Posted by Neil on July 25, 2012
It's always unfortunate when tragedy intrudes upon the world of sports, like we've seen in college football since the Penn State child abuse scandal broke last fall. Our thoughts are mainly with the victims and their families, but there is also administrative work to be done in the wake of the NCAA's major sanctions against Penn State.
As a matter of policy, Sports Reference primarily reports the results of games as played on the field, which means you will still see Joe Paterno's name atop the career coaching leaderboard. It's a difficult situation, but as a data company we first and foremost record the actual events as they happened at the time. However, we also have a list of forfeited and vacated games that provides details of records that have been adjusted by the NCAA. Further, we have notes about vacated results on the affected pages for individual coaches and team-seasons, and the affected leaderboards also contain notes about decisions made by the NCAA.
As was the case with violations by Ohio State, USC, and others, we feel that it is important to provide information about what actually happened on the field at the time, as well as what the NCAA considers official in their records. Hopefully this blog post will clear up any future confusion regarding vacated/forfeited wins and how they related to our stats or leaderboards.