Penn State recruited SMU players after NCAA death penalty in 1987

Use any adage you want — "What goes around, comes around"; "Eye for an eye"; "Karma is a bitch"; "Do unto others…" — but there's an undeniable fact that when you do something undesirable to someone, something bad will eventually probably happen to you. (This is why I never laugh when people slip on ice no matter how hilarious it might be).

So when a New York Times story from 1987 started to make its rounds on the Internet (thanks to a tweet from @IllinoisLoyalty) regarding coaches poaching players off the SMU campus after the football program was hit with the NCAA's death penalty, it wasn't a huge surprise that Penn State was prominently mentioned as one of the schools doing the poaching.

Representatives from all over the country milled about outside the football offices at Ownby Stadium waiting to snare a few minutes of the players' time.

Among the larger schools that were reportedly represented on campus were Penn State, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma, Houston, U.C.L.A., Arizona, Tulsa, Alabama and Kansas.

Obviously, the situation was a little different. SMU didn't field a team in 1987 and canceled the season in 1988 while Penn State will still play in 2012. However, both the SMU and Penn State NCAA misfortune was an opportunity for other schools to get their hands on some proven players. Penn State was once as opportunistic regarding SMU as many coaches are now toward Penn State.

That's why any indignation over USC, LSU or any other school trying to lure a current Penn State player shouldn't be nonexistent. Not saying it's right or wrong, but it's part of the recruiting game, a game Penn State once played.

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