Jul 23, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from ESPN: The NCAA has hit Penn State with a $60 million sanction, a four-year football postseason ban and a vacation of all wins dating to 1998, the organization said Monday morning.
“These funds 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 the university,” the NCAA said in statement.
The career record of former head football coach Joe Paterno will reflect these vacated records, the statement continued.
Penn State must also reduce 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period, the release said.
The NCAA revealed the sanctions as NCAA president Mark Emmert and Ed Ray, the chairman of the NCAA’s executive committee, and Oregon State’s president spoke at a news conference in Indianapolis at the organization’s headquarters.
“In the Penn State case, the results were perverse and unconscionable,” Emmert said.
“No price the NCAA can levy with repair the damage inflicted by Jerry Sandusky on his victims,” he said, referring to the former Penn State defensive coordinator convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse last month.
The NCAA said the $60 million was equivalent to the average annual revenue of the football program.
“There is incredible interest in what will happen to Penn State football,” Ray said at the news conference. “But the fundamental chapter of this horrific story should focus on the innocent children and and the powerful people who let them down.”
The NCAA’s announcement followed a day after Penn State removed Joe Paterno’s statue outside Beaver Stadium, a decision that came 10 days after a scathing report by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh found that Paterno, with three other top Penn State administrators, had concealed allegations of child sexual abuse made against Sandusky.
The Freeh report concluded their motive was to shield the university and its football program from negative publicity.
The NCAA took unprecedented measures with the decision to penalize Penn State without the due process of a Committee on Infractions hearing, bypassing a system in which it conducts its own investigations, issues a notice of allegations and then allows the university 90 days to respond before a hearing is scheduled.
Following the hearing, the Infractions Committee then usually takes a minimum of six weeks, but it can take upwards of a year to issue its findings.
But in the case of Penn State, the NCAA appeared to use the Freeh report — commissioned by the school’s board of trustees — instead of its own investigation.
“We cannot look to NCAA history to determine how to handle circumstances so disturbing, shocking and disappointing,” Emmert said in the statement. “As the individuals charged with governing college sports, we have a responsibility to act. These events should serve as a call to every single school and athletics department to take an honest look at its campus environment and eradicate the ‘sports are king’ mindset that can so dramatically cloud the judgment of educators.”