Death Penalty For Penn State Looming After Freeh Report

The NCAA is currently mulling over the idea of handing out the death penalty to the Penn State football program.

NCAA president Mark Emmert said that discussions with Penn State officials are ongoing and a decision about the future of Penn State football has not been made. Emmert did say, however, that the penalty will likely be severe.

According to the Chicago Tribune, talk about the death penalty for Penn State began last week when former FBI director Louis Freeh released his report about the culture at Penn State regarding Jerry Sandusky’s various crimes. Freeh found that Joe Paterno, as well as other high-ranking Penn State officials, purposefully concealed Sandusky’s actions and “disregarded” the safety of his victims.

Emmert said:

“I’ve never seen anything as egregious as this in terms of just overall conduct and behavior inside a university and hope never to see it again. What the appropriate penalties are, if there are determinations of violations, we’ll have to decide. We’ll hold in abeyance all of those decisions until we’ve actually decided what we want to do with the actual charges should there be any. And I don’t want to take anything off the table.”

Emmert said that he is waiting to hear Penn State president Rodney Erickson’s response to the Freeh Report before he starts thinking about penalties for the school.

Emmert also said that the NCAA has never dealt with a scandal like the one at Penn State. The NCAA president said that school’s have received the death penalty in the past when students were given “impermissible benefits. Emmert said that the Penn State case was much more than a football scandal but may still warrant severe penalties against the program.

Emmert said:

“This is completely different than an impermissible benefits scandal… or anything else we’ve dealt with…. There have been people that said this wasn’t a football scandal. Well it was more than a football scandal … much more than a football scandal… And we’ll have to figure out exactly what the right penalties are. I don’t know that past precedent makes particularly good sense in this case, because it’s really an unprecedented problem.”

According to Yahoo, the NCAA might not have the power to give the school the death penalty, which would suspend the program for a few years and cut its ability to hand out scholarship. The Title IX law for college sports, however, could give Education Secretary Arne Duncan the ability to cut federal financial aid to the school.

Do you think the NCAA should hand down the death penalty to Penn State?

Joe Paterno has already seen little bits of his legacy slip away. Nike recently removed his name from their childcare center and a mural at Penn State recently removed the halo above Paterno’s head.