NCAAF, Penn State

Should Penn State Decline Any Bowl Invitations?

11/28/11 in NCAAF   |   xoJillian   |   60 respect

This question is a lot more relevant now that the Nittany Lions aren't in a position to compete for a Rose Bowl berth.

The Lions have spent the second half of the season engulfed in a scandal by previous Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky. The alleged actions and inaction by many within the school administration led to the firing of Joe Paterno and others. Many believe that the inaction was done in part because of a mentality that football is above all in Happy Valley. So, should Penn State try to get out in front of the scandal and decline any invitations to bowl games.

As it is, Penn State will probably end up in the Gator Bowl, but they could also be invited to the TicketCity, Insight, or Meineke Car Care Bowls.

Many will say that Joe Paterno and the AD are gone, and innocent students should not be punished for the alleged actions of Jerry Sandusky and the administration. However, we know that the NCAA doesn't exactly work this way. There are actions by individuals that have consequences that actively affect innocent players. See: USC this year.

Penn State needs to distance itself from the scandal, and one way of doing so may be to acknowledge that the culture of "football above all" is a problem and they are going to spend the offseason rebuilding the program. Sure, innocent seniors won't get to play a final bowl game, but such is life. The fact that Penn State students were rioting because Joe Paterno got fired was an embarrassment to the school and completely insensitive given the situation currently happening in Happy Valley. This is not to say that Penn State doesn't deserve to play in a bowl game, but it might be in the school's best interest to recognize that they need to take a step back from football and fix the system within the school.

Many, many people will disagree with me I'm sure. Maybe this would be a strong argument after Louis Freeh, former FBI director, finishes his complete investigation of the school.
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12/1/11   |   evilc72

I don't have the utmost confidence in Louis Freeh's investigation. Because, for one, He is being paid by Penn State. Secondly, look at all the scandals he was involved in during his tenure as FBI director.
That being said...

An emphatical YES. PENN STATE should decline their bowl invitations. As unfortunate as it may be for the players that didn't have anything to do with it. Current or past. It was still that very football program from where the scandal lies. 

And as I said "before" JoePa said he would resign at the end of the season. I think he should resign now! Putting two months ahead of him, just gives the BoT two months to fire him or force his resignation. And look what happened...

By the same mindset, Penn State has a letter from the NCAA they have until Dec. something, to answer, (the 16th, I think?) and I don't think there are any right answers they can come up with that will save them. 
So by declining their bowl invitations, they're saving themselves from retroactive sanctions that will most likely be imposed on them. Kind of like when you are arrested and jailed and you could get bailed out, but you either can't afford it. Or, know you're guilty and don't mind sitting in the inevitable cell, just wanting to get it over with ASAP... i.e. TIME SERVED.   

Miami has decided to decline bowl initiations for their previous players, playing for pay.  

11/28/11   |   hotdog5054   |   13015 respect

mblueberry11 wrote:
The school should be punished.  They should not appear in the Bowl games.  The students had nothing to do with the scandal but it doesn't work that way.  Schools make a tremendous amount of money for appearing on TV, and that is the root of all the cover-ups.

THE O.S.U SCHOOL  HAS BEEN PUNISHED ENOUGH THEY  HAD TO GIVE UP  EVERY WIN  LAST YR.INCLUDE THE SUGAR BOWL WIN. AS IT HAS BEEN  STATEMENT  THESE PLAYER'S HAVEN'T HAD ANYTHING TO DO  WITH  WHAT I USE TO  CALL  THE MARK BOWL.,WITH THE  SCANDAL  AND  A HAND SPANKED  AT THE TIME.BUT  THESE  PLAYER NOW SH0ULD BE REWARD  FOR COMING BACK  FROM  ANM AWFUL  START  TO  A GREAT SEASON.

11/28/11   |   hotdog5054   |   13015 respect

AT  1ST THOUGHT I WOULD HAVE  SAY  YES  THEY SHOULD  DECLINE,BUT  AFTER  LOOKING  THOUGHT YOU'RE COMMENTS.I HAVE  CHANGE  MY  MIND  AND  I AM AN ARKANSAS FAN  AS  MOST OF YOU ARE KNOW. WITH THERE RECORD THOUGHT  I DON'T THING  IT SHOULD  BE  A JAN. BOWL GAME. OR AN AT LARGE BID.

