Reggie Bush single-handedly gave USC a two-year postseason ban with his selfish acts while attending the school. The infamous "Tat Five" scandal will leave Urban Meyer out of a bowl in his first season with Ohio State. Miami (Fla.) is currently being investigated for a major illegal booster bust and will likely face much of the same in terms of punishment.
Jerry Sandusky sexually abused children inside Penn State football walls for over a 15-year period (and now there are reports that there were incidents in the '70s and '80s), while 'legendary' coach Joe Paterno and the entire athletic department covered it up.
This is nowhere near the punishment level of improper benefits or selling memorabilia. Something needs to be done that would completely wipe the alarming culture created within Penn State, all while preventing this from ever happening again and sending a message to all other sexual predators at the same time.
The Penn State football program needs to be killed, and NCAA President Mark Emmert believes it's a viable option.
“I’ve never seen anything as egregious as this in terms of overall conduct and behavior inside of a university,” Emmert said in an interview with PBS' Travis Smiley. “I hope never to see it again. What the appropriate penalties are, if there are determinations of violations, we’ll have to decide.
“I don’t want to take anything off the table," he continued." The fact is, this is completely different than an impermissible benefits scandal that happened at SMU or anything else we’ve dealt with. This is as systemic a cultural problem as it is a football problem."
Southern Methodist (SMU) is the only program to ever receive the death penalty. It did not have football in 1987 or '88 after being penalized for under the table payments to its players.
And for those who say, 'Oh, well, the NCAA can't get involved because this isn't football-related.' Wrong.
“There have been people who’ve said this wasn’t a football scandal," said Emmert. "Well, it was more than a football scandal. Much more than a football scandal. It was that, and much more. We’ll have to figure out exactly what the right penalties are. I don’t know that past precedent makes particularly good sense in this case because it’s really an unprecedented problem.”
Seems to me like the NCAA has already decided to involve itself in this particular case. And if it does, for the sake of its credibility and existence, the only option would be to blow up the program for at least two seasons.
If what Southern Methodist officials did in the late '80s was enough to provoke a death penalty, then anything but the same in this case would be an atrocity. You have to sit back and think to yourself, 'Okay, if what they did was worth two years of extinction, what is 15-plus years of covering for a child rapist worth?'
“Again, I don’t want to prejudge where we will wind up with penalties, but right now is a very special moment in the history of the NCAA,” Emmert said. “There’s an enormous amount of political courage…to do the right thing on a variety of cases, and we’ve been demonstrating that again and again on a variety of cases.
"Whatever penalty structure is put in place again, if there’s findings of violations of our rules, the decisions will not be based upon whether people want to be courageous or not.”
Many believe the NCAA would hesitate to use the death penalty again because of the severe repercussions SMU took: Once a top program, the school has only recently became competitive again after having a winning record in only one of the first 20 seasons post-death penalty.
But Emmert seems ready to unleash on Penn State without holding back.
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