Brad Bumsted: Changing the record book |

Brad Bumsted: Changing the record book


You'll find no sympathy here for Penn State.

There's the $60 million fine. There's the loss of scholarships. There's a ban on bowl games. The football program essentially is crippled for the next decade.

All because of the cover- up for serial child predator Jerry Sandusky.

It is not only one of the worst incidents in the history of college sports, it's the worst scandal in my three decades of covering Pennsylvania politics. Nothing — positively nothing — compares to the Sandusky case. Not the Kids for Cash judicial scandal. Not the scores of political scandals since the Shapp administration.

So no, these penalties are not out of line although I am not sure where the NCAA gets the authority to do this on so-called “governance issues.” It always seemed to me the NCAA was supposed to investigate ambitious boosters showering gifts on players.

It seems like a power grab by the NCAA.

Even the so-called “death penalty,” a ban on playing games, would not have been out of line.

That said, one issue that seems just flat-out wrong is taking 112 victories away from Penn State, ensuring Joe Paterno is not the winningest coach of all time.

How can the NCAA just change reality?

Where does it get off doing it? Why would the Penn State administration agree? Just to avoid the death penalty, a ban on football for one year?

Taking the 112 games out of the win column?

The kids, parents, fans invested in those games, saw them win.

They made it happen.

They had nothing to do with Jerry Sandusky or the cover-up.

That part seems unjust and unfair.

And all to stick it to Joe Paterno because he allegedly was part of the “conspiracy of silence.”

It's a way to punish a guy who's deceased.

Because Paterno cannot any longer be punished in civil or criminal court — assuming he was really guilty of something — you take away his wins?

Again, I have no sympathy for Joe Paterno. But is this fair?

What happens if on-leave Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the former vice president of finance, are acquitted in the criminal case against them for allegedly conspiring to deep-six Sandusky allegations?

They were allegedly the conspirators with JoePa to keep incidents over a decade all hush-hush to avoid embarrassment to the university, according to the report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, commissioned by Penn State.

How will the NCAA look if Curley and Schultz walk? Just something to consider.

It does seem reasonable for Penn State to use the report by Freeh as the basis for sanctions. After all, it was the university's report.

Imagine if it had not acted before September and the football season were under way.

So yes, the NCAA had to act quickly.

But there is some risk that the story — the facts — could change.

In summary, the penalties were not too harsh. The death penalty might have been warranted.

And taking away the hard-earned wins was outrageous.

Brad Bumsted is the state Capitol reporter for Trib Total Media. (717-787-1405 or [email protected].)

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.