AP photo -- Sunday morning ...Penn State REMOV...

Statue of Joe Paterno removed from Beaver Stadium

No bowl games for 4 years, statues taken down, scholarships lost, massive fines imposed, wins vacated.

By now we have watched countless hours of coverage on ESPN and other news stations involving the sanctions levied by the NCAA toward Penn State. Yesterday was a veritable media blitz covering all of the sports talk radio, local and national news broadcasts, newspapers and internet message boards.

Former players, students, coaches from teams from all over the country all had microphones put in front of them to give their opinion of the penalties against the University and the football program in particular.

Everyone has an opinion on this matter.

Some have stronger opinions than others.

Whether you agree or disagree with the punishment fitting the crime, it does not change the fact that there is a lot of healing that needs to take place for many people involved, regardless if they are directly or indirectly impacted by these events and resulting consequences.

My only hope is that some of the public figures just quit talking about it altogether.

Bobby Bowden was taking numerous opportunities yesterday to talk about the subject and used his typical – good ol’ boy, golly gee whiz’ attitude. Bobby, stop with the Elmer Fudd impersonations here. A polite comment such as “this is a hard way to back into a record” and then just walk away.

I do feel for the Paterno family. Many of the things that have happened this week I am sure are viewed by them as a direct attack on their family, their pride and most importantly to them, the legacy of the good things that their beloved Joe stood for.

Unfortunately every time they make another press release – which seems like every single day – the perceived reality in their statements appears to be far out of touch with the pulse of most of the sports fans who are following the proceedings on a daily basis.

Another side bar to this entire event is what will happen to the current football players who have been given free rein by the NCAA to go elsewhere and not have to sit out and miss any time. Head coach Bill O’Brien will have his hands full trying to keep existing players and also try to make sure the kids that have already committed to the program as freshmen to be will continue to uphold that early promise and attend the university.

Many of the football players could look to other programs , and as some speculate this could essentially turn into a college free agency scenario for this year.

Since it is late in the summer and football is just around the corner, it is unlikely that many players will leave Penn State due to the timing of it all. No matter how high the talent level, it would be difficult at this juncture to leave and go to another school and still play this year for another program. It would require a lot of things happening in the lives of those young men in a short amount of time.

As we continue to discuss this entire topic over the next days and weeks, it is important to remember that a lot has happened here in a short amount of time.

More importantly…….. It has all happened because nothing was done for a long amount of time.

Until Next time…just stay classy.

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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