Should Penn State Decline Any Bowl Invitations?
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.