Just a day after once beloved coach Joe Pat Paterno’s statue was taken down, the NCAA has handed down strict sanctions against the Penn State football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex trial.

The NCAA ordered Penn State to pay $60 million in fines and banned the team from post-season play for four years. Additionally, the football program will lose 10 scholarships per year for the duration of the sanctions, and current players will be allowed to transfer schools without losing their eligibility.

NCAA president Mark Emmert discussed the harsh sanctions during a press conference:

“In the Penn State case, the results were perverse and unconscionable. No price the NCAA can levy will repair the grievous damage inflicted by Jerry Sandusky on his victims,” Emmert said.

ESPN gives more details about the sanctions:

The NCAA said the $60 million was equivalent to the average annual revenue of the football program. The NCAA ordered Penn State to pay the penalty funds into an endowment for “external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims and may not be used to fund such programs at the university.”

With the wins from 1998-2011 vacated, Paterno moves from 409 wins to 298, dropping him from first to 12th on the winningest NCAA football coach list. Penn State also will have six bowl wins and two conference championships erased. 

The Penn State athletic program also will be put on a five-year probation and must work with an athletic-integrity monitor of NCAA’s choosing. Any current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school.

The NCAA decision comes just weeks after a report by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh found that Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, as well as other university officials, concealed sexual abuse claims levied against former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky. Last month, Sandusky was convicted on multiple accounts of child abuse and assault and is awaiting sentencing.

While many wondered whether or not the NCAA would move to kill Penn State’s football program, suspending it for a year, others see this move as far worse. The lack of revenue from the program, coupled with the loss of scholarships, will most certainly make it difficult for the Penn State football team to compete with other top-tier programs in the coming years.

What do you think of the NCAA’s decision? 

Tags: ,
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • Marisa

    I’m not moved with the dont punish the students and players bit because some schools have been hit with as harsh if not worse sanctions for a whole lot less. Penn State and that includes King Paterno allowed a known and by the way caught in the act pedophile to roam their campus and have access to children at will. The lack of a real football program and being unable to play and watch games every every season,pales in comparison to what these victims have and will continue to go through.

  • Child, Please

    Seeing that these are STUDENT-athletes, it makes a difference and all thought should be given to students. While I’m usually not one to defend them seeing they get the perks of being an “athlete,” to disregard the fact that they aren’t affected by this in anyway shows a lack of oversight. The institution should be punished and even the football program should be given the death penalty, but if the athletes didn’t know they didn’t know. They are allowed to transfer, but that ish is difficult in and of itself. You may not even get to go where you want to go and teams still choose based on need. Also, did anyone even think about who was going to pay for that $60 million? Without an active program, it’d be difficult to do and depending on how tuition is regulated at their university or in their system, I doubt any student will want to stay to pay for that. I ache for the victims, but in all honesty, what does inadvertently and over-zealously punishing others do? Furthermore, seeing this has been swept under the rug since 1998, I think the NCAA just wants to clean its hands of something they more than likely overlooked as well. What’s seems to be missing in all of this is whether or not the other institution involved (Second Mile), was shut down. Talk about fair…

  • kagu

    sigh* The financial penalty I get, “erasing” previously played games….. who gives a crap. And preventing them from playing in future bowls…. I have mixed feelings. Most of me feels like that is just nonsensical and punishing the students for the failure of their administration, but at the same time, preventing bowls for the next several years could serve to temper the religious-like fervor of football culture at PSU. (Something I think many campuses should examine)

  • Or we can put effort into creating mechanisms to oversee Athletic Departments that fall under the governance of the NCAA… these structural changes may be an appropriate ways to addressing systematic grievances. Just saying…

    Fiscal penalties + revoked wins… band-aid solution.