NCAA Exec Committee to gradually restore Penn State football scholarships

Submitted by Dilla Dude on September 24th, 2013 at 11:29 AM

NCAA Exec Committee to gradually restore Penn State football scholarships




How great is this for Penn State? Better late than never.


Edit: The NCAA Executive Committee may also consider additional mitigation of the postseason ban in the future depending upon Penn State’s progress.


Shorty the Bea…

September 24th, 2013 at 3:32 PM ^

This is nothing more than PR damage control from the NCAA for the flack they have taken for the sanctions they unloaded upon Penn State whilst F48^ing up the Miami investigation and the continued debate about their treatment of players (stipends etc) heating up.

Giving the NCAA credit for foresight... is way too much credit.

Wolverine Incognito

September 24th, 2013 at 11:39 AM ^

With restoring scholarships, hopefully this will allow a few kids to go to college who would not have gotten the chance otherwise.  

I don't know if the NCAA should ease off the other sanctions (fine and bowl ban), but everybody wins with easing off the scholly reductions.


September 24th, 2013 at 12:40 PM ^

What part of an independent report do you not understand? An accounting firm, let by an ex senator, did an analysis of Penn States progress in fulfilling the reccomendations set out in the original Freeh report. The independent group found that Penn State had been fullfilling all expectations set in the report with flying colors. As such, a small reduction in the overall penalty was deemed acceptable. This is the equivalent of a 10 year jail sentence reduced to 8 after good behavior. It has nothing to do with Penn States complaints or waiving their hands in the air. It is based solely on their actions as assessed by an independent thrid party.   


September 24th, 2013 at 12:01 PM ^

Frankly, the NCAA (and Delany) overstepped their own bounds with the sanctions. They didn't conduct their own investigation, relied solely on the Freeh report and threatened the new administration that had nothing to do with the crimes of Sandusky.

No one affiliated with the crimes are currently at PSU. Why should the current administration be at fault. Isn't jail time and termination for those accountable enough?


September 24th, 2013 at 12:03 PM ^

I agree with the post-season ban, but I do think that the scholarship reductions are pretty stupid-- at the very least, they should be given to the equivalent number of regular students. 

Also, I am not sure what else Penn State could be doing right now. The Paterno family should be so classy-- saying nothing is better (in my opinion) than empty, "better-late-than-never" gestures or (even worse) acting like the Paterno family. Besides, I've never understood this "Penn State must suffer" mentality; I'd rather see the deranged bastards who were responsible punnished that have some arbitary punnishment meted out on an institution. 


September 24th, 2013 at 12:04 PM ^

Hmm, so fire people criminally responisble, have icon die, and say 'sorry', and then all is well in the world?  Once again, the NCAA proves that the only thing it's really good at is completely ineffectual enforcement.


September 24th, 2013 at 12:08 PM ^

I think Penn State got a fairly just punishment for what happened inside their football program and I see no reason to reduce it. Getting rid of everyone at the top is just par for the course and just about everything else they've done has been with much kicking and screaming along the way


September 24th, 2013 at 12:41 PM ^

Well, you agree with the bowl ban, so apparently you're okay with SOME punishment of innocent people.

The reality is in order to punish the institution for past infractions, you have to punish it (and those at it) in the present lest you encourage them to keep hiring and firing cheaters. It sucks, but that's why players were given the opportunity to get out for free. Any players that decided to stay and those that have been recruited since accepted the situation. Nobody forced them to play at Penn State - most would have other opportunities elsewhere.

Look, I'm actually okay with some idea of "parole" for PSU. But the idea that the should be rewarded for firing those involved and not complaining too loudly (although many associated with PSU HAVE complains loudly) strikes me as less than obvious. Those are the absolute bare minimum things that any decent human should be expected to do on a scenario like this. You don't give a prisoner parole just for not shanking somebody. What has PSU done to go above and beyond that? Apparently something, but it better be a big something.

Monocle Smile

September 24th, 2013 at 12:46 PM ^

Collateral damage is impossible to avoid in this situation. Read the argument above about the cycle of cheating. If you ONLY punish the ones directly involved with cheating, then all the school has to do is fire the cheaters, get off scot-free, and hire the next guy who proceeds to cheat in the same way. There MUST be consequences that send a message, and yes, it does suck that the players have to suffer them.

