Monday, July 23, 2012

Penn State Gets It, But I Still Don't Know What "Extreme" Is

Well, it went down today. NCAA laid the wood to Penn State, and the Big Ten gave a pile-on kick to the stomach for good measure.

At least I get to trumpet that I got most of the penalties correct.

And I think all in all, the NCAA won the day. I mean, who could really argue? (Besides this guy. Oh, and the Paternos.)

Mark Emmert says penalties were "Thiiissss Big."
If there were going to be sanctions, they had to be tough. At least there will be games played. While they will still be affected, those whose businesses depend on Penn State can still walk on. Maybe not as high as they could have, but there dreams aren't shattered. Penn State players can stay, or they can go - it's up to them. (Obviously not their #1 choice, as they wanted to play for Penn State and compete for national titles, but they can still play football.) The fans can still sport their jerseys on Saturdays and chant "We Are... Penn State!"

It ain't perfect - a lot of innocent people are getting a raw deal. (Or at least considerably less than ideal.) But in a situation like this, collateral damage was probably unavoidable.

And in the end, after I read and understood the penalties. I really felt okay about it. I'm not a Penn State fan, so I'm sure they feel different, but I think the rest of the college football world probably understood, knew it was severe, and can likely sleep tonight with the decision.

For this individual situation, this was probably about as good as we could do without a time machine to stop it all in the first place.

However, my concerns about these disciplinary actions have not changed. If the head of the NCAA can step in and be judge, jury, and executioner in "extreme situations" - where's the line that defines "extreme"? Everyone was pretty up in arms this time last year about Miami, prostitutes, and "bounty" payments to Hurricane football players.

Gregg Williams and Jonathan Vilma.
Nothing to see here.
"Bounty"? Sounds familiar. And I recall an executive taking pretty "extreme" actions against the offender in that case. Like, somebody ain't coaching at all this year. (And another dude will likely never coach again.)

If this Penn State horror had happened a year ago, and this year the Miami story broke... would Mark Emmert have stepped in there?

I don't know, and I doubt anyone else knows either. But once a door is open, sometimes those things are hard to close.

The decision to discipline was made for this situation, and I can see why it was. I'm just curious where the "extreme" bar is set. Does anyone know?

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