Stillwater News Press

OSU Sports

July 23, 2012

Penn State's sanctions leave lasting impact on Big 12, local schools

STILLWATER, Okla. — In the wake of a child sexual abuse scandal involving former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, Monday the NCAA fined Penn State $60 million and banned its football program from postseason play for the next four years.

The penalties Penn State faces were stiff but justified, according to Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. Bowlsby also commended the NCAA for taking action immediately following the end of the case.

“Well, acting quickly and the NCAA are seldom mentioned in the same sentence. So I am a little surprised by that,” Bowlsby said at the Big 12 Conference Media Days in Dallas. “... The one piece that I was surprised at was the magnitude of the fine. And I’d like to hear a little bit more about how that number was derived and just learn more about it.”

Meanwhile, the sanctions handed out to Penn State also serve as a reminder to coaches and athletic directors across the nation.

“We are working very hard to make sure our coaches are of the best quality and are being very constructive,” Langston Athletic Director Mike Garrett said. “We haven’t had any camps here of late, but if we did have camps, we would certainly have people around to supervise and understand what is required to have young people on our campus.”

“The whole situation is just incredibly tragic. That’s the only way I can use to describe the whole thing,” Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops said. “I don’t know all the facts. I’m not one to judge. But in every way, in every way possible, children should always be protected by adults.”

While Garrett hasn’t had to search for a coach at Langston, the events that unfolded at Penn State and the effect it had on the university will impact how he does background checks.

“We do those types of things customarily,” Garrett said. “Any employee here gets a background check. We just don’t hire anyone. Certainly when it comes to administrators and coaches, you have to do a background check.”

But according to TCU coach Gary Patterson, background checks are just the start of what needs to be done to ensure the safety of those around the Big 12 football programs.

“I don’t think things have been the same since it happened. Obviously it’s tragic on a lot of levels, for a lot of different people,” Patterson said. “But for me I would really follow what coach (Nick) Saban said, is that I’m more interested in how are we going to find an answer to the problem, because that problem is not just at Penn State. We’ve got to figure out the problem. That’s a world problem.”

Still some coaches were reluctant to talk about the issue and how it pertains to their programs.

“That was probably going to be my opening statement, if I were to give one, and that is there’s a lot of things going on in our society today, whether it happens to be what you’re addressing or things that have taken place in Colorado, et cetera,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. “That’s not why we’re here. We’re here about ... the young people that play the game for us, and it's about the Big 12 Conference. The rest of it, I’m not interested in.”

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