He didn’t have the leadership to do it himself, but interim university president Rodney Erickson accepted the penalties for the university, though many Penn Staters did not. Students literally held their breath while watching the NCAA press conference on television.Paterno and his sanctimonious comments over the years some of which were during this time span even up to when the University was firing him, he wanted to negotiate on his own terms when he left. He knew the truth and knew about the cover-up but he was above reproach. During the height of the Catholic Church scandal this group of people also kept their mouths shut knowing full well Sandusky worked a charity for children. How could they live with themselves or did they think the football program at Penn State was more important? Looks like they chose Penn State Football over these young boys. As more details are released, it makes your skin crawl.
This is a one-time set of sanctions by the NCAA because the seriousness of the situation and the cover-up that went on for 14 years. The NCAA President had the full support of the NCAA Board Presidents in this issue. We are glad to see that the Penn State Interim President accepted the sanctions. Now it is time for the students and alums to back down and stop trying to rationalize why Paterno should be held in high esteem. Some of them have come on the Sooner message boards defending Paterno and others and railing against the NCAA. The NCAA President did what was necessary after 14 years of cover-up of child abuse some of which happened in the football facilities of Penn State.
Now it is up to the Courts to punish the people who covered up. Penn State should be grateful they still have a football team and a coach willing to stand by the program. It could have been worse.
Penn State penalties: NCAA sanctions include $60 million fine, four-year bowl ban, scholarship cuts
Published Monday, Jul 23, 2012 at 8:47 am EDT Last updated 1 hour and 13 minutes ago
NCAA president Mark Emmert did not deliver Penn State the death penalty Monday. Rather, Emmert sentenced the university and the football program to a decades-long imprisonment.
That’s how long it might take for Penn State to see the light of day again after arguably the most severe sanctions in college sports history were levied in the wake of the Freeh Report. The toll for its actions:
— 40 scholarship losses, 10 a year for each of the next four years
— A four-year postseason ban— All wins vacated from 1998-2011, including 111 of Joe Paterno's career victories
— A five-year probation
Additionally, the Big Ten announced that Penn State is not eligible for any of the conference's bowl revenue over the next four years. That's about $13 million today, a figure that is expected to grow considerably with the new postseason playoff arrangement. PSU is not eligible to play in the Big Ten championship game over that same span.
"The result can be an erosion of academic values that are replaced by the value of hero worship and winning at all costs. All involved in intercollegiate athletics must be watchful that programs and individuals do not overwhelm the values of higher education. In the Penn State case, the results were perverse and unconscionable."
Penn State can carry no more than 65 players on scholarship, only two more than what is allowed by FCS programs. Current and incoming players can transfer to other programs without penalty, and won't be counted against the scholarship totals of the teams they join. Big Ten president Jim Delany said the conference presidents are likely to allow transfers to other Big Ten schools as well.
The $60 million fine, Emmert said, cannot come from non-revenue sports and cannot be paid for by taking away scholarships. Erickson said the university will pay $12 million over each of the next five years to a special endowment created to fund programs designed to protect and support child sexual abuse victims.
The goal, Emmert said, was to enact punitive damage while "having minimal impact on innocent parties."
In November, Emmert sent Penn State a letter demanding answers to questions involving ethics, compliance and institutional control. The independent investigation conducted by former FBI director Louis Freeh was lengthy, exhaustive and explosive. It took eight months, Freeh’s team interviewed more than 400 people, pored through an unthinkable number of documents and closed the book with 237 pages of staggering revelations. Its conclusions, accepted by Penn State, prompted immediate action from the NCAA.
Among them: Paterno, whose presence engulfed the football program and the university, cared more about protecting the program’s image than he did the lives of the young victims being attacked year after year by Jerry Sandusky, dating back to 1998.
Confronted in 2001 with allegations made by former assistant coach Mike McQueary that Sandusky had raped a boy in the Lasch Building showers, Paterno told his superiors to keep the situation quiet. Sandusky was not arrested until November 2011 and in June was convicted on 45 counts of sexually assaulting 10 boys over a 15-year period.
"As the executive committee, Division I board and I have examined discussed in this case, we kept foremost in our thoughts the tragic damage that has been done to victims and their families," Emmert said. "No matter what we do here today, there is no action we can take that will remove their pain and anguish. But what we can do is impose sanctions that both reflect the magnitude of these terrible acts, and ensure that Penn State will rebuild an athletic culture that went poorly awry."
The man charged, in part, with permanently changing that culture is coach Bill O'Brien.
"I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes," O'Brien said. "I could not be more proud to lead this team and these courageous and humble young men into the upcoming 2012 season."
On Sunday, the iconic image of Paterno—a 7-foot, 900-pound bronze statue—was removed from outside Beaver Stadium. It left behind a gaping hole where greatness once stood. Just like the one left in the heart of Penn State on Monday.