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What Do You Think About the Penn State Penalties?

Penn State received an unprecedented series of penalties Monday following the guilty verdict of Jerry Sandusky in his child sex abuse case and the building evidence that Penn State officials hid the allegations from authorities for more than a decade.

The Associated Press reported that Penn State received an unprecedented series of penalties Monday following the guilty verdict of Jerry Sandusky in his child sex abuse case and the building evidence that Penn State officials hid the allegations from authorities for more than a decade.

"Football will never again be paced ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in delivering the sanctions.

Penn State is a member of the Big 10, which has a contract with the Pac-12, of which Stanford and California are members, to send teams to the Rose Bowl every year.

Among the penalties was a $60 million fine to be paid into an endowment for programs designed to prevent child sexual abuse and for assisting victims of abuse. None of the money can be used for programs at Penn State.

The NCAA also released any current or incoming football players from their commitment to Penn State and all are free to transfer immediately and become eligible to play at another school.

In addition, there is a four-year ban on bowl games, a loss of 20 scholarships per year over the next four years and five years of probation. Legendary coach Joe Paterno also had all victories between 1998 (the year of the first reported incident involving Sandusky) and last year abandoned.

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.

Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive coordinator, was found guilty in June of sexually abusing young boys, sometimes on campus. An investigation commissioned by the school and released July 12 found that Paterno, who died in January, and several other top officials at Penn State stayed quiet for years about accusations against Sandusky.

The penalties will handicap Penn State's ability to build a competitive football program for years to come. A school will normally offer scholarships to between 20-25 players in any given year.

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. Those officials included university president Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley, both of whom have since resigned.

Penn State has always been noted for its commitment to achieve "success with honor." Current president Rodney Erickson hopes to continue in that regard moving ahead.

"The tragedy of child sexual abuse that occurred at our University altered the lives of innocent children," Erickson said. "Today, as every day, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse.

"Against this backdrop, Penn State accepts the penalties and corrective actions announced today by the NCAA," he continued. "With today's announcement and the action it requires of us, the University takes a significant step forward.

"The NCAA ruling holds the University accountable for the failure of those in power to protect children and insists that all areas of the University community are held to the same high standards of honesty and integrity."

Erickson also announced the university will pay $12 million a year over the next five years into a special endowment for programs as indicated by the NCAA.

"This total of $60 million can never reduce the pain suffered by victims," Erickson said. "But will help provide hope and healing."

Acting Athletic Director David Joyner said Penn State will emphasize compliance and ethics.

"We are deeply disappointed that some of our leaders could have turned a blind eye to such abuse, and agree that the culture at Penn State must change," Joyner said. "I am confident all of our head coaches will come together to make the change necessary to drive our university forward."

Penn State's new football coach Bill O'Brien added his support of Joyner's directive.

"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. we are committed to building a better athletic program and university."


What do you think about the NCAA decision concerning Penn State? Are the penalities justified or too harsh? Tell us in the comments.



Amy July 23, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Not harsh enough. I imagine there will be civil suits to follow, so who knows what the real damage will be in the end.
C L July 24, 2012 at 11:30 AM
I agree with Amy - Nearly not harsh enough!!!

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