Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 of 48 counts of sexual abuse on Friday night, cuing the question as to whether or not Penn State will face violations for his actions from the NCAA.
Was it a lack of institutional control on behalf of Penn State? Yes, but not in the slightest of ways did it benefit the Penn State football team in any way plausible, much like can be argued with Reggie Bush’s stepfather receiving a house from an agent.
Having Penn State players, who were at the time kids themselves, being held responsible for the actions of the adults who came before them, is just wrong. Much like, you know, how the 2011 Trojans were penalized over the actions of Reggie Bush and his parents that took place back in 2004.
But regardless of how terribly the Penn State admission dropped the ball in the wake of Sandusky, they cannot and should not be taken down by the NCAA, as it’s a legal matter rather than one that should be decided by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
NCAA rules were created to avoid improper benefits and tampering with the integrity of the game. Although the ultimate sentence has been disputed, you cannot argue that the NCAA going after USC was in their bounds. O.J. Mayo took payments, and Reggie Bush received improper benefits any way you cut it.
Penn State however, has never been called a cheater. Sandusky’s fondling of the youth did nothing to put points on the board, nor did Joe Paterno’s blind eye question the eligibility of a Heisman Trophy winner.
For as much flack as the NCAA has received over the lambasting of USC in the fallout of the Bush-Mayo scandal, and rightfully so, breaking the back of Penn State football for the actions of a wayward monster would be criminal, especially for a team that’s had to deal with a million questions regarding the matter, and the biggest distraction to hit a team since Hurricane Katrina hurt the Saints and Hornets, in addition to the whole city of New Orleans.