NCAA, Big Ten Hand Down Fair Punishment to Penn State, not Players

By Steve Kish

After the announcement of the penalties handed down by both the NCAA
and the Big Ten on the Penn State University and its football program
now the the question arises, “is it fair to the players?” The players
didn’t break any rules, they didn’t bring this upon themselves, yet
they are the ones that are suffering the most.

Penn State was hit with program crushing penalties, loss of 20
scholarships a year, a four year bowl ban, and the ability for current
players to transfer immediately. These three penalties will not only
make recruiting nearly impossible for first year head coach Bill
O’Brien, it will also tear apart his current roster. Penn State will
not be competitive in the forseeable future. This current Penn State
roster will fall apart faster than the Mayan civilization disappearing
in the 9th century. Who can blame these players for abounding this
sinking ship of a football program.

The players are the ones hurt from these penalties. Yet the NCAA had
to do something to show that they won’t allow this to happen again. I
would believe the rest of the FBS schools saw this and immediately
went on high alert to keep their respective programs clean. This is
unknown waters for the NCAA, usually penalties come from breaking some
sort of rules involving players, yet the players were innocent and now
turned into victims of these penalties.

Silas Redd received an overwhelming amount of phone calls from other
universities for his services. Redd is going into his junior year and
rushed for 1,241 yards and 7 touchdowns last season. Will Gerald
Hodges stay or transfer is another question? The senior is a preseason
All-American on some lists after a 106 tackles (10 for a loss) and one
interception junior campaign. Will he want to spend his last year on a
team that can’t play in the Big Ten Championship Game or a bowl game?
Also notable Nittany Lions that could be on the move are wide receiver
Justin Brown, defensive tackle Jordan Hill, linebacker Mike Mauti, and
kicker Anthony Fera. With the possible loss of these upper classmen
what should we expect from incoming recruits.

Will four star recruits WR Eugene Lewis and OG Brian Gaia want to play
for a team that won’t see the postseason, even if they stay all four
years. Will they want to be on a team that won’t be able to recruit at
the level the rest of the BIg Ten teams can. Those 20 scholarships
lost will be a huge adversity to overcome. Other recruits like three
star QB Steven Bench and three star RB Akeel Lynch will most likely
look elsewhere.

Honestly can you blame them for wanting to be able to compete, be able
to play in a championship game, a bowl game, be part of the first
Final Four in 2014? We can’t, any parent would want their child to be
able to play and compete at the highest level. We understand that the
NCAA had to hand down a punishment for what Paterno and others covered
up. The tragic side of this is for the players. The kids growing up
dreaming of playing for Penn State, now that dream needs to be weighed
on heavily.

By Steve Kish

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