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Penn State fan compares NCAA sanctions to 9/11: ‘I just saw planes crashing into towers’ (Video)

When the NCAA leveled its crushing penalties against Penn State on Monday, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Nittany Lions fan that wasn’t totally crestfallen. But perhaps none were more devastated than Tom and Sally Price of Factoryville, Pa., who have been to every home football game since 1986. How upset were they? Well, good ol’ Tom compared the punishments to the greatest national tragedy the United States has ever seen.

“I can’t put my arms around it. To me, it was our 9/11 today,” Tom told WNEP. “I just saw planes crashing into towers.”

Um.

And you all thought talking about that stupid Joe Paterno statue instead of Sandusky’s victims was insensitive.

H/T Deadspin

NCAA’s Penn State penalties were harsh, but not harsh enough

The NCAA came down on Penn State Monday with harsh penalties as expected. Penn State was fined $60 million by the NCAA, will lose 90 scholarships over the next five seasons, and is facing a postseason bowl ban for the next four years.

This was the NCAA’s chance to show its toughness when in reality it is a powerless organization that exists to profit off the big business of college basketball and college football. The organization dropped the news on a Monday morning ensuring it would be the most talked about story throughout the day. The NCAA figured it would receive pats on the back for levying punishments that make the organization seem powerful, and it did. But they still didn’t do enough, and it was by intention.

While some have argued that the penalties against Penn State essentially will kill the program for the next handful of years, the NCAA missed an opportunity to do something bigger: prevent the program from playing games for years.

Scholarship players or not, Penn State will still be able to field a football team and compete in the Big Ten. Season ticket sales for the football program are up. Joe Paterno merchandise is still in demand. Students, alumni, and fans will still be attending games and demanding that the team wins. Some players still say they support Joe Paterno and only view the penalties as a “distraction.”

How are the penalties changing the mindset of those in State College? What has the NCAA done to help change the culture at Penn State? I don’t see a whole lot.

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Penn State penalties include $60 million fine, four-year postseason ban, loss of 90 scholarships

As expected, the NCAA came down extremely hard on Penn State’s football program on Monday morning. A number of people were upset on Sunday when news surfaced that the sanctions handed down to Penn State would be “unprecedented” but not include the death penalty — or a complete suspension of play for the football program. For the football program itself, you could argue the sanctions are worse than the death penalty.

For starters, Penn State has been fined $60 million — a figure that the NCAA says is the equivalent to the football program’s average annual revenue. The school also faces a four-year postseason ban and a five-year probationary period during which individuals can be sanctioned following criminal investigation. Penn State’s football scholarships have been reduced by 10 for the upcoming season and 20 a year for the next four after that, totaling a loss of 90 scholarships.

In addition, Penn State has been forced to vacate all of its wins from 1998 to 2011. That will also reflect upon Joe Paterno’s personal coaching record, moving him out of first on the all-time win list. Over a week ago, Freeh’s investigation revealed that Paterno and other powerful figures at Penn State knew that Jerry Sandusky was investigated for allegedly showering with a young boy in 1998 but swept it under the rug, saying that what he did off of Penn State property had nothing to do with the team.

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Joe Paterno statue removed at Penn State (Video, Picture)

After over a week of kicking and screaming and reports saying they were going to fight to keep the Joe Paterno statue standing outside of Beaver Stadium, Penn State leadership finally succumbed to pressure and removed the bronze tribute to a man whose most notable life action was conspiring to cover up a pedophile’s rapes in order to protect his football program’s image.

A work crew gathered early Sunday morning to begin removing the statue from the front of the stadium. After it was removed, the statue was taken to an unspecified “secure location.”

The statue was built in 2001 in honor of Paterno’s record-setting 324th Division I coaching victory and his “contributions to the university,” but it had recently become a symbol of the mixed feelings regarding the coach’s legacy.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson issued the following statement regarding the decision to remove the statue:

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NCAA expected to hit Penn State with ‘unprecedented penalties’ but not death penalty

Amid the hoopla surrounding Penn State’s inevitable removal of the Joe Paterno statue Sunday morning and the Paterno family’s amusingly ironic statement, are reports that the NCAA will drop the hammer on the university on Monday for its egregious conduct in handling the Jerry Sandusky scandal, as outlined in the Freeh Report.

