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Penn State Football: Scholarship Additons are a Good Start, but NCAA Needs to Do More

In case you missed it, NCAA president Mark Emmert announced on Monday that the sanctions placed on Penn State in 2012 will be reduced. Of course, he didn’t admit to overreacting in a ridiculous manner to the situation that went on at Penn State. Instead, the reason Emmert decided the Nittany Lions will gradually gain back scholarships is due to good behavior.

When the Nittany Lions were placed under NCAA sanctions in July of 2012, it started an outrage among many fans and alumni. There’s no doubt that the things that went on there with Jerry Sandusky were horrible and the way the administration handled it was completely wrong. However, Sandusky is now sitting in a jail cell for the rest of his life and some Penn State officials are standing trial for the way the situation was handled.

Justice has been served by the legal system. The NCAA had no business getting involved with a criminal matter that the courts would handle.

Now, with the NCAA facing lawsuits, Emmert has decided it’s time to start lessening the penalty on Penn State.

While this is great for Penn State and its fans, it’s not enough.

Sure, the added scholarships will be a huge boost to a program that’s already achieved way more than some people thought after the sanctions were handed down. Head coach Bill O’Brien can now add even more talent to a team that already has a strong core.

As positive as Monday’s news is, it doesn’t fix all of the wrong that has been done to Penn State by the NCAA.

In order to make everything right, the next move would be to take away the bowl ban, reinstate the vacated wins and lessen the monetary fine.

Currently, the Nittany Lions are ineligible for post season play for the next three seasons. Punishing this current team for mistakes made by someone else a decade ago is wrong. The Nittany Lions proved last season that amid all the negativity, they could still play great football and deserved to play in the post season.

Another aspect of the sanctions is the vacating of wins. Because the NCAA felt that former head coach Joe Paterno participated in a cover-up of the Sandusky issue, they forced the school to vacate 111 wins from 1998-2011. That act took away his record 409 wins. Not only was Paterno’s legacy hurt, but the players who fought hard and won those games have to now pretend as if they never happened.

If the NCAA is really interested in making everything right at Penn State, the wins need to be credited back to Paterno and the school.

As yet another part of the penalty, Penn State was also ordered to pay an astronomical fine of 60 million dollars. I’m not exactly sure where that number came from, but it’s more than excessive and needs to be lowered.

The Nittany Lions have spent two years under sanction and have done everything the right way since O’Brien took over. Getting scholarships back is a great start, but hopefully the NCAA does the right thing and doesn’t stop until the unfair sanctions are totally lifted.

Follow VBR Co-Editor Barry Leonard Jr. on Twitter

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Tags: Football Mark Emmert NCAA Penn State Nittany Lions

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