London and Beamer React to and Hackenberg Ponders Penn State's NCAA Punishment
The NCAA doled out one of its severest punishments ever to the Penn State football program Monday for its handling of the sex abuse scandal and cover up.
The sanctions include banning the Nittany Lions from bowls for four years, cutting 20 scholarships a year for four years, five years of probation, and a $60 million fine.
Current and incoming players are also free to immediately transfer or re-commit and compete at other programs.
That list of players includes Fork Union Military Academy rising senior quarterback Christian Hackenberg.
After new Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien took over for Joe Paterno in January, Hackenberg was the first player to commit to O'Brien's Nittany Lions.
The 6'4", 215 pounder is the top ranked signal caller in the country in the class of 2013 according to ESPN.
As of Monday night, Hackenberg has not made a decision to stay with Penn State or reopen his recruitment.
He's said before Monday that he'd go to Penn State if they had football, and if there wasn't a death penalty, as long as it wasn't a four or five-year bowl ban.
South Carolina and Auburn would be potential landing spots for Hackenberg if he de-commits from PSU, according to reports.
Virginia will host Penn State in its second game of the 2012 season.
Cavalier head coach Mike London said the punishment handed down at Penn State might be worse than college football's 'death penalty.' He says this is like dying a slow death.
London said he isn't sure yet of the rules for pursuing any of Penn State's current players, who are in essence now free agents and free to transfer. London says it's impossible to know right now what Penn State's team will look like when Virginia plays the Nittany Lions September 8.
"The team that they have now, I would say, probably will not be representative of the team that's going to show up in Charlottesville the second week in September," London said at the ACC Kickoff in Greensboro, North Carolina Monday. "It remains to be seen how the who, what, when, where, and how those implications have affected their team. I'm quick sure it will. I can't even imagine what Coach (Bill) O'Brien is going through right now and having to deal with that, but it makes for a tough sell in someone's living room right now. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes."
"You got to take care of the youth of this country," said Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer. "What happened today is a gigantic statement from the NCAA, just a very strong, strong statement."
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