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NCAA levies sanctions against Penn State amid scandal

Penn State loses wins from 1998, must pay $60 million

Published: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 21:07

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NCAA levies sanctions against Penn State amid scandal

Penn State loses wins from 1998, must pay $60 million


Eleven days after former FBI director Louis Freeh’s report on Pennsylvania State University’s football program, the NCAA announced a list of severe penalties against the school. 

Penn State will: pay $60 million, the equivalent of one-year’s revenue from the football program, which will go to an endowment for programs preventing child sexual abuse or preventing current victims; incur a four-year bowl ban; vacate all wins dating back to 1998; reduce 20 total scholarships over the four year period; and be placed on probation for five years.

Penn State’s conference, the Big 10, has levied its own sanctions: a five-year ban from the conference championship and it will withhold Penn State’s allocation from the Big 10’s bowl revenue pool to the tune of $13 million, to be paid to charities of the Big 10’s choice. 

These sanctions come nearly a year after former defensive coordinator for the team, Jerry Sandusky, was accused of molesting children within Penn State facilities and his home.

The Freeh report found that the head coach of the team for the past 45 years, Joe Paterno, along with other administrators hid information they knew about the scandal.

Since the allegations arose last year, Sandusky has been convicted of 45 counts of child molestation and many school administrators have been fired.

Andre Ward, a junior mechanical engineer, said he felt bad for the student athletes.

“When you love playing as much as they do, this is a rough punishment,” Ward said.

The NCAA’s sanctions have serious implications. First, by sitting out bowl games for four years and vacating all possible revenue from these games, the program will be hit hard and boosters will have to carry the slack. This also sets back recruiting for the next five years due to the difficulty in recruiting top athletes when they know they won’t see a bowl game until 2017.

Second, vacating wins dating that far back means Penn State gives up 112 wins, including six bowl wins and two conference championships. Paterno once stood as the winningest coach in NCAA history with 409 wins, but now slips to 12th with 298. 

People across the nation said Penn State could face the infamous ‘death penalty’ that Southern Methodist University in Dallas suffered in 1987, which cancelled their entire season that year along.

Bryce House, junior accounting major, said the punishment fits the crime.

“It’s justified, it’s just about right for what happened,” House said. “It definitely hurts the students though and the image of the University for the graduates.”


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