The NCAA sanctions against Penn State are all that's in the news here in Philly today.
-Vacating the wins from 1998-2011. Good, it punishes Paterno and his legacy. That's on point.
-Reduction of scholarships and post-season bowl ban for four years. This punishes the football program, which (apparently) had too much power within Penn State. The issue I have here is that the only people really being punished are players that had nothing to do with Sandusky's crimes or Paterno's abuse of power. The new coach and the current (and future) players are the ones left holding the bag.
-$60 million fine. Now this is outrageous to me. How the hell is this being paid for? The NCAA requested it not come in the form of higher tuition or program cuts, but the money has to come from somewhere, doesn't it? So where will PSU turn to for the cash? As a taxpayer, I'm really pissed about this. Who is the NCAA to demand this ransom? Students should be outraged too. Let's not forget that the victims will certainly be paid a king's ransom in civil penalties. All told, I'm sure this will cost PSU between $100-200 million. Probably a lot more when you consider the long term effects now that football won't be generating much revenue. Penn State football is sunk for the next decade at least. Let's not forget too that there are businesses like restaurants, hotels, etc that depend on gameday revenue during the football season. I'm sure they're sweating whether or not they can be profitable once the dust settles.
The responsible actors in this episode are either dead (Paterno), convicted / incarcerated (Sandusky), or under investigation and/or charged (Curly, etc). I can understand punishing an institution if there is an institutional conspiracy, but these NCAA sanctions (particularly the $60 million fine) seem excessive. It's like the NCAA is piling on. Penn State is already going to get crushed in civil suits, and the responsible individuals are facing criminal sanction. Let's not forget that Penn State spared no expense and brought in former FBI director Louis Freeh to do a top to bottom review of the entire string of incidents.
Let's put this another way: Imagine. a heinous crime was committed in your town. The mayor and chief of police got fired (and will be charged in the future), the highway department chief died, the assistant highway department chief was put away for life, and the town was facing millions of dollars in civil suits. Then, the county decides it wants to punish the town as well by collecting a huge fine and also making the town you live in a less desirable place to live (maybe they close or otherwise curtail a nice park). Would this make sense?