INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (CBS Cleveland/AP) — The NCAA lays down the hammer against Penn State University following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
NCAA President Mark Emmert announced Monday that Penn State will be fined $60 million and have all its football wins under Joe Paterno vacated from 1998-2011.
The Penn State football program will also be banned from bowl games and postseason play for the next four years and football scholarships will be reduced to 15 per year for the next four years.
“The results were perverse and unconscionable,” Emmert said during the press conference.
Emmert added that the NCAA considered the “death penalty” for the football program which would have suspended the team for a year or more, but felt the suspension would bring about harm to people who had nothing to do with the case.
By vacating 112 Penn State victories over a 14-year period, the sanctions cost Paterno 111 wins. Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will now hold the top spot in the NCAA record book with 377. Paterno, who was fired days after Sandusky was charged, will be credited with 298 wins.
The Freeh report concluded that Paterno and other Penn State officials helped cover-up Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children in 1998 and 2001.
Emmert had earlier said he had “never seen anything as egregious” as the horrific crimes of Sandusky and the cover-up by Paterno and others at the university, including former Penn State President Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley.
Sandusky is awaiting sentencing after being convicted last month of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.
Paterno’s statue was taken down Sunday in response to the Freeh report.
The Paterno family released a statement criticizing Penn State’s decision to remove the statue, saying it was made in haste and before all the facts about Paterno’s role in the Sandusky scandal were known.
“Tearing down the statue of Joe Paterno does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State community. We believe the only way to help the victims is to uncover the full truth,” said the family, which has vowed its own investigation following the release of an investigative report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh that found that Paterno and three other top Penn State administrators concealed sex abuse claims against Sandusky.
“Despite (Freeh’s) obviously flawed and one-sided presentation, the university believes it must acquiesce and accept that Joe Paterno has been given a fair and complete hearing,” the statement said.
The bronze statue, weighing more than 900 pounds, was erected in 2001 in honor of Paterno’s record-setting 324th Division I coaching victory and his “contributions to the university.” Students chanted, “We arePenn State” as it came down Sunday morning.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson said he decided the sculpture had to go because it “has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing.”
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