NCAA Comes Down Hard On Penn State

Image: Penn State football players Derek Moye, Quinn Barham, Devon Still, and Drew Astorino enter the field prior to their NCAA football game against Nebraska in State College



NBC Sports College Football via Associated Press

Sanctions include $60 million fine, 4 -year bowl ban, vacating wins from 1998-2011

The NCAA has slammed Penn State with an unprecedented series of penalties, including a $60 million fine and the loss of all coach Joe Paterno’s victories from 1998-2011, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Other sanctions include a four-year ban on bowl games, and the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years.

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the staggering sanctions Monday at a news conference in Indianapolis. Though the NCAA stopped short of imposing the “death penalty” – shutting down the Nittany Lions’ program completely – the punishment is still crippling for a team that is trying to start over with a new coach and a new outlook.

Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive coordinator, was found guilty in June of sexually abusing young boys, sometimes on campus.


Sunday Talk: Shall we play a game?

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...
Image via Wikipedia

Silly Rabbit over at Daily Kos has a wicked sense of humor.  Love it!

While President Obama was ignoring the worsening crises in Japan and Libya in favor of making his NCAA basketball tournament picks, House Republicans were busy dealing with a real emergency… namely, federal funding of NPR.

True presidential leadership—the type that only money can buy—would’ve resulted in Obama donning a HazMat suit and flying to Tokyo to help put out the reactor fires.

Instead, he chose UCONN to win its third straight women’s national championship.

Let’s all hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Fox News Is Not Pleased That President Obama Took Time To Fill Out His Brackets

Fox News will find any and everything wrong with the president’s agenda.  This is nothing new for the anti-Obama network.  It’s called Obama Derangement Syndrome.

TPM LiveWire

In the not-so-cleverly titled segment “Barack-etology 2011” President Obama appeared on ESPN today to show the nation how he’s filled out his NCAA bracket, predicting which college basketball teams will do well in March Madness. Obama is an admittedly big sports fan, and many will this sort of light and fun activity as a chance for the President to connect with the hundreds of thousands of avid March Madness fans who are his constituents.

But not everyone thinks this is a fun and harmless exercise.  There are some who believe that this sort of presidential activity is not only an incredible waste of time, but also demonstrates insensitivity during these dire days in which the country finds itself – what with trouble in the Middle East, labor disputes in the Midwest and a potential nuclear reactor seemingly on the brink of a melt down in Japan, how can the President find time for something as impractical as college basketball?  Oh, and turns out a number of on-air personalities at Fox News channel happen to be of this opinion (and they aren’t afraid to share it!)        More…



Predicting Obama’s NCAA Predictions

I’m not a David Frum fan per se.  However, he is one of the few conservatives that I actually listen to when he appears on MSNBC or CNN. 

Here, predicts how President Obama will make his picks for the 2011 NCAA tournament next Tuesday. 

Frum puts a delightful political spin on the POTUS’ picks.  The thing is, he just may have hit on something.  Check it out…

Frum Forum

President Obama will be completing his NCAA men’s basketball tournament picks on Tuesday afternoon so they can be revealed on ESPN Wednesday.  The president takes his basketball seriously, but rest assured that his political team will make sure that Obama takes this opportunity to score a few bonus points with the voters (and fans) of the nation’s swing states.  Rather than dissect his decisions post hoc, below are a few predictions as to how the president will balance his inner basketball guru with his day job as the world’s leading political figure.

East: The president will have Ohio State beating North Carolina in the round of 8.  There are a lot of crazy Buckeye fans in Ohio that vote.

West: Michigan will get out of the first round despite being ripe for an upset.  The president will have Arizona knocking off Texas.  He will also have Penn State winning its first round game over Temple.  Ultimately, he picks Duke.  Sure, it’s an elite private school….but it is in North Carolina.

Southwest: Expect the president to pull a fast one on us and pick UNLV over the largest school in his home state, Illinois.  The people in Illinois like him.  The people of Nevada are, well, less sold on his virtues.

Obama will also shock us and pick Georgetown to fall in the first round, since there is nothing to be gained by supporting an elite private school located inside the beltway (also, Georgetown has looked awful without its star player Chris Wright and it is far from clear whether Wright is actually going to be healthy).  Ultimately, the president picks Notre Dame to emerge from the bracket.  Let’s not forget that the president spoke at the home of “Touchdown Jesus” and the school not only has clout in Indiana, it also has a huge nationwide fanbase.

Southeast: The president advances Michigan State over UCLA in the first round, leading him to have to pick between a Michigan school and the University of Florida.  Having already pleased Michigan State alums by picking them to upset UCLA, Obama will pick Florida to advance all the way to the Elite 8.  He’ll also have Wisconsin heading to the round of 16.  Eventually, the president will have Pitt and Florida clashing in the battle of chalk.  An unenviable decision to make for a man that needs to win both states, the president will opt for Pitt.

Thus, Obama will have a Final Four of: Ohio State, Duke, Pitt, Notre Dame.  In his national championship game, the President will have Pitt knocking off Ohio State.