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Published July 28. 2012 09:01AM

Identifying the Penn State NCAA sanctions as a "slow death penalty" is the best description I've heard. It will take many years, if ever, for PSU to return to football prominence. The loss of scholarships will hurt the most. It will be tough competing in the Big Ten Conference with that kind of penalty. And recruiting? New Coach Bill O'Brien will have to be the ultimate recruiter if he's going to lure blue chip prospects to a program that can't go to bowl games for four years, can't compete for a conference championship, and has to compete with schools that are allowed to issue 10 more scholarships a year.

I feel sorry for the Penn State fans, the players and the new coaching staff. But I feel the sanctions were justified. The Sandusky scandal and the coverup is the worst to hit collegiate sports ever. And don't you wonder what Jerry Sandusky must be feeling and thinking as he gets this latest news while he's locked up in his jail cell?

Isn't it ironic, after the sanctions removed all of Penn State's victories back to the 1998 season, Penn State's last official win came in 1997. And the quarterback of that team?

None other than Mike McQuery, the same individual who witnessed Sandusky molesting a young boy in the shower, that triggered this entire scandal.

And, for anyone who feels that Penn State is being unfairly punished, just ask yourself this question: How would I feel if it was one of my grandsons who was molested by Sandusky, and all the powerful people who could have done something to stop it, turned their heads and did nothing?

Were you surprised to learn that Penn State's football program generates $60 million in profits in a single year? At least that's what the NCAA believes. Seems unfair, really, that the athletes who are drawing all these fans who spend all that money, don't get a penny of those profits. Oh, they get scholarships to pay for their education, but they earn it, as playing college football is now a 12-month-a-year occupation.

I'm really surprised the NCAA didn't ban Penn State from being on television the next four seasons. Although the punishments were harsh, Penn State will still be able to generate more than $20 million a year from TV contracts.

If new PSU Coach, Bill O'Brien has a winning season in any of the next four years, he should be everybody's coach of the year.

It's no surprise that sponsors are dropping their allegiance to Penn State's televised games this year. Companies are afraid to take a chance of being affiliated with the scandal.

Talk about timing. Many Penn State season ticket holders got their ticket applications this week.

New York's proposed ban on sugary drinks is ridiculous.

Anyone who has ever sat in the movie theater can only imagine the horror that was felt in that Aurora, Colo. cinema last weekend when orange-haired James Holmes went on this shooting spree that left 12 young people dead and more than 50 wounded.

And the burning question has to be, why would an individual, any individual, be allowed to purchase an assault rifle. Their purpose is for only one thing - mass killings.

Every town should have a business owner like Palmerton's Richard Nothstein, co-owner of Country Harvest Family Market.

Not only does he seem to step up to the plate for community functions, he's also the best friend of all area veterans.

My main interests in the Summer Olympics games are the swimming competition, the men's basketball, and the track and field events. I'll watch some of the other events and root for the American performers, but a lot of the events don't interest me.

At one time every school kid knew who Sally Ride was.

She became an American hero when she emerged as the first American woman to ride in space. She flew on the shuttle Challenger in 1983 when she was 32.

She paved the way for 42 other American women who flew in space after her.

Ride died earlier this week, of pancreatic cancer. She was only 61 - way too young.

You know what sounds like a nice thing? The South Ward Playground in Tamaqua hosts a free movie night every Friday during the summer. A kids' movie is shown at 7 p.m., followed by a PG rated show for the adults afterward. There's also free popcorn. That's just one of those things that makes small towns unique.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have extended the contract of Mike Tomlin to after the 2016 season. Smart move. He's a great young coach.

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