Monocle Smile

September 24th, 2013 at 1:15 PM ^

None of those things are deterrents if a fat enough paycheck is at stake. This is insanely obvious. Couple that with the fact that if a coach wins enough, he will be offered other jobs upon termination regardless of how hard he cheated. See: Kiffin, Lane; Carroll, Pete.

Your little ra-ra line is ideological crap with no practical application. How exactly do you punish "those responsible" in cases where only the coach (or another scapegoat) is implicated? Don't act like the administrators can't cover their tracks.

So in your world, a cheating scandal would erupt, the coach would be exposed as a cheater, the AD would go all Captain Renault ("I'm SHOCKED!") and the coach would get fired. Of course, this would be years after actual cheating happened because it takes forever to build the case, and the cheating coach would probably have won enough to warrant a job offer elsewhere. The school then carries on with impunity and hires the next guy, who follows in his predecessor's footsteps. This isn't hard to understand.


September 24th, 2013 at 1:23 PM ^

Isn't the entire Penn State administration (former President / AD) facing jail time and massive fines as a result? Not to mention life in prison for the actual offender. Why not throw the current players in jail as well? How about Paterno's corpse? Let's just blow the whole town up while we're at it!!!

Also you're equating the Reggie Bush scandal with Sandusky? Kind of sick on your end. And I don't think Kiffin had anything to do with that, I think it was just Carroll or some boosters.

Collateral damage here isn't fair to the players.


September 24th, 2013 at 2:10 PM ^

I need courses in reading comprehension and college football histroy because I forgot about the minor NCAA violations Kiffin committed during his one year at Tenneessee. Thanks for the advice. Keep up with the name calling, it's a good way to come out on top of mature arguments.

Under your rule, we should all get points on our license because of Aldon Smith. We should pay penalities on our investments because of Madoff.

For the millionth time, the NCAA penalized PSU without due process. No investigation. No hearing. It's like a dictatorship.


September 24th, 2013 at 2:16 PM ^

"For the millionth time, the NCAA penalized PSU without due process. No investigation. No hearing. It's like a dictatorship."




PSU investigated itself then CHOSE to take the proferred NCAA penalties.


They weren't forced. They were welcome to refuse the penalties and let the NCAA do an investigation... but they CHOSE what they believed was the lesser of two evils.


Never mind that even being a member of the NCAA is VOLUNTARY.


PSU can quit the NCAA at any time they choose, and thus not be required to submit to any NCAA penalties.


September 24th, 2013 at 1:48 PM ^

So equating Pete Carroll / Reggie Bush to the Sandusky scandal is kind of sick because - the school in the Sandusky case should get off easier?

In case you haven't noticed, the current batch of innocent players at USC IS being punished, by your own definition, for the actions of somebody who's not there any more. But apparently you're extremely upset that a school that harbored a child rapist is getting a worse version of the same punishment.

Anyway, how does a scholarship reduction punish current players? Yeah, their team won't be as good, but they still get the same free education and other benefits. It only affects recruits, a small number of whom will now go elsewhere. Or are you saying that the NCAA should guarantee they still have winning seasons, lest they feel punished?


September 24th, 2013 at 12:55 PM ^

Penn State's football program benefitted for years by not reporting what happened. I don't think their football program should be shown leniency because they did a lot of the right things after the fact. They had years to come clean, but they didn't, so now their football program can be sanctioned for a while.

Who are the innocent bystanders here? The football players? That's not the NCAA's fault, Penn State hurt their own student athletes by not digging into the issue further when it first came up. And let's not forget the real people hurt here are/were the kids who were abused, God-forbid that Penn State has to be bad at football for a while.


September 24th, 2013 at 1:03 PM ^

The players are the innocent bystanders. This was an institutional / administrational failure on the part of Penn State, not a player failure. Since then, they've clean housed and instituted checks to ensure failure does not repeat and paid penalities.

So why should all personnel currently on board with the school, none of whom that had anything to do with Sandusky, receive his penalties? It makes no sense.

Again, the NCAA did not follow their own protocols. They handed penalties without due process. They make up the rules as they go along.

Monocle Smile

September 24th, 2013 at 1:19 PM ^

That encourages both cover-ups and stall tactics. If the people responsible for a scandal can be assured that the program won't be punished in the future for their present actions, they can do whatever they want, lie and deny, then quietly take jobs elsewhere. If the shit ever hits the fan...well, in your world, the people technically responsible might not be around anymore, so I guess the program gets away with it.


September 24th, 2013 at 1:32 PM ^

The players are not being punished. They were given the opportunity to transfer with no consequences.

