Weekend Debate: Should The NCAA Punish Penn State's Football Program?

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 12: The Penn State Nittany Lions and the Nebraska Cornhuskers line up during the game on November 12, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. Nebraska won 17-14. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Last Week's Results: Who is the greatest villain in the history of Husky football? It was a great race, Barbara Hedges jumped out to an early lead, then Tyrone Willingham fought hard to catch up. They were neck and neck until Willingham did something rather out of character, he pulled into the lead and held it long enough to get the win! With a record breaking 867 votes, the Dawg fans spoke, cementing Willingham's position as the greatest villain in UW football history. Personally, I think Gerberding got off rather easy, I wonder if the hate toward Willingham will also fade in 20 years.

This Weekend's Debate: Should the NCAA punish Penn State Football Program? Yesterday news broke that Penn State's internal investigation concluded that the school President, Athletic Director, and Head Coach (among others) actively concealed what they knew about Jerry Sandusky's actions, in order to protect the public image of the school and football program.

After spending a fair amount of time listening to sports radio yesterday, I was surprised how many people thought the NCAA should get involved and should punish Penn State, but I was even more surprised how many people thought the "death penalty" would be an appropriate punishment. The longtime Dawg Pound faithful know me well enough to know that I am normally the guy who has little to no sympathy for players and coaches that screw up off the field. I'm the guy who would rule with an "iron fist", if a player screws up, make an example out of them. You want people to take you seriously, than shoot a hostage! That being said, my initial reaction was that the NCAA should not punish the football program, which seemed to put me in the vast minority.

After spending much of the afternoon and evening considering what I know about the Penn State scandal, questioning why I was suddenly in the minority when it came to harshly punishing a football program, I ended up at the same conclusion I started with: Penn State should NOT be punished by the NCAA.

The NCAA's mission statement reads: "Our purpose is to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so the that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount."

What happened at Penn State is unspeakable, beyond belief, words can not describe how horrible the actions of Jerry Sandusky and everyone who covered up his actions were. Everyone involved should be punished to the absolute fullest extent of the law. That being said, punishing the football program does not fall within the NCAA's jurisdiction and would only serve to punish the fans, the new coaching staff, the players and possibly even many other Penn State student-athletes in other sports. All of which, had nothing to do with a scandal that happened 14 years ago and was covered up by people who are being prosecuted for their crimes.

You want to send a message to make sure this never happens again? Find a way to punish the university as a whole, not the football fans, staff and players who had absolutely nothing to do with this scandal. Penn State is going to pay the price for this scandal. I expect they will end up paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements, and this scandal will always be part of Penn State history. The university's image will never be the same.

Enough of my opinion, let's hear it football fans, should the NCAA punish the Penn State football program?

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