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Editorial: Penn St. penalties were very justified

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opinion Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
(320) 235-6769 customer support
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

The swagger of Penn State was smashed Monday as the NCAA penalized the institution and the football program for its failures to control its programs and sufficiently report sexual abuse.

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As the Tribune wrote earlier this month, the university's former leadership and the head football coach, the most powerful individuals on this campus, failed for 14 years to protect children from victimization by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

The NCAA punished the university harshly, basically just short of the so-called death penalty suspension of the football program, with the following:

• A $60 million fine -- nearly equivalent to one year of football revenue.

• Vacated 13 years of football victories, including 111 under former head coach Joe Paterno.

• Cut football athletic scholarships by 20 per year for four years.

• A four-year ban on bowl games and revenue from Big Ten bowls.

The primary purpose of the punishments are to gain control over the previously moneymaking football program that dominated the State College campus.

The vacating of 13 years of wins knocked former head coach Joe Paterno out of the top 10 in career victories.

More importantly, the combined penalties are an unprecedented action intended to change Penn State's culture of football supremacy at all costs.

Penn State and its football team face four years of penalties. It will likely take nearly a decade for the program to rebuild.

One should not feel sorry for Penn State or its football program over the future outcome of these penalties. This NCAA penalty package is appropriate.

The ones to feel sorry for are the many known and unknown victims of the former assistant coach. These boys and young men have been trying to recover and heal their lives on a daily basis, many for more than a decade.

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