Penn State Students Frustrated by Punishment

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno’s family and diehard Penn State loyalists condemned the penalties sanctioned against the university by the NCAA Monday, as an overzealous response that unfairly targeted the former coach.

“The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator without any input from our family or those who knew him best,” the family said through a statement.

Others with strong ties to the Penn State community also condemned the NCAA sanctions.

“We expected large sanctions but this is overkill,” said Daniel Byrd, president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the PSU Alumni Association, in a e-mail to CNN.

Byrd praised some of the penalties, such as $60 million the university will give to groups helping victims of child sex abuse, but he argued that the cut in football scholarships and four-year ban from bowl games “benefit nobody.”

“It hurts our student athletes that need grants,” Byrd’s e-mail said.

Across the Atlantic, Patel said the penalties unfairly target the future of the football program that he described as vital to the university.

“I don’t see the program recovering in the next 10 to 15 years,” he told CNN by telephone, adding that “by essentially taking away the main pillar of the university, you are almost pulling the university down.”

On social media, some players wrote they would return next season as a team with a mission.

“PSU vs The World – Day 1 – ,” tweeted tight end Garry Gilliam. Former players, meanwhile, rejected the 111 canceled victories by the NCAA that dropped Paterno’s total from a record 409 to 298.

“They can take away whatever games they want to, I know I was apart of win 400, 409 and all the other games WE won while at PSU,” posted former wide receiver Derek Moye on Twitter.

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