One day after the NCAA punished Penn State like it had punished no program before (with the notable exception of SMU, of course), reactions continued to pour in from around the country.
Up in State College, interim Penn State president Rodney Erickson said he accepted the NCAA's punishment and vowed that his university would "strive for a better tomorrow." Meanwhile, athletic director David Joyner told fans that "the path ahead will not be easy."
"But it is necessary, just, and will bring a better future," Joyner said. "Our faculty, staff, students, athletes and parents will work together as Penn State begins this new chapter. Through this cooperation and collaboration, Penn State will become a national model for compliance, ethics and embodiment of the student athlete credo."
As for Bill O'Brien, the man who has been left with the unenviable task of rebuilding this program in the wake of some of the harshest sanctions ever? Well, O'Brien has simply promised that he's not going anywhere, and that he remains committed to the Nittany Lions (even if some of his players don't).
"I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead," O'Brien said. "But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes."
Of course, the nation's sportswriters chimed in, as well. Here's a sampling of what they had to say:
♦ Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com: "As statements go, a $60 million fine, 40 scholarships, a four-year bowl ban and 112 vacated wins is right up there with the Magna Carta. The [NCAA] presidents put down new stakes on their property line. They are in charge. The importance of that principle supersedes any other consideration."
♦ Stewart Mandel, CNNSI: "And so, for the sins of Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier, Gary Schultz and Tim Curley, the NCAA dropped the hammer on Bill O'Brien, Matt McGloin, Silas Redd and 20 players who won't be able to receive scholarships from Penn State over the next four years (the NCAA stripped the school of 10 scholarships in each of the next four seasons). It assured that the Nittany Lions won't be a contender in the Big Ten for half of a decade -- if not longer -- and that their idol-worshipping fans will no longer cheer for a winner. Justice has been served, assuming your idea of justice for rape victims is to deprive a school of its next four Outback Bowl invitations."
♦ Gregg Doyel, CBSSports.com: "Penn State football will lose games but make money, which is the best possible result. The local community needs Penn State football, needs it more than Dallas needed SMU in 1987 or more, really, than just about any small college town needs its big college football program. State College, Pa., would have been devastated by the death penalty. Emmert was aware of that when he said the NCAA considered but rejected that sanction because it "would bring unintended harm to many that had nothing to do with this case." Current Penn State football players and recruits will feel "unintended harm," but they have an out. They can leave and play immediately elsewhere, or they can stay at Penn State on scholarship -- whether they keep playing or not."
♦ David Jones, Harrisburg Patriot: "Also, at least, [Penn State fans] can take a smidge of solace that Penn State football will be visible on TV throughout. With all the different broadcast entities involved in televising so many games these days, it's become too cumbersome for the NCAA to use its old TV bans it tossed around in the 1980s. And hey, Penn State's huge half-million alumni throng can still be milked for ratings and the resultant TV advertising dollars. Funny how neither the NCAA nor the Big Ten was too outraged to twist that spigot dry."
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