Wednesday, July 30, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 50 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

NCAA fines Penn State $60M; vacates wins from '98-11

By Ralph D. Russo & Tom Coyne

Associated Press


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. >> The NCAA crippled Penn State football for years to come and practically tore Joe Paterno's name out of the record books Monday, erasing 14 years of victories and imposing an unprecedented $60 million fine and other punishment over the child sexual abuse scandal.

"Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people," NCAA President Mark Emmert declared in announcing the penalties.

The governing body of college sports shredded what was left of the Hall of Fame coach's legacy — the sanctions cost Paterno 111 wins and his standing as the most successful coach in the history of big-time college football — while dealing a severe blow to the university's gold-plated gridiron program.

The NCAA ordered Penn State to sit out the postseason for four years, slashed the number of scholarships it can award and placed football on probation, all of which will make it difficult for the Nittany Lions to compete at the sport's highest level.

Raising the specter of an exodus of athletes, the NCAA said current or incoming football players at Penn State are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school.

For a university that always claimed to hold itself to a higher standard — for decades, Paterno preached "success with honor" — Monday's announcement completed a stunning fall from grace.

Penn State meekly accepted its punishment, pledging to hold itself to high standards of honesty and integrity.

But Paterno's family said in a statement that the sanctions "defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator." Echoing the complaints of many outraged and heartbroken Penn State fans, the family also criticized university leaders for accepting the punishment without insisting on a full investigation and hearing on the school's handling of the sexual abuse allegations against former coaching assistant Jerry Sandusky.

"This is not a fair or thoughtful action; it is a panicked response to the public's understandable revulsion at what Sandusky did," the family said.

Emmert said the penalties reflect "the magnitude of these terrible acts" and also "ensure that Penn State will rebuild an athletic culture that went horribly awry."

He said the NCAA considered imposing the "death penalty," or a complete shutdown of the football program for a season or more, but decided to keep Penn State in the fold so that it could begin transforming a culture in which football played an outsized role. The NCAA also worried about the unintended consequences of a complete ban, he said.

"Suspension of the football program would bring with it significant unintended harm to many who had nothing to do with this case," Emmert said. "The sanctions we have crafted are more focused and impactful than that blanket penalty."

Sandusky, a former member of Paterno's coaching staff, was found guilty in June of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, sometimes on campus. An investigation commissioned by the school and released July 12 found that Paterno, who died of lung cancer in January at age 85, and three other top officials at Penn State concealed accusations against Sandusky to shield the school from bad publicity.

The sanctions came a day after the school took down a statue of Paterno that stood outside Beaver Stadium.

Gov. Tom Corbett expressed gratitude that Penn State escaped the death penalty, saying it would have had a "severe detrimental impact on the citizens of State College, Centre County and the entire commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

A drop-off in attendance and revenue could damage both the university, where the powerhouse football team is a moneymaker that subsidizes other sports, and the region as a whole, where Saturday afternoon football at Penn State is an important part of the economy.

But given Penn State's famously ardent fans and generous benefactors, the precise economic impact on Penn State and Happy Valley, as the surrounding area is known, remains unclear.

First-year coach Bill O'Brien, who was hired to replace Paterno, will have the daunting task of luring new recruits while trying to keep current players from fleeing the program. Star players such as tailback Silas Redd and linebacker Gerald Hodges are now essentially free agents.

"I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead," O'Brien said. "But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes."

Separately, the Big Ten announced that Penn State will not be allowed to share in the conference's bowl revenue during the NCAA's postseason ban, an estimated loss of about $13 million.

Emmert fast-tracked the 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 will go toward outside programs devoted to preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims.

Penn State said it will pay the fine in five annual installments of $12 million but did not disclose where it will get the cash. The governor demanded assurances from Penn State that taxpayer money will not be used to pay the fine, while the NCAA insisted the university maintain spending on other sports and scholarships.