A press conference is scheduled for Monday morning in which NCAA president Mark Emmert is expected to announce “corrective and punitive measures” against Penn State. Multiple reports say the school will avoid being slapped with the crippling “death penalty,” which would have shut down the football program for at least a year. But, according to CNN, the degree of Penn State’s punishment is expected to be harsh, with the school receiving “significant, unprecedented penalties” that are “well beyond what has been done in the past.”

ESPN adds that the penalties will be so severe that Penn State might as well wish it were getting the death penalty. It’s still not clear what the NCAA’s punishments will entail but loss of scholarships and bowl games are likely to be included.

Given that the entire cover up by Penn State officials was designed to protect the football program, some argued that it would only be right for the school to lose the football team via the death penalty, if the NCAA were to act at all (which wasn’t a given). While others might have considered that to be too harsh of a punishment and unfair to the players and coaches (and even other athletic programs at the school that leech off the revenue football brings in) who had nothing to do with the scandal, the NCAA does have a tendency to punish those who are far from being at fault. Anyway, come Monday we’ll see if the death penalty advocates will be satisfied with whatever hammer Emmert decides to drop.

Nick Saban says Penn State should add tax to athletic event tickets to support child abuse funds

In the wake of the recent Free investigation that revealed that Joe Paterno covered up for Jerry Sandusky, many people are calling for Penn State’s football program to receive the death penalty. Instances of child sex abuse went on for years at Penn State and a number of university employees — including Paterno — swept them under the rug to protect the football program’s image. Rather than punish the program itself, Nick Saban has proposed an alternative.

“Maybe they ought to tax all the tickets that they sell on athletics and give the proceeds to some child abuse organization,” Saban said. “Or something like that, rather than worrying about some punishment that is really going to have no positive affect on anything.”

Saban also described the situation as “criminal” and said it reflects poorly on a lot of people. His point is that rather than reprimanding the program just for the sake of punishment, they should try to make something good come from a bad situation. Obviously you could argue that a tax would be unfair to fans who have to pay more money, but it’s their choice to continue supporting the football program.

Regardless of what punishment is handed down to the university, there are going to be people affected who did nothing wrong. Players who knew absolutely nothing about the Penn State scandal have already had to deal with the consequences of the horrible actions of a handful of people. By tearing down statues and renaming organizations, people are simply proving that they no longer support Paterno. Saban’s point is that they need to find a way to give back, and in my opinion it’s a pretty good one.

Sculptor Angelo Di Maria conflicted about his Joe Paterno statue coming down

The fate of the Joe Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium has been at the center of a firestorm of debate since last week’s release of the Freeh Report.

Now the person responsible for creating the statue has weighed in. Angelo Di Maria sculpted the seven-foot, 900-pound bronze statue, which was unveiled in 2001, and has mixed feelings on what should become of his work.

“I have to say, I can’t be so bold, because I’m the artist, that I want it (to stay) up,” Di Maria told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “That’s what the public would expect me to think. I have to be clear with my conscience. I would go along with any just decision that is made. Not only am I compelled to take the side of the victims, but I consider also the feeling of the kids who went there (to Penn State), who have such a high regard for State College.”

Even though he said he’d support any decision, you have to understand why he might show some reluctance in tearing down the statue. After all, this is a piece of his art, and, regardless of your feelings for its subject, there’s obviously going to be some attachment to it. Di Maria is the second artist whose State College artwork has spiked in relevance in the last week.

Penn State’s Board of Trustees has said the statue will stay standing for now. A final decision on the statue’s fate reportedly will come within the next week to 10 days.

That hasn’t stopped some people from going to creative lengths to make their own threats.

H/T Dr. Saturday