August 6th, 2012 at 7:46 PM ^

So I'm curious, if this happened in a hospital setting, with high ranking members doing exactly what PSU did, would you support these kid of penalties? Everyone keeps saying the fans an the faculty are just as much to blame, like they lied to also cover this up. So would you punish the employees and patients o the hospital for the actions of a few?

I'm sure the response to this will be that completely different, I'm used to people avoiding tough questions.


August 6th, 2012 at 8:01 PM ^

Scandal Leads to Sports Center Closing

or this one, a little older:

Abuse scandal hospital Winterbourne View to close this week

A bit of googling also turned up a church daycare being shut down over similar allegations, with the church itself also unlikely to survive, even though there were no allegations that the abuse was anything other than the actions of a single church employee--no cover up, no failure to report.

What you describe doesn't seem all that unusual...well, except that the circumstances themselves are unusual.


August 6th, 2012 at 8:52 PM ^

I can't find an article on a full-service hospital with problems like Penn State's, probably because there is no such hospital. If it ever did happen--a doctor raping patients in the pediatric ward for years, even coming back to do so long after he'd retired, while the chief of pediatrics and the president of the hospital actively covered up the crimes each time an orderly or PCA reported seeing something--I'd fully expect the pediatric department to disappear for a while, if not the entire hospital.

If you've got an example, please post it (I really hope there isn't one though).


August 6th, 2012 at 9:50 PM ^

Since what a hospital and football program do is completely different, in task and importance, but for fun let's roll with it.

Not a tough question. Sure. Fine a hospital millions of dollars for it, don't allow them to apply for public grants since they've apparently spent our public dollars covering up child rape, they don't get to go to the AMA convention for four years. And if those costs mean there's no Christmas bonus for employees who had nothing to do with it, oh well. You know, if there was an organization of hospitals they were a member of who all agreed to police each other for such things. And tons of equivalent hospitals that all the patients could get immediate transfers to if they want with the same level of care.

So no, not that hard a question. Just not a very good one.


August 7th, 2012 at 10:07 AM ^

The disconnect with reality lies in your thought that I am even remotely referring to football. Tell me that the affects of this punishment will only affect the football program. Tell me that some 1st year professor won't lose his job because of budget cuts even though he doesn't give a damn about college football. Tell me that some kid won't have his scholarship, (for something other than football) not renewed. Tell me that people who don't care about Joe Paterno or anything else to do with Athletics won't suffer at all from this. I'm sorry you can't get past football, but there will be victims.

LSA Aught One

August 7th, 2012 at 10:24 AM ^

When/why are these budget cuts you are theorizing going to materialize?  The ruling clearly stated that the money had to come directly from the football program.  Furthermore, PSU has to prove that the money came from Football and did not affect (you used it correctly once and incorrectly once) other sports or academics.  If the fans are still fans of the school and the alums are still going to donate, why would the university suffer?  People are still buying merchandise, games will still be on TV, classes are still being attended.  I am not sure where this doomsday scenario you have in your head originated, but it seems far-fetched.

Academics are academics.  They would be foolish to fire professors when the only thing they will have going for them after this is the high quality of education at this institution.


August 7th, 2012 at 10:45 AM ^

So feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. But are you suggesting that of the easily $100+ million dollars they are goin to lose/be fined, none of that money raised by football would have gone towards academics?


August 7th, 2012 at 10:56 AM ^

You are corrected.

None of the money they have been fined will come out of the budgets non-revenue sports or academics. It all has to come out of the football budget.

Even if your wack-a-doo doomsday scenario were to come about, if Penn State seriously considers lowering the quality of their education to save their football program, then they are too irresponsible as a university to have had a football program in the first place.


August 7th, 2012 at 11:14 AM ^

I'm not saying they will take it from academics. I'm asking does none of the money the football program would make go towards their academics at all. Does the athletic program support 0% of non athletics? For that matter does the football program only support the football program and nothing else?


August 7th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

Football revenue goes toward funding non-revenue sports, but seeing as Penn State is prohibited from cutting funding from their non-revenue sports, that shouldn't be a problem.

I don't understand why you're so caught up in the fines. If anything, they're the least siginificant part of the penalties. IIRC, immediately after Joe Pa's firing, Penn State received something like $200 million in donations. So enough money has already been raised by
PSU to cover the fines several times over.



