STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – The NCAA announced a series of penalties against Penn State University Monday morning in the wake of a child sexual assault scandal involving former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky.
NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the penalties during a press conference at 9 a.m.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Lawyers React To Derek Chauvin Being Found Guilty Of George Floyd's Murder
The sanctions include:
- $60 million fine with the funds going to support nationwide programs for victims of child abuse. The total amount of the fine is equivalent to one year’s worth of revenue from the football program.
- PSU will be banned from all playoff and bowl game competition for four years
- Reduction of scholarships for four years
- Student-athletes may transfer to another school immediately and will be allowed to compete this year
- PSU will have all of their wins from 1998-2011 vacated
- PSU will be placed under a five-year probationary period
Watch the announcement:
Beyond these sanctions, the NCAA is also imposing other corrective actions to ensure the intended cultural changes actually occur.
The NCAA is requiring Penn State to adopt the formal reforms outlined in Chapter 10 of the Freeh Report, specifically section 5.0.
Penn State is required to enter into an Athletic Integrity Agreement with the NCAA and the Big 10 Conference as well.
“This agreement will require the establishment of a chief compliance officer position, a compliance council, and an array of control mechanisms that are intended to ensure the athletic culture will be fully integrated into the broader university,” Emmert said.
The NCAA will also select an independent athletics integrity monitor who will report to the NCAA, Penn State’s Board of Trustees and the Big Ten conference quarterly for a period of five years.
“They will report on the progress Penn State is making in implementing all provisions of this agreement,” Emmert said.
In response to the decision, Penn State President Rodney Erickson said, “Penn State accepts the penalties and corrective actions announced today by the NCAA. With today’s announcement and the action it requires of us, the university takes a significant step forward.”
In addition, the Big Ten Conference has declared Penn State ineligible for conference bowl revenues while serving the 4-year postseason ban.
Emmert said that these sanctions were decided and agreed upon with the victims and their families in mind.READ MORE: Columbus Police Show Video Of Officer Fatally Shooting 16-Year-Old Girl
“This case involves tragic and tragically unnecessary circumstances. One of the grave dangers stemming from our love of sports is that the sports themselves can become too big to fail, indeed too big to even challenge. 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. No price the NCAA can levy will repair the grievous damage inflicted by Jerry Sandusky on his victims. However, we can make clear that the culture, actions and inactions that allowed them to be victimized will not be tolerated in collegiate athletics,” Emmert said.
There was much speculation that the NCAA would issue the so-called “death penalty” in this case. Emmert detailed the discussion that went into not issuing that punishment.
“The Executive Committee, Division I board and I, had extensive discussions about the appropriateness of imposing a suspension of football for one or more years. An argument can be made that the egregiousness of the behavior in this case is greater than any other seen in NCAA history and that therefore, a multi-year suspension is appropriate,” Emmert said.
“After much debate however, we concluded that the sanctions needed to reflect our goals of driving cultural change as much as apply punitive actions. Suspension of the football program would bring with it significant unintended harm to many who had nothing to do with this case. The sanctions we have crafted are more focused and impactful than that blanket penalty.”
As a condition of the terms of the $60 million fine, the money must be paid into an endowment for external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims and may not be used to fund such programs at Penn State.
“Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people,” Emmert said.
The investigation headed by former FBI Director Louis Freeh said that Penn State officials kept what they knew from police and other authorities for years, enabling the abuse to go on.
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