Penn State Scandal

Penn State Scandal, The scandal at Penn State has cast a pretty negative light on the school and the football program. Ever since the scandal broke on November 5, a lot has changed at Penn State. Those changes start with the football program. Joe Paterno is gone and the coaching future is uncertain. As a Penn State alum, I wouldn't be surprised if the Penn State football team was faced with a couple of tough years as they rebuild. However, I think comparisons to the SMU scandal are not exactly fair.

SMU had a pretty powerful football team in the 1980s. They were a consistent powerhouse and were highly ranked every year. However, a series of major scandals doomed the SMU football team. After numerous NCAA violations, the football program ended up shutting down for two years in the late 1980s. Though SMU resumed football, the program is nothing like what it was in the glory days. Many seem to think the same fate awaits Penn State. After all, several recruits have already jumped ship and several coaches have passed on what should be a dream job. But even with that, Penn State and SMU aren't really similar situations.

For starters, the SMU scandal actually involved the football program. There were a series of booster and recruiting scandals and there were clear conflicts of interest in the athletic department. The Penn State scandal isn't directly tied to the football program. This has nothing to do with recruiting violations or ineligible players. This has to do with one man committing crimes outside of football. It is true that the administration dropped the ball in a lot of ways. However, it's not really about football.

The other issue is that SMU had multiple chances to save itself but didn't. The program was caught cheating several times and kept on doing it. Penn State has done all of the right things since it was caught. All of the people involved have been punished and the school is starting fresh. While they handled the scandal poorly, they have done all of the right things lately.

I think it might take a couple of years for the new coach to establish recruiting roads. The team might be thin for the next couple of seasons in the Big Ten. But Penn State has a lot of legitimate resources dedicated to the football program. There are enough people that care to make this work. Penn State won't be down as long as people might think.
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