NCAA fines Penn State $60 million, institutes four-year postseason ban
In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the NCAA has levied a $60 million fine on Penn State University on Monday as well as banning the team from the postseason for four years.
Along with the fine and postseason ban, the school must vacate all wins from 1998-2011, and scholarships will drop from 25 to 15 per year. The school will have a cap on scholarships at 65.
The school will be on probation for five years. The NCAA will have the power to continue investigating and impose further sanctions on individuals during that time.
“Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said at Monday’s press conference.
Along with the NCAA penalties, the Big Ten will give Penn State’s $13 million share of the conference bowl revenue over four years to charitable organizations focused on preventing child abuse.
Emmert said the fine is the amount of one year of the football program’s gross revenue. The money from the fine will go to “support programs around the nation that serve the victims of child sexual abuse and seek to prevent such abuse from happening.”
Penn State was not handed the “death penalty,” which would have suspended play for one season. Emmert declined to say he considered these penalties worse than the death penalty.
“If the death penalty were to be opposed … the executive committee and I would not have agreed to just the death penalty,” Emmert said. “It would have been other penalties as well.”
Penn State signed a consent decree with the NCAA and will not appeal the penalties.
With the vacated wins, former head coach Joe Paterno is no longer the most winningest head coach in NCAA football history. Of his 409 victories, Paterno has been stripped of 111 wins, putting him 12th on the all-time list with 298.
Bobby Bowden now becomes major college football’s wins leader while Eddie Robinson reclaims his position as the most winningest head coach in Division-I history.
The vacated wins date back to 1998, when the Freeh report shows leaders at Penn State were notified of Sandusky’s actions. The Freeh report states that leaders–including the president, vice president, athletic director and head football coach–did not act appropriately when they were alerted of possible child sexual abuse with the assistant head coach. Emmert referred to those violations as “perverse and unconscionable” on Monday.
In an effort to soften the penalties for current Penn State student-athletes, the NCAA is considering allowing a scholarship waiver for schools accepting future Penn State transfers. Also, the fine money cannot be drawn from non-revenue sports and will be paid in $12 million installments over a five-year period to an endowment for programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims.
“It is important to know we are entering a new chapter at Penn State and making necessary changes,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a statement. “We must create a culture in which people are not afraid to speak up, management is not compartmentalized, all are expected to demonstrate the highest ethical standards, and the operating philosophy is open, collegial, and collaborative.”
Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien is signed to a five-year deal. In a statement Monday, he reiterated his commitment to the university.
“ I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead,” O’Brien said. “But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes.”
Combining the bowl share with the fine, Penn State has been penalized $73 million. According to the Central Penn Business Journal, that’s the amount of revenue the football program generated in 2010.