August 7th, 2012 at 11:33 AM ^

The reason why I'm focusing on money is because that is the only place people outside the program are going to suffer. I'm not suggesting that the bowl ban and scholarship reduction is unjust. I would just prefer that people who couldn't care less about football don't suffer for the actions of a handful of people. If the only ones affected, whether it be directly or indirectly are people associated with the football program, whether it be fans, players, or coaches, then I withdraw m argument.

Clearly I misunderstood how the finances of a private college work.


August 7th, 2012 at 11:55 AM ^

Penn State is not a private university, they are a public university.

I don't know if Penn State is anything like Michigan, but Michigan's academic and athletic departments are wholly separate entities. None of the academic money ever crosses paths with the athletic money. Our athletic department survives entirely off of donations.

Someone could probably break it down better than I could, but that's the gist of it at U of M. I would imagine it's the same at most (if not all) large public universities.

I doubt that Penn State's endowment is being used to subsidize their football program, and if PSU's AD needs to borrow money from the university, it will more than likely pay it back and then some. I would imagine however, that there are more than enough wealthy PSU donors willing to help alleviate the financial burdens of the football program.

I've heard Penn State has a giant "rainy day" fund they will most likely tap in order to pay the fines.

Edit: Aaaaand, here's an article about the matter.



August 7th, 2012 at 2:23 PM ^

Not quite true.  The athletic department at Michigan sent two types of money into the academic funding of the school in 2011:

(1) a bit over $16 million in student aid (athletic scholarships); and

(2) a direct donation of close to $2 million to the general scholarship fund.

If PSU does it similarly, then one could expect a direct drop in #1 due to the reduction in scholarships, and expect #2 to dry up completely due to the need to fund the fine.

Those reductions, at Michigan, might not mean a professor gets laid off or a part-time professor doesn't get funded, but it would mean that some students would not get scholarships due to the disappearance of the general scholarship fund grant.  But that has been true at michigan in years past also, so it can't really be considered a "punishment" for those students.


August 7th, 2012 at 10:44 AM ^

Putting Sandusky in jail causes collateral damage to his family. I don't mind him being in jail. The only answer to avoid it is punish no one.

And for some reason  you seem to think there won't be any collateral damage from a legal ruling. What difference does it make if a court fines the school that money or the NCAA? Same damage. 

You're all over the place, back and forth, and your arguments just don't make much sense. Quit while you're behind.


August 7th, 2012 at 11:51 AM ^

You're all over the place. Either financial fines hurting others is bad, or it's not bad.  You went with the former.  Either it's something for only the courts, or the NCAA can have a say. You went with the former.  But if your position is that collateral damage is ok only if it's done by the courts, and not a private enterprise, well, then, that's just insane. By that reasoning a company can't fire someone who's costing a company millions because it might hurt his wife and kids.  The world is not a court of law, constitutional rights aren't applicable everywhere, nor should they be.

And they "fine" players all the time. Sometimes they take away games. (Since they're not paid). Sometimes they kick them out of school...which does stop them from being paid...their scholarship.  If any of those players don't like the decision they can pull a Pryor and just leave. You're right, they don't have to be in the club if they don't like it.

My only question is...what year did you get your degree from Penn State?


August 7th, 2012 at 12:16 PM ^

No my argument is simply this. Raping children and committing perjury is a criminal case and eventually a civil one. It should not be policed by a bunch of idiots who always claim to have no power to do anything. I don't see this as an athletic issue, which is what the NCAA is in charge of policing.

While I understand you were being facetious, I didn't go to Penn St and have no love for them. I just prefer the legal system to do it's job.


August 7th, 2012 at 1:05 PM ^

It's an athletic issue because high ranking athletic department and school officials acted to protect the athletic program.  They're not punishing PSU for child rape; they're punishing them for ignoring AND covering up child rape (to protect the image and success of their football program). There would be no punishment for having Sandusky if as soon as they found out about it they went public with it.

And I'm not sure how you can want the legal system to do its job, but complain that the NCAA never does its job, but when it does, it's a problem.


August 7th, 2012 at 1:49 PM ^

Everyone must also keep in mind that the NCAA's bylaws are written as such that almost anything can become an NCAA issue.

