Penn State Getting the Death Penalty For Sandusky Would Be Worse Than USC's Ban

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.

Tags: Death Penalty Jerry Sandusky NCAA

  • Joe Soriano

    Honestly, this is ridiculous. They’re punishing the program to the fullest extent for a huge mistake that a select few people made. I can understand a harsh punishment, but the death penalty is just too much.

  • Elizabeth (Go Blue!)

    “not in the slightest of ways did it benefit the Penn State football team in any way plausible”

    That is utterly absurd. Covering up the rapes had obvious and continuous direct benefits for the football team, most importantly by protecting Penn State’s image for recruiting purposes. Child rape is a taint to end all taints. And remember, Sandusky was not just some random coach who happened to work for Penn State for a period. This is a man popular enough to get a local ice cream named after him. This is a pillar of the Penn State mythos.

    The cover-up also allowed Paterno to coast the last decade to his precious victory record. If this scandal had broken five, ten or fifteen years ago, the entire history of Penn State football after that point would be different. Paterno would have been fired or stepped down far sooner, because the media and political environment would have been radically different.

    • joe

      First, turning in such a person would help your reputation not hurt it. Covering them up did nothing to help the team. Now helping an organization that was making money and funding campaigns, that’s a different story.
      Because charges were dropped in 98by the County DA, Sandusky could not be fired. However, he was talked into taking an early retirement. When that happened, his ability as a defensive coordinator had dropped off, way off.

  • Mike

    Sorry. I refuse to buy the crying a river for current Penn State players. This is a business, they would be allowed to immediately transfer and play at top programs and have a shot at the NFL. If Penn State is not punished for putting the profits of it’s program and the legacy of it’s coach ahead of bringing a child molester to justice, the NCAA might as well just close up shop. Those are two MAJOR benefits by the way of the cover up. There are few higher sins in terms of the administration of a major football program. From as far back as at least 2001, they had some knowing and either didn’t act or actively covered it up. If in 2001Mike McQueary had gone public, and let’s even say there wasn’t enough for a trial then, Penn State’s bottom line both financially and in terms of recruiting would have taken a major hit for several seasons to come. The legacy of their head coach would have been tainted right then and there. They covered it up and gained the chance at 11 more bowl game payouts, season ticket and merchandise sales, loads more star recruits, and massive donations from alumni. All of those would have taken a hit if McQueary had gone public. They covered it up to protect their future profits and the legacy of their head coach. That’s enough to get their chair.

  • kizilbash

    I am a lifelong Penn Stater, have been going to games since I was an infant, all of my family attended Penn State. I love Penn State. But if the university will not, finally, do the right thing and suspend the football program, I hope the NCAA will stwp in and do it for them. The reason why all these kids could be abused was expressly because of the insitutional cancer of intercollegiate football. It is time Penn State demonstrate that it is about more than a game, and it prizes ethics above money.


    As a person who has worked at Penn State for 23 years I am embarrassed, appalled, and saddened at this horrible tragedy. My heart goes out to the victims and it has personally made me sick to my stomach and those involved should receive the punishment that is justified. I do not however agree that Penn State should receive the death penalty for football. We have suffered greatly already and will continue for years to try and build our reputation to where it once was..While this school it SO much more than football, it is football that unfortunatley has allowed us to grow our reputation in so many academic areas. Our science and engineering programs rank nationally and internationally..Punishing us with the death penalty will punish not just football but every aspect of life in Centre County. We are not a big metro area but an institution in the middle of cow fields..People’s livelihoods and existence in a large part are due to Penn State..If you kill football for even 3 years we could experience an economic collapse in the whole area. If you look at a weekend in State College during football season, we have the third largest population in the state..And you look at the businesses that depend on the football weekends to fund the yearly budgets from the hotels and restaurants, to clothing and local stores..A death penalty would kill the area economically..I believe in sanctions and please take away wins, take away bowl games, but please do not take away our lives, those of us that had nothing to do with these horrible crimes. We are a good place and university that has been ripped apart by the actions of a few. A death penalty is only hurting the wrong people.

    • Jeff Evans

      Spanier and Curley likely made the same argument to themselves to rationalize their silence about Sandusky. Reality’s harsh sometimes, but businesses close, people move on, and life goes on. It happens everywhere for lots of different reasons. Economic hardship isn’t a reason to treat their unethical conduct with kid gloves. Central PA’s weak business climate might be a reason to direct anger at state and local politicians, but it’s not an excuse to avoid draining an ethical swamp from University Park.

  • Jeff Evans

    Oh cry me a f*cking river. Penn State made tens of millions during the years that university officials covered this up. The athletic program’s financial interest clearly took precedence over any other consideration — including the safety of children.

    I lived in State College from 2001 to 2004 and it became obvious to me during that time that the athletic department was PSU’s top priority (and their cash cow). There’s no greater “lack of institutional control” than ignoring child abuse committed in athletic facilities by a coach. PSU’s financial motives in failing to report Sandusky’s crimes are obvious to an objective observer. Spanier, Curley, and Paterno ignored an obvious conflict of interest in trying to treat Sandusky’s behavior as an internal matter. The NCAA will lose all credibility if there aren’t severe consequences for the protect-the-program culture that let “the Dean of Linebacker U” continue abusing children.

    • Central PA Farmland

      Hey Jeff,

      We miss you too.

  • TruthyNews

    You are insane. This became an institutional concern the moment McQueary witnessed the abuse, and it became an institutional failure the moment McQueary, Paterno, and all the rest failed to take action as University employees and representatives of the football program.

    The football program should be suspended for several years (about 5). This is the only way to prevent such cover-ups from happening in the future. Penn State should then be required to offer its current football players either: (a) full tuition to stay at Penn State or (b) full tuition to attend another university where they can play football. This would minimize punishment of the current players without letting Penn State off the hook.

  • WVUcouchburner

    PSU and their fans need to come down from their high and mighty perch and be leveled to the ground with the death penalty. This scumbag was allowed to use PSU facilities after they knew what he had done. Everything at Penn St was about the glorification of PSU football and Joe Paterno, and it didn’t matter who got hurt along the way.

  • Papa

    What I can’t figure out is why the DA and Louis Freeh wouldn’t just come and talk to you folks since you all know exactly what happened and what everyone knew. I get it….anything spewed from the mouth of an ESPN talking head is finding of fact.

    If you are willing to mete out the Death Penalty before the investigation and before the Schulze/Curley trials, you simply have your own agenda and it has nothing to do with protecting children.

  • mikeysol

    Wow! I cant believe a Trojan wrote this.
    “Not in the slightest of ways did it benefit the Penn St. football team”.
    The Freeh Report confirms a cover up. What were they protecting?
    The football programs ability to recruit and fundraise. That has direct
    competitve implications. If USC should have known what happened in San Deigo,
    then Penn St. should have known, what was happening in its showers.