Joe Paterno statue removed by Penn State

The Joe Paterno statue came down today, and tomorrow Penn State will learn about the reported “unprecedented” penalties coming down from the NCAA. The buzz on Twitter suggests it won’t include the death penalty, and that Penn State will not appeal the ruling, suggesting that perhaps a deal has been struck behind closed doors.

All of this is moving quickly, but meanwhile SPORTSbyBROOKS is highlighting a story from 2006 suggesting that pressure came down on students to refrain from pressing charges against Penn State football players involved in an alleged brawl.

The culture at Penn State was way over the top, and Paterno had a serious personal failure with his involvement with the Sandusky crimes. Paterno himself would have been subject to indictment had he lived and had the prosecutor been able to corroborate the Freeh report. In many ways this is a special case and the NCAA will be doing something very out of the ordinary with these penalties. Nothing can reverse Sandusky’s crimes or Penn State’s cover-up, but serious punishment of the program is in order.

But the systematic problems revealed at Penn State are not unique, as millionaire football coaches all over the country rule their programs with an iron fist. Hopefully the NCAA considers that as the sanctions here should serve as a model on how to clean up a football program, beyond just punishing Penn State for the horrible cover-up of Sandusky’s crimes. For example, no football coach should be able to influence student discipline for crimes outside of football. All academics should be completely separate from the football program.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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