I am sorry. I see this whole PSU mess differently. I don't really see Paterno and the other powers to be as putting "program and school" first, but protecting themselves. There is evidence that there was claims against Sandusky before '98. There are people that were on record from '92, and now claims from before then. The Clery Act was passed in '91. If there was a claim against Sandusky from '92-98, which there is a good chance, and JoePa helped Sandusky cover it up, then Joepa would be in violation of state and federal laws and looking at jail time. JoePa might have thought he was helping his friend cover up a one time mistake, misunderstanding, false claim, etc. Then in '98 when another claim hit the fan - Sandusky had JoePa trapped. If JoePa turned him in, the Sandusky would have ratted him out and both of them would have gone to jail. If you were 70+ years old, knowing you should only have a few more years left on this earth, would you speak up and spend the rest of those years in jail, losing the fortune that you have built a lifetime building and see your beloved school raked through the mud, or would you try and cover up the mess one more time? We all hope that we would protect the kids, and suffer the fates, but we were not in JoePa's shoes at that moment in time. So in '98 he convinces the Powers to Be to help make the issue go away. JoePa stays out of jail (which he would have faced at that time) and PSU builds a fence around Sandusky to protect him, the kids, and the school. Then in '01 Sandusky strikes again. This time he not only has JoePa, but the school President, AD and many others caught in the cover up. Now it is not JoePa facing jail and losing everything they built, but most of the power structure at the school. Any wonder why Sandusky was able to keep all of those perks that we wonder why? He was blackmailing everyone to protect his turf. While people want to say that they were protecting the program and putting athletics before honor, it just does not ring with me. These men put themselves before the school, program and most importantly the kids. They not only protected Sandusky, but provided him the tools to continue his perverted acts. I have no love loss for PSU, Paterno and the other men that had a chance to stop Sandusky and put their own personal gain and power before the safety of kids.
On the other hand, the move the NCAA did worries me. I don't have issues with the actual punishments. I have issues with how fast they were handed out, and the appearance of bullying from the NCAA president to accept these penalties or else. What happens is more evidence comes out that is more damning that the Freeh report. The Freeh report is one team's investigation. There are still several trials to come. If more damning evidence comes out, will the NCAA pile on more punishments? What would constitute more punishment? We hope that this is a one of a kind case that will never be repeated on any scope, but where is the line drawn for the NCAA? I would have had no issue with the NCAA doing a starting point punishment like a post season ban for the up coming year and allowing all incoming recruits the chance to change their commitments without sitting out. They could let everyone know that the investigation is on going and more punishments are expected.
As for the death penalty, I don't see the NCAA ever handing it down again. Why? it punishes to many people and programs beyond the actual school. Think about how many business in Happy Valley are built around PSU 7/8 home games a year. Plus what of all the teams on their schedule having to replace a game at the last minute and the costs involved. What if OSU ended up losing a home game. The economic impact in Columbus (or Ann Arbor, Madison, Lincoln, etc.) would run in the 10's of millions of dollars. Why should those towns and economies be punished for a Penn St. matter? Do you think that there would be some major lawsuits against not only PSU, but the NCAA directly? What PSU received is the modern day version of the death penalty. It prevents teams from having to do last minute rescheduling. It will cripple the PSU program for a decade at least. But as a whole, will keep the economies in place and minimize the economic impact that a canceled season would impose on schools and cities that had no part in this mess.