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 SI.com, 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. jenny

    HA HA ... at least the NCAA wern't cowards....boo hoo hoo, were is paternos disgusting family now......what kid in his right mind would want to play there anyway...its disgraced, and they will never get it back...the name PSU and paterno are disgusting....go play football for a team made up and coached by real men.....not disgusting old weak cowards..

    July 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      The NCAA is the biggest cowards of them all. They didn't do this to "punish" Penn State, they did it to avoid a serious examination into the corruption they've created in college sports. They turn a blind eye to corruption until someone gets caught and then are shocked, shocked that there's something bad happening Close down the NCAA and conferences. No more phoney national championships. How much money do you think the NCAA gets from colleges each year; how much they will get from the new championship games.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ann

    Thomasina – you didn't read Penn State's own report. Paterno knew exactly what was going on and was instrumental in the horrendous crimes not being reported to authories. I think the NCAA punishment is just but there should be no Penn State football this year – the image of adoring crowds worshipping at the shrine of Penn State Football so soon after the excrutiating trial testimony is obscene.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melody

      Yes, that is the image that is haunting me as well. It sends the message that the ruined lives of these children are not worth as much as football. The students at PSU who every day continue to act the victims, as if they are the ones that are being treated unfairly should take a moment to reflect, acknowledge the problem and accept the punishment. The day that that happens will be the day that they can move on

      July 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juanmom

      I was appalled at the females posing for pictures with that stupid statue last week, but that just goes to show how brainwashed the kids at PSU have become. Sandusky's in jail and I hope Joe Paterno is burning in...well you know, that hot place!

      July 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. olepi

    "If that's not death, what is?"

    Ten year ban on football at Ped State. Now THAT is a death penalty.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jeff

    Should have close football from PSU permanently, that would serve as a great wake-up call to all other colleges and universities. Instead 5yrs of inconvenience -to weak a punishment.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Demarcus

    My question is why would any student choose to attend Penn State after this had happened. There are hundreds of other colleges and universities in the US. Any student that doesn't transfer is supporting the actions of a child abuser and a school that covered it up.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoTea4Me

      Because it's actually one on the best schools on the east coast.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. crimsontide

    PSU= Pedo State University

    Its a happening place for creepy old men, cowards and fools.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • AU Alumn

      You speak the truth. Penn State has always been known as a haven for losers and pervs. Now everyone knows what depraved sick individuals call that college their home.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • emmertdusky

      AU Alumn, how are your trees faring?

      July 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. harsh, but fair

    From now on, and for at least the next 20 years, Penn State will be remembered for this...most have forgotten about SMU (who to to this day hasn't been what it once was). I imagine Pitt will rise to the challenge becoming the football school Penn State once was.

    Hopefully, they'll make a full recovery, but I doubt it'll be in the next decade, and they'll definately need a new coach who can turn them into a winner.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. leave it alone

    your all trolls

    July 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juanmom

      It's "you're" not "your" 😉

      July 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ERH

    I have been a loud proponent of punishment but, a University needs money to maintain its purpose, education, and I do believe taking 73 million dollars (60 by the NCAA and 13 by the conference) from the college after the culprits have been punished directly, is punishing the school into the future at the expense of the students. It was not the school itself that did anything wrong, it was the administrators, who are now gone from the scene.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      You mean now Penn State will have to learn to operate like any other college that doesn't have a huge football culture? What a concept.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      By the time this is done paying victims, lawyers, fines and lost revenue it will be more like half a billion. Don't know where Ercikson and Peete are going to get it.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinks2010

      The punishment is just. The pernicious Penn State University sports cult was supported by Paterno, the administration, many of the players, most of the student body, the alumni, fans, and donors. They allowed a lot of crap in addition to this horrible child abuse to go unchecked in the name of almighty football. Now they are acting like the people who lived near the WWII death camps who claimed they didn't know anything bad was going on. Clearly some people knew the child abuse happened, and I am sure a lot of people knew about and chose to overlook a lot of other bad and even criminal behavior by coaches and players. None of the people boohooing about this penalty will be getting any sympathy from me.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. WhackyWaco

    If the NCAA gave the death penalty to the SMU football program for lesser infractions then it should give PSU the same penalty for these heinous acts.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      SMU got the death penalty because all the people who were responsible were still there. Penn Stae has gotten rid of everybody. Except the board of trustees.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sara

    I find it interesting that everyone castigates PSU because "football was too powerful" and then the only punishment they can come up with is to try to dismantle football. If you want to lessen the on-campus impact of the football program, let it continue and "tax" the daylights out of it by requiring a healthy percentage of the proceeds go to programs for abused people. That would make people think twice about putting importance on the football program.

    And why is it the only name the media brings up is Paterno? There were four other people who admittedly had knowledge of what was going on, and they're only mentioned as an afterthought. Hell, McQueary (what an ironic name) is by far more guilty for not stepping in when he saw whatever was going on in the showers.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Same with schools which have a history of football players raping women. Several have a history but seem to get a way with it.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Josh

    "I cannot think of a more devastating decision ...," ESPN football analyst Lou Holtz said.

    I can.

    The devastating decision made by Joe Paterno to protect his football instead of protecting all those young boys.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinks2010

      Amen.

      July 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juanmom

      Totally agree!

      July 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. emmertdusky

    Such a comment coming from SEC criminals. LOL

    July 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. phil

    I think the NCAA should have restricited them from playing football in the coming season in addition to the penailities already levied upon them. Someone made a comment that the Ivy League programs recruit talent without any schlorships but they are getting an Ivy League education. Penn State should begin to develop a similiar model, one that is focused on acadmeic achievement, not athletics. They have a chance to redifne themselves as something more than football. Go out and provide more academic scholarships, get the smartest kids to come to Penn State, focus them on giving back to the community. Have Penn States feature one of scholatic excellence, instead of athletics.

    July 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Merlino

    I know joe-pa and sanduski will get to experience hell each in their own special way.

    May they both ROT, along with their imbecile worshippers!

    July 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
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