Mike Silva's Sports Media Watchdog » Blog Archive » Hey, NCAA, Let Penn State Go to Bowl in 2014

Hey, NCAA, Let Penn State Go to Bowl in 2014

By Jed Weisberger ~ October 22nd, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized.

OK, what happened with Jerry Sandusky was what happened – reprehensible.

The football penalties Penn State took as a result were severe. Thanks to a coach the level of Bill O’Brien, the Nittany Lions football program has remained competitive in the Big Ten, in fact recording an exciting 43-40 win over Michigan.

A few weeks ago, the NCAA relented a bit, giving Penn State back some of the scholarship spots it took away as part of the penalty package, recognizing Penn State has made progress.

Go to a Penn State game like the aforementioned Michigan affair, A capacity crowd of over 100,000 watched a superb battle between the Wolverines and Nittany Lions. And guess what? Sandusky’s name wasn’t even mentioned.

In other words, Penn State on the surface is beginning to move past this. In the background and under the surface, the school is settling its lawsuits and doing the best to take care of its victims. Progress has definitely been made and will continue to do so.

My point here is it’s somewhat ludicrous to continue to ban the present players from a bowl game. The NCAA ought to lift that sanction with an agreement any share of Penn State’s bowl money would go to programs battling Child Abuse and other needed areas.

That way, Penn State’s obligations in putting the Sandusky debacle to rest are being fulfilled, and up-and-coming stars such as freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg are not being penalized for something that came about before most of the present Penn State players were born.

Players such as Hackenberg – granted they knew the situation when they committed to Penn State, and it is to O’Brien’s credit he recruited that well under the circumstances – have paid their penance for issues they had nothing to do with. For the classy way the program has handled itself, as a proud member of the Big Ten, give today’s players a break.

These are tough times for the NCAA, which is not at the top of the respect game. It’s so-called investigation into the Miami (Fla.), situation, which was finally resolved this week, was bungled. This would be an upper for college football.

Naturally there are those who feel Penn State’s program ought to be buried for a decade after the Sandusky debacle. We can understand and respect those feelings.

However, Bill O’Brien has refuted that theory because his Nittany Lions are not only competitive, but a lot more than that. And, NCAA people, what other institutional violations has Penn State ever been guilty of? Nothing. While you are at it – since there is always talk of the “student athlete,” one of the best football graduation rates is staring you in the face.

So let the Nittany Lions, with the above-mentioned stipulation, go to a bowl next year. Not only will it be good for Penn State, but for college football as a whole.

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Jed Weisberger


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