With the conviction last month of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on sexual abuse charges, most people around University Park were probably breathing a sigh of relief that the horror story was now over. For the Board of Trustees and upper management, it's only beginning...again.

Immediately following the verdict, the Penn State president quickly stated that the university was ready to sit down with each of Sandusky's victims, and negotiate a financial settlement before the civil lawsuits against the university and its leaders could hit the courts. And you know those lawsuits were already written and ready to be filed.

With a $1.8 billion fund in the Penn State Foundation, university officials would be more than happy to divest themselves of a few hundred million dollars to finally make this public-image nightmare go away. They were eager to settle because there have been stories circulating during the criminal trial that university officials had a secret file on Sandusky going back to 1998 when the first investigation into Sandusky's actions with young boys began. If the rumors of this concealed file were made public in court, and proved to be true, then the university would be in a boatload of liability trouble. And the total amount in damages to the victims could be a lot more than a couple hundred million dollars.

It will be interesting reading if these lawsuits are settled out of court. No amount of money can bring back the innocence that those victims lost many years ago at the hands of a sexual predator. And if some university officials knew of his deviant behavior back in 1998 and did nothing to stop him, the storyline could be more devasting than Sandusky's lurid trial details. I'm sure there is plenty of feelings of anger, resentment, and betrayal being expressed behind closed doors by Penn State leaders. How deep into that Foundation Fund are these officials willing to go to compensate the victims and their families and to make this piece of stomach-turning school history disappear forever? We'll have to wait and see.

* The NCAA President's Council has presented their plan for a football playoff system for big-time college football. It will consist of the top four teams in the nation as identified by an as-yet-not-assembled committee, and will be played at bowl sites beginning on January 1st of 2014. This four-team system will be in place for 12 years.

I have no problem with the four-team concept. I'm happy that the President's Council took the initiative to devise a plan. I am concerned that the football players will be asked to extend their season even deeper into January when bodies are pretty banged up by the damage done during the regular season. And I'm tired of hearing the NCAA say that the games are for the players and not for the money generated from these games. If that is so, then why is the championship game location in this playoff system going to the highest bidder?

I also think each player on those four playoff teams should receive some monetary compensation for their participation. They deserve it for playing extra games and absorbing more pain and injury. Heck, their coaches get a handsome bump in pay for getting the team into the playoffs. Why shouldn't those athletes also get a piece of the action?

It's time for the NCAA to anty up and share some of that post-season loot with the players. The playoff system is above and beyond the regular season schedule. It goes beyond the scholarship money, too. Give these athletes their due. That's the right thing to do.

Author's Bio: 

Steve Brennan, a former educator and college basketball coach, has Masters degrees in Educational Administration and Sport Psychology, and a Doctorate in Performance and Health Psychology. He is the author of several books, including Six Psychological Factors for Success and The Recruiters Bible (3rd Edition). He is President of Peak Performance Consultants, and the President and CEO of the Center for Performance Enhancement Research and Education (CPERE). Steve is the developer of the Success Factors Scales, both Corporate and Athletics Editions. http://www.peakperformanceconsult.com and http://thebestcollegerecruiter.com/