Good post, Ron, although I do think you might be giving the students a little too much credit. The most famous of the bunch, Loughlin’s daughter, was quite open about her desire to skip college. She at least seems to have been pushed into it by her parents.
As for what should happen to them, I’m not sure what to think. I’m a big believer in forgiveness, second chances, and so on, and that’s especially true when we’re dealing with young people (even if they are adults in the eyes of the law). That said, they took up space that should have been reserved for more deserving students, and that shouldn’t just be glossed over.
Honestly, though, I’m more annoyed (though not surprised) with the schools themselves. I did read somewhere that Vanderbilt almost got caught up in all this but managed to escape the situation because their academic standards for student athletes are so high. Perhaps the Stanfords and USCs of the world should follow suit, but I’m fairly certain that ain’t gonna happen. I’d also like to see their reputations take a hit after this, but I know that won’t happen either. Yes, they’re very good schools, but some of the prestige they enjoy is almost as phony as the made-up achievements of the students involved in this scandal.