NCAA Puts the Financial Hammer on Penn State, Crippling the School for a Decade
While not fully shutting down Pennsylvania State University’s football program, the NCAA has reacted to the widespread negligence revealed by the Jerry Sandusky child s*x abuse scandal by punishing it harshly, imposing a slew of penalties including a $60 million fine and a four-year postseason ban. It is expected that the resulting damage to what was once one of the most celebrated teams in college sports will take a decade to heal.
Further penalties include the loss of ten scholarships a year for four years starting with the 2014 season, and the removal of all wins between 1998 and 2011 from the record—eliminating legendary coach Joe Paterno’s status as the career leader in college football coaching victories. The university has also been placed on a five-year probation, and players will be allowed to transfer to and immediately play with other teams if they so desire.
While announcing the ruling, NCAA President Mark Emmert called the scandal the most painful “chapter in the history of intercollegiate athletics,” and admitted that the punishment could be considered “greater than any other seen in NCAA history.” Emmert noted that the university has accepted the ruling, and that its cooperation has been “remarkable.”
Whether this ultimately renders Penn State an irrelevant team is still to be determined—as the Nittany Lions are now essentially unable to compete in the Big Ten, which could cause present and future players to look elsewhere. But new Coach Bill O’Brien has pledged his commitment to the team, saying in a statement that he “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.”
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