NEW YORK (AP) --- The president of the NCAA says he isn't ruling out the possibility of shutting down the Penn State football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.While I would personally have no problem with the NCAA throwing the book at Penn State University, however, I don't think it's going to happen. Not in this case. All you have to do is look to the SMU scandal of the 1980's to realize that there might never be another NCAA death penalty handed out again – the death penalty buried the SMU football program into a twenty year period of mediocrity that they are finally recovering from now.
In a PBS interview Monday night, NCAA President Mark Emmert said he doesn't want to "take anything off the table" if the NCAA determines penalties against Penn State are warranted. Emmert said he's "never seen anything as egregious as this in terms of just overall conduct and behavior inside a university."
He added, "What the appropriate penalties are, if there are determinations of violations, we'll have to decide." The last time the NCAA shut down a football program with the so-called "death penalty" was in the 1980s, when SMU was forced to drop the sport because of extra benefits violations.
After the NCAA suspended the SMU program for a year, the school decided not to play in 1988, either, as it tried to regroup.
In 2002, John Lombardi, then president of the University of Florida and now president of the Louisiana State University System, expressed the sentiment of many college officials when he said:That’s not to say that the acts that happened on PSU’s campus aren’t egregious, because they are disgusting – there is also no way to sugar coat this mess. I am just not hopeful that the NCAA will do it in this instance. We will be watching to see how this shakes out.
“ SMU taught the committee that the death penalty is too much like the nuclear bomb. It's like what happened after we dropped the (atom) bomb in World War II. The results were so catastrophic that now we'll do anything to avoid dropping another one.”
Now we find out from an L.A. Times article that the Sandusky might have been abusing young boys as early as the 1970’s. Wow!
Joe Paterno’s family continued its fight Monday to save the reputation of one of college football’s most honored coaches, insisting that it will conduct its own investigation into the Penn State University child sex-abuse scandal tied to Jerry Sandusky. Meanwhile, reports that Sandusky may have abused some victims as early as the 1970s raised new questions about the already complicated legal liability issues in the scandal.So the sports world is watching – what the NCAA does next is anyone’s bet…
Citing "sources close to the Jerry Sandusky case," the Patriot-News reported that three men have told police that they were abused in the 1970s or 1980s by Sandusky, who was convicted in June on 45 criminal charges of sexually abusing boys. He is in jail awaiting sentencing...