NCAA sanctions imposed on Penn State for its role in enabling childhood sexual abuse to happen by its employee Jerry Sandusky were reduced on Monday. Based on a progress report and recommendations made by former Sen. George Mitchell the NCAA has reduced several sanctions.
Before the announcement, Penn State would have had only 65 scholarships this season, 80 scholarships next season and a full 85 in 2016. They also wouldn’t have been eligible for the postseason until 2016. Now, Penn State can play in a bowl this season and will see its scholarship limit improve to 75 this season and return to 85 in time for next season.
Penn State must pay a $60 million dollars, 112 wins still forfeited, and monitoring will continue.
The claimed reason for these reductions is that Penn State is making great progress in complying with recommendations for an improved environment for making the program safer.
This overlooks the fact that the sanctions were issued in July 2012 for Penn State’s past conduct in failing to report child abuse occurring in its property and covering up for their child abusing employee.
Penn State was wrong and deserved to be punished. Yes time has passed but the survivors of its negligence have to live with the devastation of sexual abuse for their entire lives.
Penn State should not get a reprieve for doing things it should have done so many years ago – ensuring that sexual abuse and abusers are not tolerated and making sure that the reporting of child abuse and abusers and the protecting of children is of the hignest priority, instead of its football program.