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July 31, 2012

The NCAA drastically sanctions Penn State University

No monetary penalty that the NCAA can impose to repair the damage done by Jerry Sandusky

By Stephen Lars

If there was no precedent for the NCAA to base it’s punishment for institutional lack of control, they have certainly have set one up now. For what the NCAA is calling a lack of institutional control, the NCAA is punishing Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case with a $60 million sanction, a four-year football postseason ban, and a vacation of all wins dating to 1998, and the order for the football program to reduce 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year. The NCAA president, Mark Emmert, and the chairman of the NCAA’s executive commission, Ed Ray, spoke at a press conference in the institution headquarters in Indianapolis to publicly give Penn State the most severe sanction ever given to a University by the college sports ruling body. "In the Penn State case, the results were perverse and unconscionable. No price the NCAA can levy will repair the damage inflicted by Jerry Sandusky on his victims," Emmert said.

Penalties: $60 million, the prohibition on participating in postseason football for four years, and remove all records for wins since 1998 ...

The NCAA ordered Penn State to pay the penalty funds 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." On the other hand, with the wins from 1998-2011 vacated, Joe Paterno, the legendary head coach who fell in disgrace after his death earlier this year, now moves from 409 wins to 298, dropping him from first to 12th on the winningest NCAA football coach list. Penn State also will have six bowl wins and two conference championships erased. The NCAA states that this is go to be a clear reminder for all the other institutions that the win at all cost mentality has to end now.

Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State defensive coordinator was convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse last month. An investigative report set up by the board of trustees of Penn State was leaded by the former FBI director Louis Freeh has been the key source of information the NCAA has used to deliver its sanction. The Freeh report, as the 8-month investigation was called, came to the conclusion that "the most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized." 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. Usually the NCAA would issue a notice of allegations and then allows the university 90 days to respond before a hearing is scheduled. This time, it seems as if the NCAA relied exclusively on the finding of the Freeh report deliver it’s punishment.

The $60 million will be used in an effort to help the community. The NCAA ordered Penn State to pay the penalty funds into an endowment for external programs preventing children sexual abuse. It cannot be used to fund a program within the university. As for the future of the program, the current head coach had the following to say. "Today we receive 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," Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien said in the statement.

About the Author

Stephen Lars is a prominent sports blogger and currently covers the Sports news, previews and handicaps for the BetIAS Sportsbook. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.