In the wake of the shocking news about the Penn State football program’s part in concealing the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, the NCAA has announced punitive measures against the university including a $60 million fine.
Other punishments include a four-year ban on post-season bowl games, reduction in number of athletic scholarships, and a five-year probationary period. Potentially most damaging to the current program is the ruling that Penn State’s football student athletes may transfer to other schools and are immediately eligible to play.
The NCAA also vacated all Penn State wins from 1998-2011, the years that Paterno allowed the sexual abuse to remain hidden. The loss of 111 wins boots Paterno from his former perch atop the list of most winning college coaches.
The NCAA has in the past been accused of dragging its feet when faced with a scandal involving college football, but in this case, the organization acted quickly, just two weeks after the release of an expose of the Penn State program by former FBI director Louis Freeh.
At the press conference in Indianapolis, NCAA President Mark Emmert told reporters, “Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people.”
This comes just one day after the seven-foot statue of disgraced coach Joe Paterno was quietly removed from its spot of honor in front of Beaver Stadium.