Monday, July 23, 2012

Penn State fined $60M, wins vacated from ‘98-11


— The NCAA slammed Penn State with an unprecedented series of penalties Monday, including a $60 million fine and the loss of all coach Joe Paterno's victories from 1998-2011, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Other sanctions include a four-year ban on bowl games, the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years and five years' probation. The NCAA also said that any current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school.

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the staggering sanctions at a news conference in Indianapolis. Though the NCAA stopped short of imposing the "death penalty" — shutting down the Nittany Lions' program completely — the punishment is still crippling for a team that is trying to start over with a new coach and a new outlook.

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.

Emmert fast-tracked penalties rather than go through the usual circuitous series of investigations and hearings. The NCAA said the $60 million is equivalent to the annual gross revenue of the football program. The money 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 Penn State.

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

Emmert had earlier said he had "never seen anything as egregious" as the horrific crimes of Sandusky and the cover-up by Paterno and others at the university, including former Penn State President Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley.

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.

There had been calls across the nation for Penn State to receive the "death penalty," and Emmert had not ruled out that possibility as late as last week — though Penn State did not fit the criteria for it. That punishment is for teams that commit a major violation while already being sanctioned.


Chris1955 9 years, 6 months ago

Can any of the Penn State football players realistically transfer at this late of date? Would any BCS football program have any room to offer scholarships to these players, or is Penn State on the hook for the scholarships? Is KU in the hunt for any of these players?

gchawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Good questions, and I believe the players could chose to transfer since there was a coaching change, and they wouldn't be assessed a one year moratorium from playing for doing so because of the change. I'm not 100% about this, but I believe it's correct.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 6 months ago

If I understand you correctly, this is the answer you were looking for. It's from the article above. "The NCAA also said that any current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school."

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 6 months ago

You are right they can switch, but I think the question Chris is asking is if any BCS schools really have any scholarships available. Most have a full deck of scholarships issued by the time August roles around.

The one thing that might help at this point in time, is that some of the players out there are going to be ruled inegible (not Penn State, but from BCS schools), if that happens then there usually is a scholarship here or there that could be swept up. Remember last year when we lost an O-Lineman and another guy. If that were the case this year we would end up with two scholies to offer still.

I don't know how many scholies we have, but hopefully there is one or two that could go to a DE (hopefully a good pass rusher).

dylans 9 years, 6 months ago

The NCAA made an exception for the PSU players. They can transfer anywhere even if the school is at the scholarship limit. That school will have to compensate down the road to get back to the proper scholarship limit.

Greg Ledom 9 years, 6 months ago

As close to the death penalty as you can get I'd say, and all warranted. I would have added that all references to those at fault be stricken from any existing published material still in circulation (in print) and any buildings on campus such as the Paterno library.

bradh 9 years, 6 months ago

I disagree. Penn State was reprehensible in their handling of the situation, but they violated no NCAA rules. Penn State will be hit with civil suits, which is where I think the money penalties should be assessed. Likewise, there is no reason to vacate Penn State's wins since 1998. No cheating was going on that affected the games. I do think the elimination of bowl games for four years is warranted, just to say you need to pay attention to the laws of this country. Personally, I think the NCAA was just trying to get some free publicity and jumping on the bandwagon to score points, which they sorely need.

Wisconsin2Kansas 9 years, 6 months ago

Couldn't agree more. Penn State didn't break any rules, the whole case should have been handled within the court system. The NCAA, once again, proved that they are the most corrupt association on this planet.

Wisconsin2Kansas 9 years, 6 months ago

First off, they are the Nittany Lions, not the Penn State Nittany Bears. So saying Pedobears isn't clever nor remotely funny.

Second off, why did the football program deserve a 'harsher' punishment? The punishment they received is harsh enough, but explain to me why they even deserved a punishment at all. Who are they punishing anyway? Innocent coaches and players, or a football coach that is no longer alive?

danmoore 9 years, 6 months ago

They didn't do anything to gain a competitive advantage but wasn't the decision to conceal the truth about Sandusky an attempt to avoid a competitive disadvantage from all the negative publicity they would have received? Seems like the same thing to me. That being said I think the worst punishment they received was self inflicted. The hit they took on their reputation cannot be repaired. IMO the only way they could have come close to repairing the damage caused by this would be a self imposed death penalty followed by donating all football proceeds to charity once they resumed play. If I were an alum that’s what I would want to see. Seeing Penn State play football this year is not going to sit well with a lot of people.

