The NCAA levied its punishments against Penn State University on Monday in the wake of the school’s child sex abuse scandal. Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was convicted last month on 45 counts of child sex abuse, and a review by former FBI director Louis Freeh found that Penn State officials, including late head coach Joe Paterno, helped to conceal information about Sandusky’s crimes.
- A $60 million fine, equal to about one year’s revenue from the football program.
- The vacating of all wins from 1998-2011, which means Joe Paterno will no longer hold all-time record for most wins by a Division I football coach. The move eliminated 111 wins and dropped Paterno from 409 career victories to 298.
- A four-year ban from postseason games.
- A reduction in 20 scholarships per season over five years.
- Five years probation.
- The Big Ten Conference also announced that it would add to the sanctions by making Penn State ineligible for conference bowl revenues during its four-year postseason ban.
- Current and incoming Penn State players are free to transfer to other schools. The NCAA will waive the customary one-year waiting period for players who choose to leave, and they will be eligible to play at their new schools immediately.
What they said
The punishments were announced by NCAA president Mark Emmert and Dr. Edward J. Ray, the NCAA executive committee chair.
- “Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people.” -- Emmert
- “One of the grave dangers of our love of sports is that the sports themselves become too big to fail.” -- Emmert
- The sanctions are meant to “rebuild an athletic culture that went horribly awry.” -- Emmert
- Penn State’s actions were “against our value system and basic human decency.” -- Ray
- These sanctions are a “stark wakeup call” to other colleges about where their priorities need to be. -- Ray
- Was the so-called “death penalty” -- the shutdown of a school’s football program -- considered? “An argument can be made that the egregiousness of the behavior in this case is greater than any other seen in NCAA history and that therefore, a multiyear suspension is appropriate. Suspension of the football program would bring with it significant unintended harm to many who had nothing to with this case.” -- Emmert
Penn State president Rodney Erickson said the school “accepts the penalties and corrective actions.”
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien, the former Patriots offensive coordinator who joined the school in January, said he will remain committed to the Nittany Lions.
Former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz, now an ESPN analyst, said, “When you think of Joe Paterno now, you’re not going to think of the all-time winningest coach.”