NCAA Gives Penn State $60M Fine, 4-Year Bowl Ban
INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA has levied a $60 million fine and a four-year bowl ban among other punishments against Penn State University in the wake of a child rape scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, officials announced on Monday.
The school will also forfeit all football victories from 1998-2011, a reduction of football scholarships from 25 to 15 for a four-year period and a five-year probation period, the NCAA announced at a news conference in Indianapolis on Monday morning.
“No price the NCAA can levy will repair the … damage inflicted by Jerry Sandusky,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said during the press conference on Monday.
According to the NCAA, the $60 million amount equals one year of football-generated revenue for the school. The school did avoid the so-called “death penalty,” or complete suspension of the football program in the announced penalties.
According to Emmert, Penn State has signed an agreement with the NCAA to accept the penalties. Current Penn State football players will also be allowed to transfer to other schools without penalty, Emmert said.
Last month, Sandusky – a long-time defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team – was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse against 10 young victims over the course of several years, including some instances of abuse at Penn State athletic facilities.
The punishments, which also includes an independent integrity monitor to report back quarterly to the NCAA and the university’s board of trustees, come after a scathing report from an independent investigation led by former FBI director Louis Freeh. In Freeh’s report, four top school officials – including late football coach Joe Paterno – were held responsible for knowing about the abuse of children by Sandusky but allegedly did nothing to stop that abuse.
On Sunday, in State College, Pennsylvania, the 900-pound bronze statue of Paterno was removed from its place outside the 106,000-seat football stadium. Erickson said in a statement the statue is being stored in a “secure location.”
CNN reports that the statue was removed exactly six months after Paterno died of lung cancer. He died less than three months after he coached his last game, an October 29 victory over Illinois that gave him a major college record 409 wins, 111 of which came after 1998. Under Paterno’s 46-season tenure as head coach, the Nittany Lions won two national championships, went undefeated five times, and finished in the top 25 national rankings 35 times.
The tribute to the coach had become an object of contention after the child rape scandal involving Sandusky.
Sandusky is expected to be sentenced in September. His legal team has said it will appeal the convictions.
Two former university administrators are still awaiting trial for their role in the scandal, and authorities say that more charges are possible as the state’s attorney general investigates what Penn State may have known about Sandusky’s behavior.