For Penn State students, alum, and fans who were holding their breaths this weekend awaiting word on what the NCAA will do to the football program there is good news: the Nittany Lions will not face the death penalty. The bad news? They may wish they had.
According to sources, the NCAA will likely announce today some blistering punishments including the loss of scholarships, bowl appearances, and a hefty fine. So, likely it will cripple the once proud program for years to come and fans will have to sit and watch in disgust as every game, every down will be a reminder of the flawed oversight of the program for the past dozen years or so. The Death Penalty would have been bad, no doubt, but at least it would have been done, over. Not staring you in the face every fall Saturday afternoon for years to come. Better to have no season or an 0-10 season?
And if that weren’t enough, the University itself decided early Sunday morning to remove the statue of Joe Paterno that sat outside Beaver Stadium. Roads to the stadium were blocked, a blue-covered barricade put up around it and then workman started the removal process. We can certainly understand not wanting to wait until thousands had lined up to protest to the removal or block workers, but to some fans it will certainly seem like PSU pulled another fast one in the middle of the night, like firing JoePa last November.
We’re not closer to what’s going on in Happy Valley than the rest of you, but from where we sit, it certainly looks like the relationship between administration and well, everyone else there, is broken and will remain so for quite some time.
Sources are saying those eight players have been declared ineligible, but could still play for the Hurricanes this season. How? The NCAA can start the reinstatement process almost immediately (think how fast they moved on Auburn’s Cam Newton last season) and could mean players will only have to sit out a game or two . . . or maybe the entire season. Who knows?
Right now, each university has an NCAA regs compliance officer that reports to the school. You can sorta see why they might have a conflict of interest if they find something bad is going on. But what if those compliance officers actually worked for the NCAA? That’s the recommendation of Josh Luchs, a former agent who admitted paying college players.
And while we’re at it, a suggestion we came up with years ago: sports agents have to obtain a federal license (not a state one) to operate. You get caught doing something shady and the Feds pull your license and you’re out of business.
Brooks has gone WAY deeper on this one than we could ever hope to get, but if you visit his website, the trail of evidence linking current and past players with a suit-store owning booster who displayed signed ‘Bama memorabilia in his store sure makes you wonder why this isn’t getting more national press. Is it enough to have coaches and the university claim that nothing improper happened. Isn’t that what got Jim Tressel in trouble?
Maybe it’s because it’s Nick “The Saint” Saban and the Tide?
You have to give credit to #YahooSports for breaking a big story AGAIN! The question now: will the NCAA be able to take action against players who are already in the NFL? How do you punish one of the most corrupt programs in college football history? Will we see the “death penalty” handed out for only the second time in NCAA history? (At right, the University of Miami logo, where the U stands for “under-the-table.”)
In 100 hours of jailhouse interviews during Yahoo! Sports’ 11-month investigation, Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro described a sustained, eight-year run of rampant NCAA rule-breaking, some of it with the knowledge or direct participation of at least seven coaches from the Miami football and basketball programs.
I’m not expert on the massive bible of regulations known as the NCAA Bylaws, but it certainly appears that Duke’s long time basketball coach may have crossed the line when he offered 2012 recruit Alex Poythress a scholarship over the phone.
The real question is: if it is a violation, will the NCAA have the balls to actually enforce their rules against a big name coach of a hallowed program?