That's a better deal than OSU players got - they had to take a bowl ban without a chance to transfer. And not all of them got free tats.


September 24th, 2013 at 2:12 PM ^

"So if it were up to you, not only should the people held responsible for crimes get punished, but innocent bystanders should be punished as well."


I had a friend growing up who had no father around.


Why? His dad made the mistake of robbing a bank and getting caught.


They really should have let his dad out though, so that my friend (the innocent bystander) wasn't hurt by his father being in prison... right?


September 24th, 2013 at 12:32 PM ^

From now on, every university who is facing a serious threat of sanctions should do the following:

1.  Voluntarily accept a compromise deal that circumvents an investigation

2.  Wait a year or so, and then threaten to sue the NCAA. 


September 24th, 2013 at 12:58 PM ^

The full report on their progress is here - LINK

Some of the changes that apparently have been made per the direction of the Monitor are the creation of a Director Of Ethics And Compliance position, a revised Conflict Of Interest policy, Crisis Management and Communication directives, Track training (employee training formally managed by their HR department), better oversight of youth programs and a host of other changes which are in various stages of implementation. Two that stood out were reforms to the background check process and stricter controls on empolyee roll-off. 

The FannMan

September 24th, 2013 at 1:04 PM ^

I saw that several of the victims settled with PSU last month.  I wonder if that had any connection to the NCAA backing off?  I guess it would be a good thing if the NCAA used its clout to get some more money out of PSU for the victims.

The FannMan

September 24th, 2013 at 5:26 PM ^

I am sure that was scientifically calculated.

Totally get that most cases settle.  (I am an attorney, as I believe you are too).  It is just the timing that got me to wondering if PSU put more money into the pot in exchange for the NCAA backing off.  Just wild ass specullation on my part.

I agree that these cases were very likely to settle.  Neither PSU or the plaintiffs benefit from a public trial.


September 24th, 2013 at 3:32 PM ^

You're exactly right.  Its no different.  The only difference is that its hard to reduce an already low penalty.  IMO, in the scheme of things, the penalty PSU got was about as weak as it gets compared to the crime.  If there was ever a case of lack of institutional control, that was it.  It will probably be a case study for compliance officers everywhere.  But now the bar has been set and everyone knows the max penalty for an infraction, I think.


September 24th, 2013 at 1:32 PM ^

as some independent enforcement agency in this action. The NCAA is simply a support group for the member schools which comprise it. The NCAA is governed by university presidents. The NCAA itself has no authority not conferred by its membership. 

The NCAA didn't restore some of the scholarships, their members authorized their reinstatement based on a favorable outside monitor's report reviewing the standards set by an independent investigator hired by Penn State 

The NCAA, meaning its member instituions acted against Penn State, because they felt morally motivated to do so. 

The NCAA has been around since formal incorpoaration in 1910. It was organized to help bring rules and safety reforms to the game of college football. The schools playing the sport then realized that if they were to guarantee the future of the sport from corrupt influences, they were going to have to form some kind of organization that managed the sports they sponsored. 

This is what the NCAA does under the direction of its members and their various committees. 

Indiana Blue

September 24th, 2013 at 1:32 PM ^

what NCAA .... ohio simply thumbed their noses at them.  There were so many wrong doings of coaches and athletes, money, cars, boosters.  Everything was out and even then the university President - who was obviously just a "shill" for the Tressel regime, said he had no idea what was happening.  Loss of Institutional Control .... what ... no way - NCAA was called off.  The NCAA enforcement committee is the biggest joke of the entire orgainization.

Anyone who expects logic out the NCAA - is completely clueless.

Go Blue !


September 24th, 2013 at 4:42 PM ^

The problem with scholarship reductions is that there are a finite number of scholarships out there. At the lower levels of football, they do exactly what they were intended to do: give kids an opportunity to get an education for free. By reducing scholarships at ANY school, you are reducing the total pool for kids.

Players that would have gone to Penn State will now just go to Michigan, Pitt, wherever. But ultimately there will be kids at the bottom of the totem pole that will be left out. I can't possibly say that a marginal competitive disadvantage for Penn State is worth taking away opportunities for kids to get an education. This seems like the opposite of what should happen.


September 24th, 2013 at 4:49 PM ^

Let's take a second to look beyond the details of the penalties, what PSU has done, what other schools have done, etc. and look forward to the impact this will have on the conference...

The East division is going to be super strong.  Michigan, OSU, PSU.  That's a 3-headed monster in the making.