Penn State in the Post-Paterno Years

Jason Fasano, Writer

It has now been a year since sex abuse allegations first rocked the Penn State football program last year.

Joe Paterno’s 45 year reign as famed head coach of the Nittany Lions came to an abrupt end last November when allegations came forth that his assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, had sexually assaulted a young boy during a summer program at the school. Following the initial accusation, more boys began to come forward, claiming to have been victims of a similar situation.

Folowing a grand jury investigation, Sandusky was convicted on 52 charges of sexual abuse against children. But the scandal didnt end there.

As questions began to arise regarding how the crimes had gone on for so long unreported, further inquiries were launched into the matter.

In the aftermath of the scandal, university president Graham Spanier resigned, and athletic director Tim Curley was fired. New England Partiots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brian replaced Paterno as head coach of the Penn State football program.

“I wouldn’t say [Paterno’s] legacy is totally tarnished, but it definatly suffered a blow. His name is always going to be associated with this” said Franklin senior Austin Toungthingrath.

Although there was overwhelming support for the the punishments handed out to the officials at Penn State, the sanctions the NCAA placed on the football team were slightly more controversial.

The team was placed on 5 years of probation. They were banned from post season games for the next 4 years. A $60 million dollar fine was levied against them. Every win they had ever achieved under Sandusky was stripped- totaling to 112 wins.

As time puts the hienous actions of Jerry Sandusky in the past, the team he was once apart of continues to deal with the punishments for actions that they themselves had no part in. Proponents of the sanctions argue that since manyofficials in charge of the team took part in the cover up, since they are a part of the team, the whole team should serve the punishment together.

Does the Penn State football program deserve sanctions because of the actions of thier leaders?


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