Penn State Might Not Have a Team to Field in 2012
But it might be worse than we think.
Along with 20 scholarship reductions, a $60 million fine, and a four-year postseason ban, NCAA President Mark Emmert said today that every current and incoming player on the roster will be granted transfer with immediate eligibility.
Back when SMU was hit with the "death penalty" in 1987, it had to miss the following season because it could not field a team. This is a similar situation to that of Penn State's.
The NCAA has stated that it will consider allowing schools to take Penn State transfers on top of their own current scholarship counts without any penalty. This means other teams could basically get players for free: Alabama, Ohio State, USC could grab Penn State players.
If that happens, the Nittany Lions' roster would be decimated and probably not even worth fielding. A team full of walk-ons versus one of the highest competition levels in the nation of the Big Ten? I'd rather just take the year off to focus on the future.
It's likely that some of the newer players will bolt for better opportunities: incoming freshman are already making their move. Most of the senior class will probably stay, but it wouldn't surprise me to see a handful leave to improve their draft stock and play for a bowl game.
That said, it'll be interesting to see whether coach Bill O'Brien and Co. have a team to field this fall.
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