Last week I gobbled quite a bit about the similarities and differences between the two schools recently sanctioned by the NCAA, namely Penn State and University of Central Florida. I felt that UCF got off easy, considering that it is a repeat offender, and that President John Hitt hired head football coach George O’Leary over protests from his faculty and the community, and that the two had presided over a program in which a player had died during practice, resulting in a civil judgment against UCF. Furthermore, UCF’s violations affected both the basketball and football programs. Finally, in contrast to Penn State, UCF’s transgressions involved recruiting, thus potentially cheating to create a competitive advantage, whereas PSU’s violations, egregious as they were, did not affect performance on the field.
Dennis Dodd, Senior College Football Columnist for CBSsports.com, is in accord with me on this one. In his article “Appeal of bowl ban (and other ills) should cost O’Leary, Hitt UCF jobs,” he writes:
Eight days after the nation decried the football culture ruling all at Penn State, football culture is ruling all at Central Florida. Have we learned nothing? We’re not comparing this bowl ban appeal to the horrid abuses at Penn State, but it certainly is another example of the tail wagging the dog. ??? ?????
In another post, Gregg Doyel, National Columnist, hits at the Paterno family for wanting to appeal the Penn State sanctions, about which I also opined last week. In his piece entitled “Paterno family pursuit of record goes from insulting to irrational,” he writes:
According to the letter, the Paterno family wants to soften “the enormous damage done to Penn State, the State College community, former and current students and student-athletes, Joe Paterno and certain others involved, as a result of the unprecedented actions taken by the NCAA.”
Let’s try that last paragraph again, because the part written by the Paterno family was misleading:
According to the letter, the Paterno family wants to soften “the enormous damage done to
Penn State, the State College community, former and current students and student-athletes,Joe Paterno and certain others involved,as a result of the unprecedented actions taken by the NCAA.”
Doyel is a bit unfair, as he has nothing at all good to say about the Paterno family. He even gets in his licks at Jay, stating:
…how about a lifetime show-cause penalty for Jay Paterno? Don’t let him coach college football ever again. Part of me thinks Jay Paterno won’t coach again anyway, because who would hire such a dislikeable cretin? But the coaching community is a closed circle, and Jay was born on the inside. Someone would hire him, but not if he has a lifetime show-cause ruling that would force any potential employer to sit before the NCAA and explain itself.