I don't think the entire football program should be punished. That doesn't punish the people who actually molested the kids and who covered it up, it punishes the football players. Some of those kids rely on their football scholarships to get an education they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. Punishing them is going way over the top.
And this is coming from someone who attends a university with a huge ass football program, and I routinely bitch about the preferential treatment they get, because it pisses me off.
As a (now former) coach, it's extremely reasonable for the whole program to get punished.
Every single coach when they take on the responsibility of teaching and coaching young people has a responsibility for the safety of those children first and foremost. If you're the leader of a program, you have even more of a responsibility.
Beyond that, the entire program has a responsibility to oversee the coaches and make sure they're being responsible.
I know people always say that the punishments are too harsh on the program, but people don't seem to realize that this is an example being made. You think this kind of thing hasn't gone on in other programs across the country? This is the NCAA telling every single college, "listen, don't even think
about @#%^ing with us. We will tear your program apart."
Because this kind of thing is abominable. Completely and 100% abominable. Anyone defending any person at Penn State involved in their football program is an idiot. Paterno covered this sh*t up for a DECADE or more. There were plenty of other people in the program that knew about this and just because Paterno said to cover it up, they did.
The whole program should be banned from competing for at least a decade, if you ask me.
I won't apologize for the strong language and wording of this post. I've been in the athletic system both as a player and as a coach, and this kind of sh*t makes me absolutely furious.