The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organize the athletic programs of many Colleges and Universities in the United States and Canada. In the 1940’s a committee of the NCAA was created to set up a list of guidelines and rules that all teams in the NCAA must follow (NCAA.org). When a team breaks a rule or does not follow the set of guidelines the NCAA can step in to deliver a punishment that has been laid out within their guidelines.
The Freeh Report is an independent report by Louis Freeh and his law firm into the facts and circumstances of the actions of Pennsylvania State University surrounding the child abuse committed by a former employee, Gerald Sandusky. When the Freeh Report was published many people began to speculate if the NCAA would step in to deliver a punishment to Penn State. Eleven days after the report was released the NCAA released a list of sanctions and corrective measures as suggested in the Freeh Report. The sanctions consisted of a $60,000,000 fine, a four-year postseason ban, four-year reduction of scholarships, five years of probation and the vacation of all wins attributed to Joe Paterno since 1998 (Katz, Andy and Mark Schlabach, ESPN.com). Along with the sanctions the NCAA required Penn State to adopt all of the recommendations presented in the Freeh Report, create a disclosure program and many other corrective measures to ensure that nothing like this could ever happen again. It is my stance that the NCAA overstepped their jurisdiction and punished Penn State for matters that should have been handled by the courts. While everyone agrees that the events that took place by members of the Penn State staff were unspeakable and needed to be handled legally, myself and many within the football community question the NCAA’s authority to place such harsh restrictions upon the PSU football program. The main question put before the NCAA committee after the punishment was handed down was, “exactly which bylaw had Penn State violated” (Waldron, Travis, Thinkprogress.org)? The NCAA and Mark Emmert, the President of the NCAA, have been unable to answer this question. Because the NCAA has been unable to answer this question, I believe that the NCAA overstepped their jurisdiction. I also feel that the restrictions placed upon the football program further penalize the players and students that had nothing to do with the actions of the staff of PSU. There are many student athletes that rely on scholarships to attend college and receive a college degree. Penn State lost a total of 80 football scholarships over 4 years. With the reduction of scholarships available to PSU athletes, there may be some student athletes who will be unable to achieve their goal of a college education. Also by removing the hundreds of wins attributed to Joe Paterno not only punishes him and Penn State, it also penalizes the student athletes that played those many games. It is the student athletes that worked hard for those achievements and had no knowledge of the acts of Jerry Sandusky and were not in a position to do anything about it. The NCAA also placed a four year ban on the postseason for Penn State. For players in college the postseason is a great chance to show off their talents to a much larger audience. This can lead to a future past college football. Overall these sanctions imposed by the NCAA have affected many people who had no involvement with the child abuse and do not punish the people who directly were involved.
Still others agree with the NCAA punishments handed down to Penn State. It is their stance that the University had many warnings and opportunities to end the horrific acts of Jerry Sandusky long before the NCAA stepped in. Jerry Sandusky had previously been investigated for child abuse back in 1998. An investigation by the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office was conducted, but...
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