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. al

    could this b the end of penn state, i doubt it football program probably makes that much in 2 years

    July 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Eliah

    I hope they put the Penn State students in jail. They are immoral brats.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • ~~~

      with leadership like that...who would be shocked.

      July 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • kev

      they didnt know anything...

      July 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • tkret

      The students are not to blame. School officials are to blame. And who's paying for it now? All the small businesses in State College, PA. They make their money on 6 weekends a year when the Nittany Lions had home games.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mark

    The only just punishment for Penn State would be a permanent banishment from the NCAA and college athletics. Anything less is an insult to the victims. Ban Penn State. Boycott Penn State.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Elaine

    The most ridiculous critical comments usually come from those who have lots of issues of their own. No one with any understanding or common sense could truly believe students who attend Penn State should feel personally guilty or should transfer. Penn State is a great university. Yes, a horrible abuse happened there, and those who are guilty should be held responsbile. The rest of the Penn State University is NOT responsible and neither are the students.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Red

      I disagree. By donating money to and by continuing to attend Penn State, you are indirectly supporting the actions of a child abuser and those who helped cover it up.

      July 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dianne

    You are not understanding this, the leaders are being punished. If you are a student, transfer asap. That will punish the leaders even more. Leave that school a ghost town. And a lesson to be learned for every college in USA. School is for an education, period. Not how many sports trophies in a display case or how many statues you erect of former players or coaches

    July 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chris

    Penn State is widely recognized as a subpar school for working class families. It's student athletes and third rate student body consists of miscreants from Pennsylvania coal towns. The actions of Sandusky and Paterno only strengthen this accurate portrayal of Penn State.

    July 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. spynnal

    It's a state funded school Dianne. If kids are going there, chances are, they cannot afford another option. Seeing as how a million students graduated in just the last decade, I'm guessing people who apply the scandal as a whole to each of the million who came through there, including the CEO's, Nobel prize winners, etc, are overreacting and punishing innocents.

    July 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cartman

      Yeah. They are poor. Like Kenny. Hee Hee. Poor people smell.

      July 23, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. S

    @Chris, "Penn State is widely recognized as a subpar school for working class families. It's student athletes and third rate student body consists of miscreants from Pennsylvania coal towns." If you are going to attack the intelligence of an entire group of people, be certain that you do so in a grammatically correct fashion. Also, be sure to cite your sources, as it took me all of 5 minutes to find sources that contradict your claims. Grade: C-

    It's = Contraction of "It is" or "It has"
    Its = The possessive form of it

    July 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. PSU Alum

    Hey Laquecia, just because they have half a brain and can make it into college doesn't mean they should be punished for doing nothing wrong. Think for at least a second before you post.

    July 23, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ~~~

    i bet the governor is in on it. probably why nothing was ever done. when you sue a university, you are suing the state. they are all creeps. don't stop with the university. the state is involved also.

    July 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. HIDE BEHIND

    Punishment way to harsh, but we are talking of legends, Heroes, mini Gods and cultural icons, not your common run of mill lowlife perverts and accomplices.

    Giving the money to abused children who we kidding, the amounts of money at hand will have every shrink and non profit and Faith Based Charitys administrators drooling at enriching their orgs first. childrens wrlfare second.

    July 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Great Comment

      No way. The punishment is nothing for a school this size. The only fair thing would be a perminant expulsion from the NCAA and collegiate athletics. Penn State is a school of some sick puppies.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. My Hero Posted

    Malasada says:
    July 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm
    Wouldn’t matter if they graduate. A Penn State Diploma is worth the same as toilet paper now. Four resumes from Penn State grads have come across my desk. They all went straight into the round file.

    July 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Elaine

    Wow, is very revealing to see how narrow minded some people really are. Because you dislike Penn State, everyone there and even everyone in PA is below your standard. Guess it is good that truly caring intelligent people are able to be more realistic about who is guilty here and not make such ridiculous statements.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. frankleyfedup

    I have no problem with the PSU penalities. The joke is that the catholic church was infected with immoral priests and other for years and very little has been changed. Compared to psu the the church had many more monsters. As a catholic, the church leadership should have had its tax exempt status ended, all schools closed, all charities ended, and a very open investigation of the leadership from priests up the the popes.

    July 23, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. David Crosby

    The Paterno's are just trying to hide their millions..They know lawsuits are coming...

    July 23, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
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