Reports last week indicated that Joe Paterno and the administration at Penn State University had knowledge of the child molestations that took place on their campus.
The immediate reaction of many was that the school should receive the death penalty for its football program.
This penalty has only been administered one time and that was when SMU was punished in the mid to late 80's.
SMU was certainly small potatoes in comparison to Penn State and Happy Valley.
SMU has a relatively small campus in a city that is one of the largest in the U.S.
Penn State, like Texas A&M, is a large school in a small town.
Shortly after the penalty was administered to SMU, I read that it will probably never be used again due to the problems that the death penalty caused.
Many consider this to be the prime reason for the demise of the Southwest Conference. For years after the penalty was given to SMU, opponents had to work around a schedule that included an almost sure win over an overmatched opponent.
The teams did not draw well and the penalty cost not only SMU but all the schools that were set up to play them.
Eventually, four of the teams in the SWC left SMU and three other small school (Rice, TCU and Houston) behind and joined the Big 8 to form the Big 12.
SMU has wandered from league to league and never been the team that used to battle Texas, and the big boys in conference as well as teams like Notre Dame and Purdue out of conference.
Now we get back to Penn State – By all rights, their football program is out of control. It needs to be dismantled and then restarted.
The death penalty would probably be appropriate. But the players at Penn State are not responsible for what happened. The NCAA should probably just let them go to whatever college they can hook up with if they want to turn in their scholarship at Penn State.
This is probably what the school deserves. However, such a move would cost many in Happy Valley. The restaurants and hotel owners would be big losers for years to come.
Other schools in the Big 10 would have to endure Penn State bringing inferior teams to visit for years to come.
Penn State has never been a dominant factor in the Big 10. They usually would be classed as contenders, but they play well below the level of Ohio State or Michigan.
Sometimes you just don't get the justice that you deserve and everyone will probably be better off if Penn State receives something less than it deserves.
Let them keep playing and then they can make money to pay the victims who will certainly sue them.
I will be surprised if Penn State does not have trouble recruiting players and I would think they will end up being bottom feeders for a number of years.