No death penalty, but Penn State sanctions are brutal

I didn't think I'd find myself supporting an outcome in which Penn State plays football this fall.

That's still hard for me to reconcile. The NCAA announced its sanctions on the scandal-ridden program this morning, and Penn State will still be permitted to field a team in 2012. There will be a game at Beaver Stadium on Sept. 1. I don't support that.

As for everything else the NCAA threw at Penn State this morning — including a $60 million fine, 111 vacated wins (erasing Joe Paterno's status as the winningest Division I coach ever), a four-year postseason ban and 20 scholarship losses a year — yeah, I can get on board with that.

On Twitter, Yahoo investigative reporter Charles Robinson wrote "it's worse than SMU," referring to the NCAA's canceling of the 1987 season for Southern Methodist University football. In terms of total damage to the program, Robinson is probably right. This will cripple one of the nation's dominant programs for the indefinite future. Yet there will still be a football game at Beaver Stadium on Sept. 1. That still seems really, really wrong.

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