By throwing out all Penn State victories from 1998 to 2011, the NCAA stripped Paterno of the top spot in the record book. The governing body went all the way back to 1998 because, according to the investigative report, that is the year Paterno and other Penn State officials first learned of an allegation against Sandusky.

Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will replace Paterno with 377 major-college victories, while Paterno will be credited with 298.

"I didn't want it to happen like this," Bowden said. "Wish I could have earned it, but that's the way it is."

Penn State will also lose 20 scholarships a year for four years. Major college football programs are normally allowed 85 scholarship players per year.

The postseason ban is the longest handed out by the NCAA since it gave a four-year punishment to Indiana football in 1960. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said that Penn State players will probably be allowed to transfer within the conference, something that is usually restricted.

Penn State players left a team meeting on campus in State College without talking to reporters. Penn State's season starts Sept. 1 at home against Ohio University.

The news devastated senior Nicole Lord, who questioned why Penn State's student body, and especially its student athletes, should be punished "for the wrongs of three men and a monster."

"They keep breaking our hearts and breaking our hearts and breaking our hearts," she said.

"Our heritage, our legacy has been tainted and damaged," said Troy Cromwell, a wide receiver on the 1986 team that won the second of Paterno's two national championships. Cromwell said he felt bad for current and incoming players, "but at the end of the day, there were still those kids, those poor kids, and those victims, and we have to think about them first in everything that we do."

At a student union on campus, several dozen alumni and students gasped, groaned and whistled as they watched Emmert's news conference.

Southern California, Ohio State and Alabama have all run afoul of the NCAA. Even Notre Dame went on probation for two years after a booster lavished gifts on players in the 1990s. The harshest penalty handed down to a football program came in the 1980s, when the NCAA shut down Southern Methodist University's team for a year. SMU football has never gotten back to the level of success it had before getting the death penalty.

The Big Ten's Delany said he believes Penn State is capable of bouncing back. "I do have a strong sense that many of the ingredients of success are still at Penn State and will be there in future years," he said.

Craig Depkin II, a professor of economics at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, noted the NCAA penalties won't prevent Penn State — a school with a $4.3 billion annual budget — from spending the same amount on its football program in future years, or even more.

"There's anecdotal evidence that you do see increases in funding after a ban," Depkin said of other teams that have been sanctioned. "The idea (is) that you would spend more during times of crisis" to let players and fans know that the program isn't going away.


