I have sat back, and heard countless complaints from Penn State Alumni, current student, and fans, about the current punishment to Penn State and their football program. For those saying, "how can you say 14 years never happened?" Its not that they are acting like 14 years never happened. The wins will still show up in the record book, but will have an * next to them, with the consequences of the events that took place.
The main reason they are stripping wins, is not to punish the players, but to make a clear point, that if the coaches would have been fired in 1998, there is a VERY good chance Penn State would not have won the games they have won from 1998 to the 2011. They are taking the games starting from 1998, because this is where the solid evidence of a cover up take place.
I myself, am a two time state runner up in High School wrestling. I worked very hard to achieve these wins and my own personal goal, but if it came out that my coach was covering a sex scandal, involving children, and that all his team wins and the wins of his students would be stripped, I would not be upset. In my mind I won those matches fair and square, but would I have won those matches without my coach? Probably not.
Penn State is lucky with what they got, they could have done what they did with SMU, taking away two seasons of football. Not only is Penn State been granted to continue to play regular season games, they also didn't lose home games, something that was discussed in the original punishment. To stand behind Penn State and have pride is one thing, but to not see the justification in the penalty is ridiculous.
I can understand people claiming that they are punishing the new football players, by taking away bowl eligibility, but that is not the reason you play the game. A lot of players play college football, because they get a full scholarship to a major university, and the hopes to be picked up by the NFL.
Do you honestly think the current roster for PSU is not going to go out and play their hearts out? My father was a running back for Syracuse University, and almost lost his leg and life in a career ending injury. My father always tells me the experience was amazing. As an athlete, you don't care about your wins and losses, you care about the memories, and your team. The only people who are upset are the fans, who cling onto the wins.
The NFL drafts great players, not an entire team that plays in a bowl game. Some of the greatest players in the NFL did not need a bowl game to prove their greatness. If you want to come out and say, "They are punishing the players/students because they are not eligible for bowl games." The NCAA is allowing all players to go to other teams that ARE bowl eligible. Those who do stay at Penn State will STILL get their scholarships, and education. Sounds fair to me. Those who do leave for another team and bowl eligibility, go to show you that they are not Penn State proud, they do not care about your team or legacy, they care about bowl game championships, and you should say good riddance to them!
I have yet to hear anyone give me a solid reason why this punishment is not fair. Penn State fans need to realize the damage that was done, and Penn State HAS to fix their image. Believe it or not, there are people who go to Penn State that don't care about the football team. Who actually want an education. This is damage control, and just like any company, corporation, business, ect, Penn State needs to do everything in their power to fix what Paterno, Sandusky, and everyone involved did to Penn State.
*An Update since I last wrote the blog in response to people who still think they went too far.
You take pride in your team, not your wins and records. You play the game for the love of the sport, not bowl games and championships. I have won championships, I have great success in sports. I turned down scholarships for wrestling. Yes, you play to win, to be the best, but when you have a team, you are a family, there is a bond that no fan can ever be a part of, and will never know the great feeling YOU had. Yes, the fans were THERE to cheer you on, but the team made it happen.
Past players are not being punished, they had the greatest feelings of winning, not only winning, but winning as a team, as a family. You can strip them of their wins, but they already won. Current players can leave if they want to play bowl games, but as I mentioned before, if they leave, who were they there for? The team, YOU the fans, or themselves?
It's the fans who need to step back, stop being selfish, and realize the only ones who are being effect by this, is them. If you want to think that this fine is going to hurt Penn State financially, really think about this season. With all the loyal fans, they will sell out every game, and show they are still proud fans and cheer just as hard. I'm sure sales will sore this year, I'm sure there will be charities to collect money for the school. Penn State will be fine, and the fans should still be proud, its the school you cheer for, but don't be blind. Actions had to be done, and the way they were done was in a fair manner. Again, the only ones who are truly effected are the fans, who think wins are the only thing that matters.
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