For days prior to the NCAA announcement of sanctions against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case, I argued against the death penalty for the Nittany Lions football program.

In fact, I agreed with supporters of former head coach Joe Paterno, who echoed what he had said before he died, that this was not a football issue. I still have a hard time accepting that it is.



This is, however, a Penn State University issue, and as such, there needs to be penalties that matter, that hurt. But who needs to be in the line of fire?

Now, before we go any further, I am not a graduate, fan or supporter of this institution or program. I am, other than when Notre Dame or Rutgers is doing battle with PSU, indifferent to the happenings in and around Happy Valley.

But like many, because of the horrid situation that Penn State finds itself in, I have an opinion about the major NCAA sanctions.

With all that we've read and heard, it is clear the leadership at the school failed miserably at stopping the monster that Sandusky is a long, long time ago. Therefore, anyone who had any knowledge or any suspicions, or who took part in any email exchange or in-person discussions, and who did not report what was happening to the authorities, should be in serious, serious trouble.

In that light, Paterno is not innocent. He had the power to remedy the situation early on, according to the grand jury report and the Freeh Report. His statue should have been removed, and the NCAA should have vacated all the wins the football team earned since the coach was made aware of something inappropriate happening.

While I usually think vacating wins is a farce, in this case, it had to be done. Joe Paterno cannot be considered the winningest coach in college football. When he failed to do more about exposing Sandusky for what he was, Paterno failed the victims, he failed the community and he failed the school.

Everyone else involved failed the victims and the school and the community, as well. And for that reason, the monetary fine levied upon the school by the NCAA is, I believe, warranted. The school needs to feel the impact of inaction, just as the victims, although not nearly in the same way, felt the impact of inaction.