Penn State fined, loses scholarships, receives bowl ban

More than a week after the release of the Freeh Report, which detailed the roles top Penn State administrators and head coach Joe Paterno played in covering up the sexual abuse committed by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, the NCAA has passed down sanctions against the university’s football program, which include a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, 20 fewer scholarships for the next four years, five years of probation, and the vacation of 14 years of victories for the program.

While the penalties handed down were not the same “death penalty” Southern Methodist received in 1987, which halted the program completely for a season, they are sure to be a major setback for the Nittany Lions football team.

Vacating 14 years of Paterno’s victories removes him from the top spot among all-time winningest college football coaches. After holding the NCAA record with 409 wins, Paterno loses 111 wins to go down to 298 wins. This reinstates former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden as the all-time winningest NCAA coach with 377 wins. A statue of Paterno was torn down in State College, Penn., yesterday.

Additionally, Penn State will be cut off from receiving any bowl-generated revenue sharing during the duration of their postseason ban, a sanction that will cost the program an estimated $13 million.

Current or incoming Penn State players will be free to transfer immediately, maybe even within the conference, said Big Ten commissioner James Delany, something that is usually restricted.

“This case is obviously incredibly unprecedented in every aspect of it, as are these actions that we’re taking today,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said at the press conference held to announce the sanctions.

“Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people,” Emmert said.