Most of you have probably read it by now, but Gene Wojociechowski's Friday ESPN article on reducing Penn State's sanctions is the basis for our first Monday Morning Question-Back which will hopefully be a weekly thing to get our commenting brains up-and-running for the rest of the week.
In the article, Woj makes the case that it's time for the NCAA to reduce the Penn State sanctions based on the glowing reports given by former Senator George Mitchell, now the mandated-Athletic Integrity Monitor for the university. In his first two reports, which can be found here and here, Mitchell states that Penn State has made great progress in implementing the Freeh Report's recommendations (which have nothing to do with athletics -- I still don't get that part) and that the university has cooperated with him at every turn. Based on those facts, Woj provides a solution for Penn State's possible "parole":
Do something like this: If Penn State continues to get high marks from Mitchell in 2013, then eliminate the sanctions in 2014. If Penn State does the same in 2014, then eliminate the final year of sanctions in 2015.
....which seems like a very fair way to go about things to me. Penn State will have served a two-year postseason ban and scholarship reduction which we have previously seen with Alabama, and more recently, USC and Miami (albeit self-imposed). Considering that the fact remains that Penn State violated no NCAA rules but the organization felt that had to do something, it's seems about as fair of a compromise that we'll be able to find.
Combine Penn State's steadfastness in making changes to the way the university is run from a human resources standpoint and the football program's still-impeccable reputation with the lawsuits that the NCAA faces from the Commonwealth along with questions about their practices in the University of Miami investigation and their seemingly blind eyes to sitauations at Montana and North Carolina, it's an opportunity for the collegiate-policing body to save a little bit of face to those who don't know how bad the organization actually runs.
There's no way that the sanctions will be removed for the 2013 season. It's just not feasible at this point.
So for our first MMQB question: FEASIBLY, how will sanctions be removed from Penn State's plate, provided that it does happen at some point?