For example, one of them states something to the effect of (and I'm paraphrasing here, but someone no doubt has it on hand), "All member institutions have moral as well as ethical responsibilities to ensure the protection and well being of young people above all else."

Penn State was in gross violation of that, and it could also be argued that they received an unfair competitive advantage from the cover up.

For example, had the scandal broke after the 2001 season, almost immediately after McQueary first witnessed Sandusky in the shower with one of the children, that would have undoubtedly had a major impact on the program going forward.

Penn State's two biggest recruiting tools were Joe Pa, and their spotless reputation. Had the cover up come to light then, both of those things probably would have been gone. 

What would the fallout have been? What sanctions would the NCAA have lobbied? Who would have transferred? What recruits would have never considered Penn State in light of the scandal, and potentially looming NCAA sanctions?

Would Penn State have finished 11-1, won the Orange Bowl, and finished ranked 3rd in polls in 2005? I'm guessing no, and if PSU had been subjected to the same penalties they are now, starting in 2002, they wouldn't have even been eligible to play in the game.

They undoubtedly received an unfair advantage over all of the other schools in country who weren't covering up a major scandal.


August 7th, 2012 at 4:18 PM ^

I guess my problem will be how the NCAA continues to turn a blind eye to schools who are doing everything but coverig up child rape, and then insist they don't have the power to do anything. "We apologize to everyone with common sense, but we don't have the power to punish Cam Newton for his father selling him." Yet we find the power to punish everyone that had nothing to do with what happened to these kids.

I understand where you guys are coming from. But please tell me you can see the ridiculous hypocrisy here.


August 7th, 2012 at 5:32 PM ^

It's a perjury charge. They're not standing trial for the cover-up but for knowingly lying about it to the grand jury.. They might very well be found innocent of that charge--it's very, very hard to get a guilty verdict in a perjury trial in the US (they'll say they didn't understand the grand jury's questions, they'll say they couldn't remember ever discussing Sandusky even though we, and now they, know it happened because they left a paper trail)--without it having any bearing on what the NCAA is actually acting on, the fact of the cover-up itself.

For that we've got, among other extremely damning evidence, Curley's e-mail informing Spanier (and now us) that Paterno had talked him out of going the authorities. What exactly do you think we're going to find out in the trial that will overturn that? Do you think the e-mail was forged evidence and didn't really happen?

Again, the cover-up went on for somewhere between 10 and 14 years, depending on where you start the clock. The criminal charge is for a single incident in that cover-up, lying to the grand jury about it. Innocence or guilt on that particular charge isn't really germane.


August 7th, 2012 at 8:41 PM ^

Are much higher in a court than, well, reality, I would think my answer would be "So the deep comprehensive investigation Penn State hired came out with information that caused sanctions that Penn State agreed to are now wrong?" Oh well, take the penalty for being stupid PSU. You obviously are having problems handling anything. (Though considering the guy was convicted of child molestation, there's testimony they knew something was wrong with him, and they STILL let him on campus to use the facilities until very recently, I'm not sure how they're going to be "absolved" as a program)


August 6th, 2012 at 9:09 PM ^

Penn State lacks the balls to give the NCAA the finger.  All they have to do to give the NCAA the finger is withdraw from it.  No penalties then.  But the big mouths at PSU and elsewhere lack the integrity to push for this.  Instead, they applaud when four PSU board members appeal to the NCAA against the other 28 members, and when a family that doesn't even have standing files a frivolous lawsuit.

There is lots wrong with the NCAA, but none of it applies to this case.  PSU'ss administration  requested an expidited settlement, got it, agreed to it, and agreed not to appeal it.  The BoT endorsed the setllement.  Its only the rats in the wainscotting that are making noise.

Leaders And Best

August 6th, 2012 at 6:09 PM ^

This is what happens when you vote incompetent people to your Board of Trustees. I'm sure some of them are good people, but several of them are in over their head.

The alumni elect 9 of the members of the 30 plus Penn State Board of Trustees. Guess who they elected: 4 alumni who played football at PSU and a booster who ran on the platform of granting Joe Paterno head football coach "emeritus status "posthumously.  They elected Adam Taliaferro--a 30 year former football player who just graduated from law school.  If anything is an indictment of the culture gone wrong at PSU, the results of the BOT election by their own alumni is it. PSU is now reaping the whirlwind.


D.C. Dave

August 6th, 2012 at 6:14 PM ^

This is posturing and will go nowhere.

