Monday, July 30, 2012

Shocked by sanctions

"Penn State students and others react to the sanctions the NCAA announced against Penn State in the HUB on the campus of Penn State on July 23, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania."

Last week, shortly after the Joe Paterno statue came down in Penn State, the NCAA announced as an outcome of the university's mishandling of the allegations of child-sexual abuse by former coach Jerry Sandusky, there would "corrective and punitive measures" for Penn State.

As I mentioned in my last post, reactions in the community, and on campus, were going to be the most compelling.

With the announcements coming on Monday morning, I thought of the best places students, and possibly players, may react. At the time, no one knew the severity of sanctions coming, and talk of the death penalty to the football program continued to rumor.

The once home to the now gone Paterno statue seemed like the best spot, if any, but I needed something else. Football players and coaches reactions would be perfect, but that was obviously not going to happen. Thanks to Twitter, I caught wind that students were meeting at the student center on the campus of Penn State.

Running close to announcement time because of my indecisiveness at the moment, I parked on the main street and ran up to the HUB to plop in front of a good number of students watching ESPN on the large big screens.

Trying hard to focus on reactions, I only somewhat heard all of the sanctions, including: Penn State being fined $60 million, barred from postseason games for four years, and lost 20 total scholarships annually for four seasons.

But it was the last one I heard clearly and documented jaws literally drop - Penn State was stripped of all its football wins from 1998 through 2011, vacating Paterno's once-record 409 victories, dropping him on the list of most winning coaches ever, to number twelve.

The news obviously continued to take an emotional toll on the Penn State community.


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