PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Three Years After The NCAA Sanctions, Penn State Football Refused To Die

“For Penn State fans, Saturday might become just another day of the week after today.”

With the power of hindsight, Darren Rovell‘s now-infamous quote looks like an abject failure. Of course, in the moment, it was a popular stance to take.

On July 23, 2012, the NCAA imposed unprecedented sanctions on Penn State’s football program following investigations into the Sandusky Scandal. Three years later, Penn State football isn’t just still here — it’s alive and thriving.

A $60 million fine, a four-year postseason ban, scholarship reductions, and vacated wins were put in effect to punish a football program more severely than any other had been in the past. The nation hopped on the anti-Penn State bandwagon, including Sports Illustrated‘s “We Were Penn State” cover.

Of course, the rest is history. As more and more information has come to light, the NCAA has been backpedaling on its gung-ho punishments. The four-year postseason ban that began in 2012? Penn State won the Pinstripe Bowl in 2014. Scholarship reductions? Not only have they been lifted, but Penn State overcame them to never have a losing season in the sanctioned era. Bill O’Brien recruited elite prospects Christian Hackenberg and Adam Breneman for the 2013 season, then he handed the reins of the program over to James Franklin — whose Class of 2016 is the No. 6 recruiting class in the nation.

And those vacated wins? They’re back. Penn State won 112 games between 1998 and 2011 and Joe Paterno is college football’s winningest coach with 409 wins, and the record books rightfully show that.

The NCAA tried its best, but Penn State went 22-15 since the sanctions hit and had an average home attendance of over 98,000. The team is still successful, and the fan base is still one of the most passionate in the world.

So, Mark Emmert, Louis Freeh, and Co., you tried and it didn’t work. The NCAA’s attempt to kill an institution based on the tragic acts of individuals was wrong, and now the NCAA itself is under investigation on how it handled the situation. It backfired, plain and simple.

All that’s been proven is that Penn State football is bigger than individuals and bigger than the sport. It’s been a rallying cry for Penn State fans, students, and alumni, and three years after the sanctions were imposed, Penn State football refuses to go away.

About the Author

Doug Leeson

Doug is a sophomore and Onward State's Assistant Managing Editor. Dislikes: popcorn, Rutgers, and a low #TimberCount. Likes: "Frozen," Rec Hall, and you. Contact him via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @DougLeeson.


More by Doug

Freshman 101: How To Buy Football Tickets

Tickets go on sale for graduate students and seniors on Monday, June 20, followed by juniors on Tuesday, sophomores on Wednesday, then freshmen on Thursday.

Pork State: Meet Sir Remington, State College’s Most Interesting Pet

Report: James Franklin Is Only Mildly Excited For This Opportunity


Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions won’t play a single home match in September, electing to test themselves against teams like Stanford and Oregon early in the season.

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Evaluating Tony Carr’s Performance At The 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Penn State Hockey Commit Evan Bell Wins Clark Cup With USHL’s Fargo Force

Center Ludvig Larsson Transfers To Penn State Hockey From Merrimack

Student Life

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

With two Penn State Esport teams in the top eight, the odds of winning the National Championship were ever in our favor.

Road And Utility Work Impacting Penn State This Summer

Where Do Penn Staters Move After Graduation?

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Predicting Penn State’s 2018 Kickoff Times

As the Nittany Lions have ascended back into college football’s elite, they’ve taken the field at night more often in the past few years and avoided the dreaded early kickoff.

We Are Royalty: Meghan Markle Is A Penn State Fan

Penn State fans are everywhere, even in the British royal family.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

With two Penn State Esport teams in the top eight, the odds of winning the National Championship were ever in our favor.

Send this to a friend