JUST  MY THOUGHT  WITH THEM  HAVE TO LOSE ALL  12 GAMES LOST YR INCLUDED  THE SUGAR BOWL AND RETURNING THE  MONEY IF I AM THINK RIGHT,OH  MAYBE THEY SHOW  .

11/28/11   |   mblueberry11   |   17 respect

The school should be punished.  They should not appear in the Bowl games.  The students had nothing to do with the scandal but it doesn't work that way.  Schools make a tremendous amount of money for appearing on TV, and that is the root of all the cover-ups.

11/28/11   |   junebugracingred   |   5055 respect

The current players had NOTHING to do with the scandal and should not be punished by skipping what they worked for all season!  They have every right to play! 

11/28/11   |   ML31   |   3671 respect

The more I hear about this the more I am thinking Penn State is going to have to voluntarily drop that program to save the rest of the school.  For at least 5 years and then start again from scratch.

11/28/11   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Perhaps instead of skipping a bowl in honor of the victims (I'm not sure how you honor someone by skipping something?) perhaps the university should donate all revenue generated by the trip to the bowl game to victims' rights groups? That way there is a tangible positive coming from the game.

Now whether or not the bowl trip would generate revenue is a whole 'nother question.... 

11/28/11   |   goinmywaty

So they miss a Bowl game - big deal.

If the players themselves announced they will decline any Bowl game invitation in honor of the victims, that will go a long way in showing that PSU is an institution of dignity and morals.   To me, that's more important right now than one Bowl game.

Can't anyone in that university step up and do SOMETHING to show these victims they are sorry?  Damn.

11/28/11   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

I can definitely see where you are coming from, Jillian, but I don't think I agree. There is just too much collateral damage involved. In short, the punishment wouldn't fit the crime, and here is why I think that:

-This is story of one sick, horrible individual and a coverup by a few others. Penn State players and fans are not, and were never at fault. Yet, those would be the people principally punished if the Nittany Lions turned down a bowl appearance. It wouldn't punish the main culprit, Sandusky, as he is no longer with the university, nor would it punish the other offending parties (Paterno, Spanier, Curley, McQueary etc.) as they are also no longer with the university. 

-It does, however, affect players and coaches futures. A bowl game is a chance for players to showcase their skills to professional scouts and a reward for what took place on the field, not off of it. It is also a chance for Tom Bradley to show whether he should remain the team's new head coach. While I understand that what happens off the field is intertwined with what happens on it, this has nothing to do with those still associated with the program. 

-Not going to a bowl isn't going to change the football culture. If anything, it will only make fans more angry. I think what is best is for Penn State players and coaches to show that they can play football with class, dignity and respect for those around them--and they only way to do that is to continue to play.

-I agree with your argument that "the NCAA doesn't exactly work this way" re: USC. It is a shame that the Trojans can't play in the Pac-12 title game and UCLA is, and that they can't compete for a BCS bowl bid. And Penn State's day will likely come to deal with the NCAA, fair or not. But that has to be after the criminal proceedings have run their course. While the situations are different (USC involved a player, Penn State didn't) they are similar because eventually those punished will not be the perpetrators of the crime--which will never be fair. 

11/28/11   |   xoJillian   |   60 respect

I absolutely agree that the current players had NOTHING to do with the scandal. However, the entire coaching staff coached under Joe Paterno, and a significant amount coached under Sandusky as well and it's pretty unclear what they did and did not know.

Additionally, it's not that the players should be punished, it's that right now the culture of "football above all else" is very prevalent at around Penn State (as evidenced by the students RIOTING when Joe Paterno was fired, and one of the victims having to drop out of a local high school because his classmates blamed him for Joe Paterno's firing). Until that mindset changes, or until people realize that somethings are bigger than football, then things like this may continue to go unreported to protect programs. THAT is what needs to be punished.

11/28/11   |   WhoDat12   |   2252 respect

Why should they?  The players on the Penn State team had NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING to do with the scandal.  They shouldn't be punished for things that happened that did not involve them.