Wisconsin2Kansas 9 years, 6 months ago

Out side the program it's not going to sit well. Being in a home with PSU alumni, they wouldn't want to see their school thrive more than ever. I can't seem to understand who the NCAA is punishing. Are the punishing innocent coaches and players, or a football coach that isn't even alive?

dylans 9 years, 6 months ago

The NCAA is punishing a team that covered up the whole mess. This didn't start and stop with Paterno this went above his head too.

Wisconsin2Kansas 9 years, 6 months ago

Yep, it was a team effort. Football players were involved in the cover up as well. You're so right.

Michael Maris 9 years, 6 months ago

This is the beginning of the end of the NCAA controlling the Big Boy Schools. B1G, Big XII, SEC, PAC12, ACC, etc....... will all be lifting their middle finger to the NCAA and forming their own Governing body to replace the NCAA with. NCAA, you better enjoy that $60,000,000.00. Cause, the money train Conferences are getting ever so closer to exiting stage right.

I'm not saying that I support Sandusky, Paterno ant the others that knew of what was taking place. But, the NCAA Penalties will pretty much shut down Penn State Athletics program. And, the other Conferences are getting fed up with the idiotic rulings that the NCAA gives out each and every year. Take for instance, Justin McKay's situation. Yet, other kids are allowed to play this year (with-out skipping a beat due to family issues, etc...).

Jayhawk444 9 years, 6 months ago

I had the same thought. Somebody explain to me why the NCAA is issuing any penalties at all in this situation? Penn State did not break any NCAA rules or gain any competitive advantage. Sandusky's, Paterno's, and all the other Penn State adminstrators' actions should result in criminal and/or civil consequences for specific individals, but I don't understand why the NCAA thinks it needs to crack the whip here. Check this out from (the free and public part)

A former Committee on Infractions chairman and current Division I Appeals Committee member told's Andy Katz on Sunday the NCAA's penalizing of an institution and program for immoral and criminal behavior also breaks new ground.

"This is unique and this kind of power has never been tested or tried," the former chair said. "It's unprecedented to have this extensive power. This has nothing to do with the purpose of the infractions process. Nevertheless, somehow (the NCAA president and executive board) have taken it on themselves to be a commissioner and to penalize a school for improper conduct."

He said this case does not fall within the basic fundamental purpose of NCAA regulations.

"The purpose of the NCAA is to keep a level playing field among schools and to make sure they use proper methods through scholarships and et cetera," the chair said. "This is not a case that would normally go through the process. It has nothing to do with a level playing field. It has nothing to do with whether Penn State gets advantages over other schools in recruiting or in the number of coaches or things that we normally deal with."

The NCAA, the chair said, had never gotten involved in punishing schools for criminal behavior.

"The criminal courts are perfectly capable of handling these situations," the former chair said. "This is a new phase and a new thing. They are getting into bad behavior that are somehow connected to those who work in the athletic department.

If enough other schools feel the NCAA has overstepped its authority here, it could very well cause a revolt among the institutions

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 6 months ago

The $60 million doesn't go to the NCAA. In the above article it says: "The money 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 Penn State." This was aimed at protown, and it showed up clear down here.

zipplus10 9 years, 6 months ago

What happened at Penn State was beyond awful. However, those being punished had not part in the scandal. Since when do we fix a problem by punishing innocent people? Punish the perps, not Penn State fans, students, football players, etc. Punish the people responsible for the crime! It is time to revolt against the NCAA!

Wisconsin2Kansas 9 years, 6 months ago

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Let's go occupy the NCAA!

Wisconsin2Kansas 9 years, 6 months ago

I do have a job, actually. I don't work at 12 a.m. So why don't you occupy your time by finding a better argument than the one you 'presented' earlier.

Greg Ledom 9 years, 6 months ago

Interesting point Chris. Maybe the NCAA should think of giving each college that doesn't have enough scholarships, five extra for only PSU kids wanting to transfer in if that college doesn't have any available.

