The NCAA on Monday imposed severe sanctions against Penn State in the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal but stopped short of imposing the “death penalty.”
NCAA President Mark Emmert said the penalties would include a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, a reduction in football scholarships from 25 to 15 for four years and the vacating of all victories from 1998 to 2011. Football scholarships will be capped at 65, 20 fewer than the normal 85.
Emmert also said that any Penn State athlete who wants to transfer to another school can do so and be eligible to play immediately.
Emmert, speaking at a news conference at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis, said the $60 million fine equals one year’s revenues for the Penn State football program.
“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.
Emmert said the penalties are in response to “an athletic structure that went horribly awry” but acknowledged that no penalty could undo “the tragic damage that has been done to the victims and their families.”
Penn State officials said they would not challenge the penalties.
“Against this backdrop, Penn State accepts the penalties and corrective actions announced today by the NCAA,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a statement. “With today’s announcement and the action it requires of us, the University takes a significant step forward.”
The NCAA’s action comes less than two weeks after a report from former FBI director Louis Freeh found the late Joe Paterno and other Penn State officials covered up years of sexual abuse of young boys by Sandusky, the Nitanny Lions’ former defensive coordinator.
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