NCAA Slams Penn State with Sanctions

Penn State’s athletic program got served. I think it’s safe to say the Nittany Lions football program may never recover from the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal – emotionally or financially. Two weeks ago coach Joe Paterno and other top university officials were found guilty of concealing child sex abuse allegations against a retired assistant coach for years to avoid bad publicity. Well the “bad publicity” is much more severe now. The NCAA’s President Mark Emmert spoke at a scheduled press conference early this morning to deliver Penn State’s punishment.

Big Ten Network reported the NCAA’s sanctions as follows:

* Four-year bowl ban
* Reduction of 10 initial scholarships + 20 total scholarships each year for four years.
* $60 million fine
* All wins vacated from 1998-2011 (112 wins to be exact)
* All current PSU players can transfer immediately
* The athletic department will also serve a five-year probation period.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said that no punishment could change or mitigate the damage done by Sandusky to children, but “the culture, actions and inactions that allowed them to be victimized will not be tolerated in collegiate athletics,” reported the Washington Post. 

If you didn’t see Sunday, the school removed the statue of Paterno from the campus outside the football stadium as well. In less than a year, Paterno’s entire legacy has been washed and a man held with utmost respect in the NCAA for so many decades will forever be tarnished.

The punishment is steep, but well deserved. There is no excuse possible for covering up a colleague’s horrible crimes. The moral of the story is: if you find your friend committing a heinous crime, turn them in because their stupidity isn’t worth disgracing an entire organization or your own reputation. Bad people need to be held responsible for their wrong doings.

DePaul Interested in Building Arena in Chicago

DePaul University is trying to get back on the NCAA maps for men’s basketball, and the first step in their strategic plan is creating a new arena near the school’s campus in Lincoln Park. YEAAAA! Reverend Dennis Holtschneider (the school president) is making moves!

This plan requires approval from the university’s board of trustees and will be on the agenda for their May meeting. They currently have two rumored potential locations: the Finkl Steel property which is walking distance from the DePaul campus and the Morton Salt Company property on Elston Avenue near both the Kennedy Expressway and the Chicago River.

DePaul’s current contract with the All State Arena in Rosemont only runs through 2015, if approved, this project would move forward in a very timely manner. The new arena is part of the master plan to attract Chicago area basketball stars to choose DePaul for their collegiate careers. Chicago has plenty of talent in this city, but DePaul did not have much to offer in comparison to other universities around the area, “Come play at our school and take a 20-minute bus ride to your arena” – yea no thanks. From the late 1970’s through the mid 1990’s, DePaul was one of the nation’s top college programs and completely dominated the Chicago area, bringing back this success is the ultimate goal.

As a DePaul alumna, this idea is thrilling. DePaul students do not want to get on a bus, sit in traffic on the Kennedy Expressway for over an hour (I had a few bathroom scares during that trip – it’s so long), and go all the way out to Rosemont to cheer on their Blue Demons. There is a true disconnect having the stadium so far away from the actual school, it definitely didn’t help promote school spirit. I also have a little theory, the two programs that currently house their stadiums on campus, Women’s Basketball and Women’s Softball, are DePaul’s most successful programs…I say, bring on the new stadium! I would love to one day get the chance to cheer on my alma mater during March Madness!