Universities can appeal sanctions handed down by the NCAA, but that is not what happened here. There was no investigation, there was the Freeh Report, commissioned by Penn State. The sanctions were agreed to by both parties, not handed down, and signed by the NCAA president and the Penn State president, who cleared with university counsel that he had the authority.

Had a consent decree not been signed, then the school would have been subjected to the standard enforcement process and could appeal that ruling if it found it unfair. But as the NCAA said last week when the Paterno family said it would appeal, the consent decree is not subject to an appeal. It is an agreement, a contract signed by both parties.

The trustees are wasting their time.


August 6th, 2012 at 6:29 PM ^

Consent decree management is what I do to pay the bills. Consent decrees are what happens after you have admitted to causing harm and are basically capitulating to the demands of the regulating body. Google Shine, McNeil or Novartis consent decree for some recent examples. If you tried to pull this bullshit on the FDA they would send out the Federal Marshalls and chain and lock the doors.
The NCAA should make a fucking example of Penn State and assert their authority. There isn't a lot of downside at this point. If PSU doesn't put these rogue trustees in check then the NCAA should play their full hand. This shit has gone on long enough.


August 6th, 2012 at 6:14 PM ^

This is a major university whose executives and board are in complete disarray. Frankly, it's an embarrassment to the Big Ten as well as college athletics.

I don't care about any other action being taken, but this school should absolutely not be a member of the Big Ten Conference, or the CIC.



August 6th, 2012 at 6:17 PM ^

According to the article, that idiot McCombie is acting on his own and not as a representative of the board. I would hope that the majority of the board would censure him (and the other clowns who signed on that suicidal appeal) and publicly oppose the appeal in the strongest possible terms. That might be unpopular in the short run, but dragging the school's name further into the mud would be much worse for them in the long run.


August 6th, 2012 at 6:30 PM ^

Penn State should be awarded its own, unique flavor of Kool-Aid. Or perhaps the faithful will await the return of Hale-Bopp over Beaver Stadium and they all will be taken up.


August 6th, 2012 at 6:47 PM ^

Seems like an awful idea. The very premise of the sanctions (as has been stated above) is that it was slightly less than what could have happened and Penn State essentially struck a deal to keep the football program going.

I wonder if there's a chance they get worse penalties under the same rules they're so upset the NCAA didn't follow. I so so so hope this happens


August 6th, 2012 at 6:53 PM ^

saying we're at this point, but when does the embarrassment of keeping them in the conference become too great? If this is four trustees? Two more? One lawsuit more? They're doing everything they can to alienate themselves, and it might be time to reconsider the Big Ten punishments.


August 6th, 2012 at 7:05 PM ^

I've always thought that Penn State fans existed in their own little bubble of unreality when it came to their football program. They thought they would come in and dominate the Big 10. They thought Penn State was the most popular team in college football. Then, when that turned out not to be true, they decided that the Big 10 only cared about Michigan and Ohio State. That the refs were biased against them. That Lloyd deviously got 2 seconds added to the clock. And ultimately, that Penn State had a "Grand Experiment" to balance athletics and academics that was different from what most schools that are both academic and athletic powerhouses attempt to do.

Now, I think that unreality goes far further than just football, that it speaks to a weird sense of collective persecution, even in the current, horrible circumstances.


August 7th, 2012 at 8:11 AM ^

They do exist in their own little bubble. Seriously, these are the sorts of comments that are atypical on Black Shoe Diaries (the PSU blog).


"Not only has JoePa contributed more since he's been dead, he’s been PSU’s best leader since he’s been dead. Yeah, that awesome."


Not only are they delusional, but they have the unmitigated gall to declare anyone who disagrees with them about the NCAA's ruling a "hater" who is "just jealous" of Penn State "or something."

They actually believe that they are "fighting the good fight" and "taking a stand against tyranny." They're angry about "due process" but they're too stupid to understand that it doesn't apply in this instance. 

They actually believe that if all of the major players in this are found not guilty that they somehow have a leg to stand on in legally pursuing a course of action against the NCAA (all the while ignoring that the one major player, Sandusky was already found guilty). I mean, a whole host of them actually believe that the federal court system will somehow come to their rescue and overturn the NCAA's penalties.

They are an embarrassment to the Big Ten.