From the very beginning, from the very first whispers of scandal at Penn State, it never really made sense to me how the NCAA could get involved with the punishment process. The NCAA is after all a governing body that deals with agents, text logs and free tattoos. The situation at Penn State was one of the worst criminal cover-ups in the history of our country. In essence, they had nothing to do with each other. They weren’t even apples and oranges, but two different entities all together.
So in the end, why would the NCAA get involved? What “punishment” could they hand out that would possibly fit the crime? A bowl ban? Take away a few scholarships? That all seemed so shallow and crass, and ultimately insignificant relative to what we’re talking about with this particular case. And what we’re really talking about in this case are ruined lives. That is the sad reality here, and the truth about what Jerry Sandusky did to his victims and what the administration at Penn State helped cover up. Lives were in fact ruined. And I found it impossible to believe any NCAA jurisdiction could help change that.
Eventually though it became clear that the NCAA was going to hit Penn State with sanctions, and at that point my only hope was that if they came down on the school… that they REALLY came down on them. Simply put, taking away trips to the Outback Bowl or scholarships from 17-year-old kids wasn’t enough; that’s what you do to football programs that break NCAA rules, not institutions which cover up some of the most heinous crimes known to man. Ultimately, if the NCAA was going to intervene, my only hope was that their punishment made one thing abundantly clear: Any sanctions against the school had nothing to do with football, and instead everything to do with changing the culture around the entire university that allowed this to happen.