According to a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer, the NCAA is considering once again reducing the sanctions against Penn State levied in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The Inquirer reports that Penn State, the NCAA, and state officials are negotiating proposals that include restoring the 111 wins taken away from Joe Paterno, as well as ensuring the $60 million fine Penn State has to pay stays "within the state and the university, to be used for child protection."
If the NCAA does indeed reduce the penalties against Penn State, it will basically complete a process of backtracking on the sanctions that began 16 months ago. In Sept. 2013 the NCAA restored some scholarships to Penn State, and in Sept. 2014 it restored the rest as well as lifted Penn State's bowl ban. That the main two punishments that have not yet been touched—the $60 million fine and vacating Paterno's 111 wins—are under consideration for modification signals a near-complete reversal of what were historic sanctions.
I could rain fire and brimstone down on the NCAA for how they've handled the whole situation, but Dom's words from 16 months ago are just as apt today:
No, the "goal" here was really for the NCAA to exert its own self-proclaimed moral authority into a situation into which it had no jurisdiction. The sanctions were never about any of that crap Emmert had some flack fart onto a page for him; they were the NCAA's way of showing everyone it's got a handle on the matter, that it's doing something about the scourge of a university "culture" that had the audacity to put "football first." But that "football first" "culture" remains alive and well at campuses throughout the country, and the NCAA remains one of its chief enablers and beneficiaries. And now, by giving back some of the scholarships it had no business taking away in the first place, the NCAA wants us to believe it is doing so to provide "additional education opportunities." This is the twisted logic of an organization that increasingly needs a reason to exist.
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