WSJ Dubs Penn State One of NCAA’s “Last Innocents”
For Penn State students and fans, the “Success With Honor” mantra is almost taken for granted, and sometimes a national perspective is needed to remind us why it’s so special.
Today, The Wall Street Journal discusses the “NCAA’s last innocents”, schools who have not been found guilty of any major violations since the NCAA began tracking them in 1953. Among the seventeen schools listed, just four come from “power conferences”, one of which is Dear Old State.
Given that football is the most-common culprit in major-violations cases, it’s somewhat surprising that football power Penn State made the list. If there’s any one obvious difference at the school, it’s that the head coach, Joe Paterno, is the longest-tenured coach at any one school in FBS history (he took over in 1966). One of the common pitfalls for schools is a new coaching staff that comes in feeling a load of pressure to win quickly—something Paterno is essentially immune to.
In the end, there may be nobody who can avoid mistakes. Penn State’s Paterno said this week that after stopping in to see some players lifting weights recently, a member of his staff pointed out that he may have inadvertently committed an NCAA violation (coaches can’t oversee workouts before fall practice).
Small as it may seem, the school isn’t laughing. “Our compliance office is aware and will relay the circumstances to determine if there was a secondary violation,” a spokesman said.
The Wall Street Journal continues to make us proud to be a part of THE Pennsylvania State University.