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Penn State penalties: $60 million fine, 4-year bowl ban


INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA on Monday hit Penn State with a $60 million fine, banned the football team from bowl games for four years and vacated all of its wins from 1998 to 2011 in the wake of the university’s child sex abuse scandal.

At a morning news conference, NCAA president Mark Emmert said Penn State will lose 10 initial football scholarships for new students, beginning in 2013-14. The number of total scholarships will be reduced from 85 to 65 for four years, beginning in 2014-15.

The $60 million in fines will go toward a fund for victims of child abuse. Penn State also will be placed on probation for five years.

The Big Ten also announced sanctions, including a ban from conference championship games for four years. Penn State will forfeit its revenue from conference bowl games, approximately $13 million, which will be donated to charitable organizations for the protection of children.

The Big Ten scheduled a teleconference for 10 a.m. CT to discuss the sanctions.

All of Penn State’s victories from 1998 through 2011 will be vacated. Coach Joe Paterno’s record will reflect the vacated victories, meaning he no longer will be recognized as the NCAA’s all-time winningest coach.

Paterno won 409 games in 46 seasons as Penn State’s coach. The vacated wins remove 111 victories from his total, dropping it to 298 and leaving him well behind new leader Eddie Robinson of Grambling (408 wins). Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden now leads the list of FBS coaches with 377.

“The Penn State case has provoked in all of us powerful emotions and shaken our confidence in many ways,” Emmert said. “After much debate, we concluded the sanctions needed to reflect our mission of cultural change. The actions already taken by the new chair of the board and the new president, have demonstrated a strong desire and determination by Penn State and the university to right these severe wrongs.”

Speaking of the victims of former football assistant Jerry Sandusky, Emmert said, “No matter what we do here today, there is no action we can take that will remove their pain and anguish. But what we can do is impose sanctions that both reflect the magnitude of these terrible acts and that also ensure that Penn State will rebuild an athletic culture that went horribly awry.

“Our goal is not to be just punitive, but to make sure the university establishes an athletic culture in which football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people.

“The gut-check message is do we have the right balance in our culture?” Emmert said. “Or are we in a position where hero worship and winning at all costs has subordinated our core values?”

All current and incoming Penn State players will be allowed to transfer and be eligible immediately elsewhere. The NCAA will consider waiving scholarship maximums for schools who accept Penn State transfers.

“Today we received a very harsh penalty from the NCAA and as head coach of the Nittany Lions football program, I will do everything in my power to not only comply, but help guide the university forward to become a national leader in ethics, compliance and operational excellence,” coach Bill O’Brien said in a statement. “I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes.

”I was then and I remain convinced that our student athletes are the best in the country. I could not be more proud to lead this team and these courageous and humble young men into the upcoming 2012 season. Together we are committed to building a better athletic program and university.”

Penn State President Rodney Erickson said the university accepted the punitive measures and said the university would pay $12 million a year for the next five years to create a special endowment to fund programs for detection, prevention and treatment of child abuse.

“It is important to know we are entering a new chapter at Penn State and making necessary changes,” 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 was not given the NCAA “death penalty,” a punishment that would have shut down the football program for a period of time and was championed by some.

The process by which Penn State is being punished steps outside the usual realm of NCAA enforcement. The NCAA typically investigates a potential major violation and sends a notice of allegations to the institution, which has 90 days to respond. The case usually moves toward a hearing in front of the Committee of Infractions, which releases a report on its findings 8-12 weeks after it reaches a conclusion.

SOURCE: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-spt-0724-penn-state–20120724,0,6965116.story

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