from college football is adequate, but the NCAA wants to seriously injure the rich tradition of Nittany Lion college football and that to me is a very serious mistake.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. M.E.

    Oh, you mean a school will suddenly be forced to focus on academics? Shock! Gasp! Astonishment!

    Football should be relegated to private schools, I don't like my tax money going to subsidize meatheads.

    July 23, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Abby

    That money should go to the victims of this disgusting situation. Although, no amount of money could possibly erase the horrible memories.

    July 23, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
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