Oklahomans React To NCAA Penalties Against Penn State

Monday, July 23rd 2012, 5:21 pm
By: News On 6

The NCAA handed down unprecedented sanctions against Penn State's legendary football program Monday, for the sex abuse scandal that rocked the university.

The school faces a $60-million fine and will be banned from post-season games for four years.

They'll lose some scholarships and all wins from 1998 to 2011 will be taken away.

That means Joe Paterno is officially no longer major college football's winningest coach.

The NCAA spared Penn State the so-called, "Death Penalty," which would have canceled all games for a year or more.

7/23/2012 Related Story: NCAA Slams Penn State With Unprecedented Sanctions

Reactions to the Penn State sanctions were quick.

Joe Paterno's family called the sanctions a panicked response and said it defames his legacy.

The new commissioner of the Big 12 conference said the punishments will make all universities double check to make sure a cover-up will not happen at their schools.

Former OSU Head Coach Pat Jones said the NCAA needed to act quickly.

Coach Jones said the NCAA's sanctions against Penn State are harsh, but a step in the right direction to make sure something like this never happens again.

"We're talking about, probably, as bad a moral violation of morality as you could humanly have," Jones said.

Jones spent ten years as head football coach at Oklahoma State.

He's now a radio host at The Sports Animal in Tulsa.

He's been watching the tragedy unfold out of Penn State University, as former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was convicted of child molestation, and evidence showed former head coach, Joe Paterno, helped cover it up.

"I think it would have been incredibly bad if the NCAA had not have acted on this," Jones said.

Jones said the loss of bowl games and scholarships will hurt the football program, but he said the $60-million fine, and wiping away the football team's victories for the last decade, will make waves at schools across the country.

"I think this sends a message to the governance, the boards of regents, the administrators of major universities - particularly the high profile people - that we better be on our P's and Q's," Jones said.

Reactions to the sanctions online varied. Howie Jackson wrote on Facebook that it's not enough, saying, "This is worse than any recruiting violation could ever be. Cover ups at the highest level?"

Dee Whitby said, "That's pretty harsh. But if it takes that to play by the rules, that's ok!"

The Football Office, a Tulsa based website for football coaches, tweeted, "Feel for the victims and families. But how can the NCAA explain a $60 million fine??"

Coach Jones said he is surprised the NCAA didn't go through its normal process to investigate infractions, but he said something needed to be done sooner rather than later.

"I think it's good that the NCAA acted on this kind of a situation, acted harshly and acted quickly, because this is unlike anything we've ever dealt with before," Jones said.