This story is interesting. The NCAA announced sanctions against Penn State. The mainstream media is saying “Oooh! That’ll show them!” The sanctions actually are a slap on the wrist.
There was a $60M fine. That sounds like a lot of money. It’s approximately 1 year of football revenues for Penn State. Whenever a corporation is fined, the number sounds big, but it’s usually negligible compared to overall revenues.
There was a 4 year bowl ban. That’s pretty lenient. I expected a 10-20 year ban.
There was a cut in scholarships for 4 years, which is pretty lenient. Again, I expected 10-20 years.
They eliminated 12 years of Joe Paterno victories from the record books. That has no real financial penalty. Allegedly, they’re going back to when Joe Paterno and Penn State started covering up Sandusky’s problem.
There was one lenient bit. Current Penn State football players may transfer schools without penalty. Normally, the NCAA makes students sit out a year, unless the school waives the penalty. Usually schools treat their football players as property, and block transfers. However, it’s almost August. It’s probably too late for to switch schools for the 2012 season.
It isn’t clear if the NCAA had this authority at all. The crime didn’t involve any football players. Sandusky didn’t explicit break any rule regarding student athletes. The penalty is imposed under a generic morality clause, and not something specific.
However, Penn State’s new leaders are eager to accept the penalty and move on. It’s relatively lenient. It’s morality laundering. They did some bad things, but now got penalized, so it’s OK.
Overall, the penalty against Penn State was lenient. $60M is a drop in the bucket, compared to money they make off college football. A 4 year penalty isn’t that long. I expected 10-20 years.