KGphoto 9 years, 6 months ago

The NCAA is considering waiving the scholly limit for schools accepting Penn St. transfers.

sokanhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Any chance that any of their players might transfer to KU? I looked at their roster and noticed they have a Soph. LB from Olate (Drew Boyce). He'd be a nice fit on defense. They also have a Senior kicker with experience who would help us a lot.

KGphoto 9 years, 6 months ago

I think they are gonna lose their entire #16 ranked, 2013 recruiting class from this. No bowls for your entire career? I know I'd be gone.

Sounds like we may have missed on Greg Webb. The 4 star DE from Jersey is verbal on North Carolina after decommitting.

Ross Douglas, a 4 star DB has decommitted.

Silas Redd would be a nice transfer.

And, there a lot of players over there that don't get playing time as it is, and might have transferred already if not for incurring a penalty. Now they are free.

KGphoto 9 years, 6 months ago

Here's a starting point for this years Penn St recruits. Only 1 four star in the class of 2012.

2013 class, with 5 four stars and 1 five star. I bet Weis would like to get his mitts on Adam Breneman. The five star TE.

KGphoto 9 years, 6 months ago

If you go back to 2010, you'll see that this team is absolutely stuffed with four star players. (12 four star, 3 five star) Lot's of junior-to-be players with talent and experience that can just up and walk to a program on the rise.

I can't wait to hear how the coaching staff is doing on this.

jgkojak 9 years, 6 months ago

For those who don't understand why the NCAA is issuing a pentalty-

They penalize schools for getting an unfair competitive advantage.


1) Beginning in 1998, when Paterno learned about Sandusky for sure (likely he knew before that), all of this should have been reported. Certainly in the 2002 locker-room incident. Reporting would have given Penn St a black eye, would have cost them recruits- who would not want to play in a program like this one. They received an UNFAIR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE by BREAKING THE LAW by protecting an abuser. How is this different than a coach or AD looking the other way when a booster gives a player money or a car?

2) The ONLY reason they didn't get the death penalty is the B1G and expansion - the NCAA didn't want to cause the B1G to have to expel Penn St and grab another school (Maryland?) and set off another round of expansion. And in some ways...

3) This is worse than the death penalty. If Penn St could drop football, go to the Big East, all would be forgotten. Now, every home game, they will play to paltrey crowds seeking a 1-10 record-- think former power Tulane, who before sanctions was sitting pretty in the SEC. My prediction- within 5 years Penn St will rededicate itself to academic, park itself in the Big East, and no longer be a "football" school. Because obviously they can't handle the responsibility.

kureader 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree with #3 ... in some ways, this will be worse than the death penalty. Penn State has 20 fewer scholarships per year. In three years, that's 60 fewer scholarships within the program ... also, no bowls. Penn State fans can't just ignore football and hope the embarrassment fades over time, they'll have to watch their team get pounded year after year for a very long time. It will be a painful reminder for them, indefinitely.

jhox 9 years, 6 months ago

I believe it's only 10 per year, though some sites have been reporting 20, I believe that's incorrect.

No way they leave the Big 10, as long as he Big 10 will have them. There is simply too much money involved, and too many people who care about PSU football. But this should cripple them for at least 10 years.

Shawn Darius 9 years, 6 months ago

Good. 100% deserved. Protecting a child sexual predator for 14 years is unacceptable and reprehensible. Change the culture or pay the price.

waywardJay 9 years, 6 months ago

They know that Penn State made them a lot of money with a pedophile as their Defensive coordinator. I'm sure the NCAA didn't DP them because, on some grand scale they want Penn State to be able to come back again.

I'm pretty sure they don't want Paterno to go out like this. Even if he did turn his eye to all of this, 60+ years of coaching, hard to lose that in your history books and just say NEVER HAPPENED.

Pennsylvania puts out tons of very talented Football Players, and they can't all go to Pitt. There is a reason the got this good in the first place, and it's a school in a decade a good coach can go to and clean up this mess. The question is, while they still turn a blind eye to the actions of the men in their football Program.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure I like where this is heading. 1) The $60MM is kind of ridiculous. There are going to be several civil lawsuits and all of them will settle for amount of money plus some amount going to a fund. Penn State will overlap those settlements with the $60MM here. That is really a wash, and it will probably be way more than that getting sent those organizations. 2) The bowl ban, I'm not sure where they got 4 years, it seems arbitrary. I could see 14, I could see some other number, but it almost like they want to erase 4 years of recruiting. 3) The vacated wins are in affect are right, but when you think about it, it's really an astericks. Anybody think that USC isn't the National Champion in 2004? Anybody think that Memphis didn't lose to KU in 2008? At that point in time it is semantics. Most people will say now Bobby Bowden is the all time winningest Div I coach and Robinson is the All-Time winningest coach, but those now have astericks as well.

