The statue is gone.
And with this morning’s sanctions swiftly, and harshly hammered down by the NCAA President Mark Emmert, the Penn State football program, as we know it, is also gone.
It has rightly been reduced to a shell of its once almighty self, ensnared by its own culture of football sickness.
The stench of; win, regardless of the cost, which had permeated the fabric of the Happy Valley campus, will now slowly start to dissipate.
President Emmert said it best, “No price the NCAA can levy will repair the damage inflicted by Jerry Sandusky on his victims and their families.”
The NCAA has fined Penn State $60 million, the equivalent of one year’s gross income for the football program.
The money will be used to endow, and support, programs of victims of child abuse, throughout the country.
In addition PSU will be banned from any bowl or post season play for 4 years. Its scholarship allotment will be reduced by 10 a year, for 4 years, including this season.
Its players will be able to immediately transfer to any other school, and be immediately eligible to play. It could lead to a mass exodus.
Penn State will also have all its victories from 1998 to 2011 voided, and that will be reflected on the record of its disgraced coach Joe Paterno.
The school will also be placed on 5 years probation.
There is a tremendous amount of hypocrisy in the sport of college football.
Head coaches, and their assistants, have multi-million dollar contracts, while professors with PhD’s fight to achieve tenure
And the term student-athlete has become one or our nation’s worst oxymorons.
Maybe, just maybe, these sanctions, against an out of control football factory, which committed, arguably, the worst scandal, not just in college football, but one of the worst in the history of sport, will make the college presidents reassess the real mission of their universities.
One can only hope.
If that should start to happen, that will be the lasting legacy of the “Enabler,” Joe Paterno.