Russo reported from New York. Associated Press writers Mark Scolforo in State College, Kevin Begos in Pittsburgh, Tom Coyne in Indianapolis and Brent Kallestad in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this story, along with AP videographer Dan Huff in State College.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 50 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
MrRealistic wrote:
Wow, might as well gotten the death penalty. Football at Penn St. Is now officially Dead!
on July 23,2012 | 04:12AM
loquaciousone wrote:
The death penalty is only a fiction of the NCAA anyway. SMU was given the death penalty but they seemed to be alive and well under June Jones.
on July 23,2012 | 07:16AM
lee1957 wrote:
But it took 25 years for the Phoenix to rise from the ashes.
on July 23,2012 | 12:02PM
st1d wrote:
big ten will now assess addtional penalties on penn state. still waiting for the dept of education to pull student loans and federal grants from penn state, that would get their attention.
on July 23,2012 | 04:26AM
Tanabe wrote:
Not severe enough. They'll survive from this after all, four years is not that long and they'll still be able to compete and bring in money for their program. Big Ten should drop them as penalty, but they won't do that. They'll probably say "the NCAA's punishment was suffient" and DOE won't do anything either. If this had happened at UH we'd have gotten the death penalty, but NCAA once again shows how they only care about the big programs.
on July 23,2012 | 05:41AM
Cubsfan wrote:
I agree. It's the ins and the outs. Penn St got a little slap and in five years they will start from scratch and be a power house within a decade. UH would have got the death penalty because they're not in the "IN CROWD."
on July 23,2012 | 06:09AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
The ones who really should be punished are the people who covered up the heinous crimes. It's people who screw things up.
on July 23,2012 | 06:23AM
f206 wrote:
Well deserved punishment, not enough though, should have just given them the death penalty.
on July 23,2012 | 06:12AM
W_Williams wrote:
The NCAA has acted more swiftly than the Catholic Church.
on July 23,2012 | 06:19AM
innocentBystander wrote:
Good point.
on July 23,2012 | 06:51AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
The punishments are all directed to Penn State but the ones who really should be punished severely are the people who covered up the heinous crimes. Those people should be given significant jail time. College sports has gotten out of hand when it takes precedence over academics.
on July 23,2012 | 06:26AM
allie wrote:
I would have closed down the bad program entirely. The purpose of Penn State is to provide education and not to provide public entertainment UH should take notice and get out of the corrupting and absurd foot ball biz. Let us get back to education!
on July 23,2012 | 06:29AM
false wrote:
False2: UH needs the football money to pay for things your tuition don't cover. Of course, if you are willing to pay more!
on July 23,2012 | 06:46AM
Cubsfan wrote:
Yep! People don't understand sports is all about the $$$ for the university and the higher end people. The ones behind the scenes raking in the bucks.
on July 23,2012 | 07:37AM
aomohoa wrote:
Don't don't live in the real world Allie. LOL!
on July 23,2012 | 09:43AM
lee1957 wrote:
Education is more than academics, hon.
on July 23,2012 | 06:19PM
motoxdad wrote:
Well, to bad you're a nobody.
on July 23,2012 | 09:35PM
Manapua_Man wrote:
Being a BC$ Big Ten school, Penn State will survive the monetary damages and be able to rebuild afterwards. Any non-BC$ school would have received the death penalty by the NCAA. Actually, this all hurts Joe Paterno's legacy more than Penn State.
on July 23,2012 | 06:35AM
loquaciousone wrote:
That brings and interesting issue of whether Penn State should be allowed to benefit from their misdeeds. If they vacate the wins they should vacate the money too.
on July 23,2012 | 07:18AM
bobbob wrote:
now that is a penalty. Not that the ncaa had a choice though. Hanging penn state was the only smart option. Slap on the wrist and their heads would roll too.
on July 23,2012 | 07:21AM
This comment has been deleted.
on July 23,2012 | 07:39AM
mrluke wrote:
on July 23,2012 | 07:46AM
lee1957 wrote:
on July 23,2012 | 12:05PM
kahu808 wrote:
Got a headache just looking at the paragraph.
on July 23,2012 | 04:52PM
Tharu1 wrote:
I wonder if we will see them at Aloha Stadium at least once in the next few years--- Alabama and others have used a year end trip to play Hawaii as an enticement to stick it out through the no bowl ban yrs. Don't see any reason why Penn St. won't do the same--
on July 23,2012 | 07:41AM
false wrote:
False2: I'd love to see Penn St. play here!
on July 23,2012 | 08:11AM
lowtone123 wrote:
KA-BOOM! 14 years of Penn St football gone in seconds. That's what happens when football in placed before protecting our kids who can't protect themselves.
on July 23,2012 | 07:59AM
