Joe Paterno 2 Penn State punished, too harsh?The hard hand of Mark Emmert and the NCAA came down today on Penn State. The punishments are harsh for the school, but thoughtfully lesser on the students.

For starters, Penn State will have to shell out a $60 million dollar fine for covering up the Jerry Sandusky scandal. According the NCAA report Penn State committed a “football first” by allowing child sexual abuse to continue by being enabled under the football association. The integrity of the institution was repeatedly compromised when officers of authority chose to turn the other cheek. The NCAA executive commitee directed association president Mark Emmert to determine appropriate actions regarding the officials  from Penn State. Students have the right to feel trust in school officials and that bond was broken.Those that chose to drop the ball have to be dealt with individually. “As we evaluated the situation, the victims affected by Jerry Sandusky and the efforts by many to conceal his crimes informed our actions,” said Emmert. “At our core, we are educators. Penn State leadership lost sight of that.” Emmert recognizes that as educators a school  has the responsibility to protect the best interests and safety of their students.

Secondly, Penn State will suffer a four year post season ban. Thankfully the NCAA  recognizes that student-athletes are not responsible for what took place and were sure to lessen the impact of its sanctions on football-athletes. Any student-athlete who is either entering or returning will be offered the choice to transfer and compete at another school. If a student decides to remain with Penn State they will retain their scholarships, regardless of whether they choose to compete on a team or not. This is great for students as they have a choice in their future and the impact will not stifle their success.

Last but certainly not the least of the punishments. ALL wins from Penn State from 1998-2011 will be vacated. This is perhaps the most harsh punishment of them all. Considering this will erase the legacy of Joe Paterno. Sadly Joe Paterno will no longer go down in history as being one of the best coaches, he will be known as the coach who had his winnings erased because of a sexual abuse cover up. Hindsight is 20/20 but we all are wondering how different this all would have been if someone would have had the balls to stand up for what was right and bring what Sandusky was doing to the surface when this all started. Perhaps Paterno would still be with us, and his legacy would have been known for what it was not tarnished by such a tragedy.