When SMU was hit with the death penalty in the '80s, it was actually only a one-year thing. The Mustangs missed two years of football because they couldn't field enough players the second year due to other punishments. We might see something similar happen to Penn State after the NCAA's heavy, heavy penalties were announced Monday morning.
The NCAA says it's considering allowing schools to tack PSU transfers on top of their own current scholarship counts without any penalty, meaning other teams could essentially get players who don't count against the "salary cap," so to speak. Meaning even Alabama could take on Penn State players.
If that happens, the Nittany Lions' roster could be completely picked apart to such a degree that competition could be pointless for the time being. And each player that leaves Penn State only increases the chances of more leaving.
Even before that stipulation was announced as under consideration, coaches across the nation were eying Penn State's roster for potential acquisitions. It might be open season now.
More from the NCAA's release on player transfers:
- Football student-athletes who transfer will not have to sit out a year of competition. Any incoming or currently enrolled football student-athlete will be immediately eligible upon transfer or initial enrollment at an NCAA institution, provided they are admitted and otherwise eligible per NCAA regulations.
- Penn State will release any incoming student-athletes from the National Letter of Intent.
- Permission-to-contact rules will be suspended. Penn State cannot restrict in any way a student-athlete from pursuing a possible transfer. Student-athletes must simply inform Penn State of their interest in discussing transfer options with other schools. Interested schools also must inform Penn State of their intention to open discussions with the student-athlete.
- Official and unofficial visit rules will be loosened. Any incoming or currently enrolled football student-athletes interested in taking an official or unofficial visit will be permitted to do so during the 2012-13 academic year, no matter how many visits they took during their recruitment. Institutions seeking to provide an official visit to a student who already visited the school as many times as NCAA legislation allows can seek relief from the NCAA on a case-by-case basis.
Additionally, the NCAA is considering waiving scholarship limits for programs to which these football student-athletes transfer, provided they reduce proportionately in the next year. For example, the limit is 25 new scholarships per year to a total of 85 scholarships. If the limits are waived in 2012-13 to accommodate one Penn State student-athlete who wishes to transfer to a particular school already at the limits, in 2013-14 the school will be limited to 24 new scholarships and 84 total scholarships.
For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.