The scholarships are hurting current players from getting an education. I guess when it boils down to it, people did horrendous things and I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FIX IT, but it seems like this is focused on the future not the past.

I don't think these sanctions are as devastating as people think. PSU is near an IVY League type of school, although I think the scandal hurts academics severely. I do think that people will still want to play at PSU and they will go there. Yes PSU will slip, but they will recover. The comparisons to SMU and Tulane are overly exagerrated in the result of these. Remember this is a 110,000 person stadium and a fanbase that doesn't realize the issue. I would imagine that PSU will sell-out every home game next year (even if they are 0-11 going in the final home game).

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

It will take a full decade, at least, for PSU to recover from these sanctions and lost revenues. It might take longer than that.

It does depend on what they do to make amends. They aren't going to be able to hire a good coach at this time. They won't have a solid recruiting class for awhile.

They should be thanking the NCAA for not banning them from fielding a team in Division 1 for the 4 year period.

Micky Baker 9 years, 6 months ago

The penalties are appropriate.

In regards to the Penn State players ability to transfer this year, it would not effect the scholarship limits to other schools for this season, but would for next season. For example, if Kansas has 25 scholarships for next year and 3 players transferred from Penn State to Kansas this year, then Kansas would only have 22 scholarships to offer next season.

As far as the NCAA rules go, on game days this may not have had an affect. However, the NCAA bands together all of the competing schools across the entire country. There was a breakdown at Penn State to protect its football program by covering up what they knew was happening. They did get an advantage by covering it up in that they did not lose any recruits who did not know this was going on. They're losing 20 scholarships per year for four years. The man charge, Paterno, helped cover this up. The athletic facilities were used by Jerry Sandusky and the organization he started in order to find vulnerable teenage boys. This didn't just happen in Jerry Sandusky's home. This happened on campus in the football training facilities and those boys were often at the practices.

Kudos to the NCAA. They did what was right for the integrity of College Football. They didn't do this for "the money". None of that money will go to the NCAA but will go to programs for troubled children in communities around the Big Ten and other colleges. This rocked the university. This will have long-lasting effects on enrollment at the university, on the students, etc.

I'm a long ways from Penn State, but I am sickened by what happened there. I cannot imagine what many of the students and alumni of Penn State feel. I wouldn't blame them for feeling betrayed, especially the football alumni. The NCAA didn't do this. Penn State did, and people high up in the program covered it up.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 6 months ago

I could be wrong, but I think they lose 5 scholarships for each of the next 4 years. So at the peak they will be down 20 scholarships. I don't know when it starts, but assuming it is this year. They will only have 80 scholarshipped players, 75, 70, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85. It'll take 7 years to cycle through the loss of scholarships.

Freedman Moor 9 years, 6 months ago

IMO, the audacity of Penn State's infractions should prompt a new addition to the college sports lexicon: exile.

Vacate the wins and to hell with the fines. Penn State's entire athletic department should be cast out of the NCAA altogether for a time period equal to the number of years the infractions took place. This penalty, in addition to the indignity of having to apply to (and praying for) acceptance into the NAIA (or whatever else is out there) would send a message to the football-is-all-that-matters folks currently hellbent on ruining college sports.

The inevitable rekindling of the conference realignment fires as a result of PSU's banishment from the Big 10 would be enough to show the world just how incredibly pathetic the NCAA has become.

waywardJay 9 years, 6 months ago

Thank you, LJW writing staff for not throwing this story in our face the way the media has the last several months. It's an important story, but I have been inundated with it sense it's inception and needed a place to get sports information without this nasty scar blighting my vision.

Posting an AP feed without local content the day it's punishment was announced was probably the most responsible journalistic decision that could be made. It doesn't directly involve Kansas Sports ( unless kids leave Penn State to come to us, and even then, I'm sure the last things they would want to hear about is Why?) and I'm glad you treated it with the Isolationist touch.

Thank you for not giving me day by day updates on this.

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