serious wrote:
Paterno had the best record for graduating players than any major football program. Let's give him a little credit for that. He was a man not a God!!!
on July 23,2012 | 08:35AM
mrluke wrote:
"a man not a God" Some see it the other way around!
on July 23,2012 | 10:08AM
lee1957 wrote:
HIs act of omission left a pretty big stain, shouldn't have taken alot of moral courage to make the right call.
on July 23,2012 | 12:06PM
kahu808 wrote:
At what cost? Never surrender your ethics.
on July 23,2012 | 04:53PM
mrluke wrote:
You don't get it, do you? We all hope, that if we are ever faced with a situation like he had, we'd do what is morally correct. PERIOD! No matter how many pluses he garnered on the football field.
on July 23,2012 | 06:40PM
kainalu wrote:
I don't understand the monetary fine. What? - the NCAA trying to get some before the victims? A HUGE monetary fine at that. Will there be anything left for the victims?
on July 23,2012 | 08:48AM
BO0o07 wrote:
The $60 million is only one year's gross revenue for the football program.
on July 23,2012 | 09:10AM
Compassionate_Cat wrote:
I love football and have loved Penn State football for all those years, so this is very sad. At the same time, I know too well the suffering those children have endured. Suffering in silence because so many cared about their own reputations and not that of the children used for sexual gratification is sick! I thought Joe P had done all he could but I am sickened that so many chose to LOOK good instead of BEING good. We are better than this and I thank God that each of us have a chance to learn the truth. Truth is, it doesn't matter how many good works you have, it will be cancelled by the evil you allow to grow right under your nose.
on July 23,2012 | 09:50AM
Manoa_Fisherman wrote:
SMU gets "death penalty" for "pay for play" and Penn gets whacked for coach raping kids for 20 years? Definitely the punishment did not fit the crime, and these were real crimes, not just a Camaro for a running back. Penn State got off real light. Every game Sandusky participated in should be forfeited as well, going back to the 1980s.
on July 23,2012 | 10:06AM
entrkn wrote:
Are we going after any of their players?...
on July 23,2012 | 10:28AM
false wrote:
False2: It appears so.
on July 23,2012 | 10:56AM
nuuanusam wrote:
Besides the $60M, the school will be hit with a series of civil suits that may cost a lot more.
on July 23,2012 | 10:41AM
CriticalReader wrote:
This is a bad precedent for UH. Clearly, the NCAA is saying it can hammer a sports program largely for the failure of the school's administration to wisely or carefully manage, and for their basic lack of empathy for other humans, stupidity and short-sightedness. If that is the standard, the UH is in a world of trouble! The SA needs to delete all quotes of Greenwood and especially Hinshaw from its databases. God forbid the NCAA does a review of UH's administrative competence.
on July 23,2012 | 11:01AM
gary360 wrote:
Take the statue away to a 'secure' area. It should have been chopped up where it stood.
on July 23,2012 | 11:29AM
lee1957 wrote:
on July 23,2012 | 12:01PM
Classic_59Chevy wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on July 23,2012 | 12:23PM
lee1957 wrote:
It's a play on words.
on July 23,2012 | 06:21PM
Classic_59Chevy wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on July 23,2012 | 12:22PM
64hoo wrote:
yea penn state could file bankrupcy and closedown for a year and then comeback with a new regime then they will be free of sanction because of a new regime.
on July 23,2012 | 05:31PM
alohacharlie wrote:
And is always the case, the Paterno's family is crying foul saying that he was unfairly treated and tarnished. A bum is a bum is a bum!
on July 23,2012 | 03:32PM
64hoo wrote:
as far as i'm concern joe paterno is still the winningest coach because the family is looking into the ivestigation that the F.B.I. did on joe pa about him knowing what was going on was incomplete if it is the family could get back his credibility because there evidence on joe pa is all hearsay what someone said so i don't think its right for what there doing well wait and see.
on July 23,2012 | 05:28PM
mrluke wrote:
How old were you when you quit the 5th grade?
on July 23,2012 | 06:43PM
64hoo wrote:
younger then you thats for sure .
on July 23,2012 | 07:47PM
CriticalReader wrote:
This just in: NCAA to announce sanctions on the Vatican tomorrow.
on July 23,2012 | 09:29PM
joshislost wrote:
Hmm... Why does it seem like everyone is getting the hammer but sandusky?
on July 23,2012 | 09:43PM
PSU can still play football. They are just not eligible for post season. Maybe they can come over here to play UH just like 'Bama did when they got in trouble? I think they will still be pretty good. the players will still have their scholarships and get an outstanding education from a very good school. Its sad to see such a great program get hammered like that. but I agree with the punishment if not more.
on July 23,2012 | 11:11PM
Breaking News