Through the hundreds of thousands of words used to describe Penn State this week, I present four more that will change the future of the beleaguered school.
Lack of institutional control.
NCAA will use when and/or if it decides that Penn State's football program deserves the infamous "death penalty."
To be honest, Penn State is the poster child for lack of institutional control.
Few can argue the point after reading the damming words from this week's Freeh Report, where legendary coach Joe Paterno, along with former school president Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and university vice president Gary Schultz helped cover up the atrocities of sexual misconduct by Jerry Sandusky for 14 years.
It's that scope of cover-up that has many calling for the NCAA to drop the hammer on Happy Valley.
Instead of waiting for those orders, Penn State itself should fall on the sword and shut down the football program.
After years of doing all the wrong things — the school, the administrators and the board of trustees — should finally do the right thing and put the program on ice … just for the time being.
Instead of being forced to do something drastic, Penn State should take action and do it of its own accord.
In return, the NCAA should allow current and future players to transfer to other schools across the country without penalty.
Extreme measures are needed for extreme times.
Shutting down the football program is the best way to demonstrate to all of those watching that Penn State is serious about changing the culture that enveloped the program for all those years.
Whether it's for one season or several, rebuilding the program from scratch could be the best way to ensure that nothing like this will ever happen again.
It also sends a strong message to others that if this could happen at Penn State, it could happen anywhere.
Shutting the football program down alone won't cut it, either.
A clear sweep is needed throughout the administration including those on the board of trustees. The same people who are arguing whether or not to take down the statue of JoePa and are concerned with the public image of the school, should be gone.
Start fresh, start new.
While such an act won't change what happened to the victims of these crimes and it won't change the legacy that will haunt Paterno and the school itself, it would be a giant first step.
Putting an end to a football program, even for one season, would affect the school for decades to come. Just ask SMU. After receiving the "death penalty" in 1987 and 1988, it took the program a little over two decades to recover.
It's a huge step but one that needs to happen if Penn State wants to do the right thing.
Of course, doing the right thing 14-years-ago would have prevented all of this from happening in the first place.
ON THE MENU
APR here to stay: The NCAA announced on Friday that it plans to continue to use the Academic Progress Rate system of grading to determine postseason eligibility. The decision was made by the Committee on Academic Performance, which determined that the APR system uses the most accurate date available and provides schools plenty of opportunities for appeals. You may remember that it was low APR scores that led to the NCAA placing Connecticut's men's basketball program on a postseason ban.
ND and Orange Bowl: Notre Dame officials confirmed last week that the school has had talks with the ACC concerning a possible bowl tie-in with the Orange Bowl. The deal would most likely hinge on whether the Irish would qualify for one of the new six top-tier bowl games without making the four-team playoff. They would most likely have to reach certain qualifications including number of wins as well as where they rank in the top 25. If the school fails to reach those qualifications, I imagine that an at-large team would fill the spot during those seasons.
Big Ten, Pac-12 end deal: Complications over football scheduling have forced the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences to put an end to a plan that would have had both leagues scheduling future games against each other in all sports. According to a release, the leagues were suspending the deal that was reached in December, in part, because the Pac-12 couldn't coordinate the non-conference schedule for all its members.
Beer sales approved: The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved a measure on Wednesday that would allow beer sales during home football games. The move could bring as much as $1.5 million of extra revenue for the university. The school will be the first in the Big Ten to allow the sale of beer in the actual stadium.
Hoops hysteria: The college basketball season is almost four months away but hoops fans are gearing up for a major opening week that features a double-header on Nov. 13 between Michigan State vs. Kansas and Duke vs. Kentucky in the State Farm Champions Classic at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The tournament is just part of a full day of games that features 12 teams that reached the NCAA tournament last season.
Hazing investigation: HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" will take an in-depth look at the hazing situation among bands at historically black colleges in a feature entitled, "The Deadly Tradition" which airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET. The show will feature a follow-up to the death of Robert Champion at Florida A&M University last fall.
We rank 'em: We continue our annual preseason College Football Countdown, where we rank all 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in the country. Go to OrlandoSentinel.com/collegegridiron365 daily to find out where your team ranks.
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