I know this violates the “one thread per day on Penn State” idea, but I’m honestly interested in where the broader MGoBlog community stands on this. Plus, if we can have four threads/day on a video game, I think we can have a couple on the biggest college football scandal in recent memory.
I haven’t seen this proposed, but here’s what I would do:
Probation, monitoring, demanded apologies, etc., and a one-year ban on playing college football… effective in 2018.
My arguments for the 2018 ban:
1. It’s a real punishment. Missing a year of college football would hurt, and on top of that, recruits over the next several years would have to commit knowing that there’s one year in which they couldn’t play. Recruiting surely would suffer for the next few years. Plus, there something appealing about a crime-punishment parallel in which the PSU leadership let horrible things linger for a long time so the punishment lingers for a long time as well.
2. It enables the Penn State players, who knew and did nothing wrong, to finish their careers at Penn State without a poorly targeted punishment that hits them more forcefully than anyone else. This punishment hits the institution more broadly. Future recruits who know about the 2018 ban and commit anyway are punished, but they know what they’re getting into beforehand.
3. It gives everyone time to plan for this. The conference and Penn State’s out-of-conference opponents get extra time for scheduling, local businesses get time to anticipate a one-year loss in game day revenue, etc.
4. It’s better than a lot of the alternatives. Scholarship reductions don’t seem appropriate to me, because that’s a strange penalty given the wrongdoing. I don’t like the idea of removing Penn State from the Big Ten, because it’d be a massive pain that would be extremely harmful to a lot of innocent people. I think an SMU-style death penalty is too much. At the same time, the cover-up here directly benefited the football program (relative to what would have happened if this story came out), so I think it’s entirely appropriate to issue punishments that affect Penn State on the field.
So anyway, that’s my idea. I’d be interested in thoughts on this and on where you all stand more generally.