The NCAA dropped the hammer on Penn State and former head football coach Joe Paterno this week. Fans were absolutely devastated by the unprecedented sanctions.
But Penn State alumnus Tom Price of Factoryville, Penn., took it to the extreme. He told WNEP-TV in Scranton that he and his wife Sally equated the NCAA’s punishment to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Nearly 3,000 people died in those attacks.
“I just can’t put my arms around it,” said Price. “It was our 9/11 today. I just saw planes crashing into towers.”
The NCAA hit Penn State with a $60 million fine (the money must be placed in an endowment for programs that work to prevent child sexual abuse), a four-year bowl ban, a cut in the number of football scholarships, and erased 111 of Paterno’s wins — stripping him of the title as the most successful coach in the history of Division I college football.
It all occurred because Paterno and college administrators chose to do nothing while former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky molested young boys on campus and elsewhere.
The punishment was designed to send a message. It will cripple Penn State’s football program for many years.
“Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said.
“It had nothing to do with the Sandusky scandal,” Sally Price said. “They played hard, they worked hard for those victories and to take them away, we will always feel that he is the NCAA victory leader.”
The Price’s — who have been to every Penn State home game since 1986 — are, without a doubt, over-the-top fanatical.
A harsh punishment? Absolutely.
Unfair? What about the victims?
But another 9/11? You cannot be serious.