The NCAA hits Penn State football with $60 million fine, vacates Paterno’s wins from 1998-2011 as part of its sanctions as a result of the school’s child abuse scandal while the Big 10 has barred the school from sharing in league bowl game revenues. 

NCAA president Mark Emmert announces sanctions against Penn State.(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Penn State will not be allowed to participate in the Big Ten conference title game for the same four years in which it is banned from post season bowl games by the NCAA.

Penn State will also not be allowed to share in the conference’s bowl revenues for those four years, about a $13 million hit, according to a Big Ten press release. That money will be donated to children’s charities, the release said.


Workers remove the Joe Paterno statue from Penn State's campus (Daily Centre Times)

Joe Paterno’s family says the NCAA’s sanctions defame his legacy and are a panicked response to the scandal that led to them. In a statement the family says that punishing “past, present and future” students because of former assistant Jerry Sandusky’s crimes did not serve justice.


The NCAA’s sanctions include a four-year ban on bowl games, and the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years.

NCAA President Mark Emmert, calling the Penn State scandal “an unprecedented, painful” chapter in college sports, announced the staggering sanctions Monday at a news conference in Indianapolis.

There was no dialogue or negotiation with Penn State over the sanctions Emmert says.

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.

In addition, student athletes can immediately transfer to another school without penalty or remain at Penn State and not be required to participate in the football program as long as they maintain a certain grade point average.

Listen to Mark Emmert’s rundown of the sanctions.



Bill O'Brien (Elsa/Getty Images)

New Penn State coach Bill O’Brien says he’s committed to the school despite the harsh sanctions imposed Monday by the NCAA, including a four-year postseason ban and a big loss in scholarships.

In a statement released by the school, O’Brien said, “I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes.”

School President Rodney Erickson says Penn State accepts the penalties. He says the NCAA sanctions will help the school “define our course.”


Penn State student Laura Lovins and others react to the sanctions the NCAA announced against Penn State in the HUB on the campus of Penn State (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The NCAA says Penn State perpetuated a  “football first” culture that must change. “I think every major college and university needs to do a gut check” on the balance between athletics and academics said Oregon State president Ed Ray, chair of the NCAA’s executive committee.

The Paterno wins are vacated from 1998 as that is the first case of abuse by Jerry Sandusky reported to school administration. 111 wins are taken from Paterno’s record dropping him to #12 on the all time win list. Florida State coach Bobby Bowdin once again holds the title for the most wins by a head football coach.



The $60million is equivalent to the average gross annual revenue of the football program. They will go 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.

The NCAA will develop “an athletic integrity agreement” with the Big Ten and Penn State to ensure changes are made in the Penn State program, said Emmert.

Class of ’89 player Gary Gilliam expressed his support for the program after the sanctions were announced. “I’m not going anywhere, Penn State forever!” he tweeted. Several incoming Penn State football players tweeted their support for the team and say they are ready for whatever the season brings them.


The NCAA tried to evaluate what effect the sanctions would have on the community as a whole, NCAA President Emmert says.

The Boston Globe reports a complete shutdown of the Penn State football would have cost Penn State and the State College, Pennsylvania area  more than $70 million, according to an economic study commissioned by the university for the 2008-09 school year. That included $51.1 million spent on hotels, souvenirs, food, services and entertainment by out- of-state visitors, which represent about 15 percent of those attending games at Beaver Stadium, which has a capacity of more than 106,500.



“The NCAA imposed a $60 million sanction on the university, which is equivalent to the average gross annual revenue of the football program.

These funds 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 the university.

The sanctions also include a four-year football postseason ban and a vacation of all wins from 1998 through 2011. The career record of former head football coach Joe Paterno will reflect these vacated records. Penn State must also reduce 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period.

In addition, the NCAA reserves the right to impose additional sanctions on involved individuals at the conclusion of any criminal proceedings.”


Statement by PSU president Rodney Erickson

The tragedy of child sexual abuse that occurred at our University altered the lives of innocent children. Today, as every day, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse.

Against this backdrop, Penn State accepts the penalties and corrective actions announced today by the NCAA. With today’s announcement and the action it requires of us, the University takes a significant step forward.

The NCAA ruling holds the University accountable for the failure of those in power to protect children and insists that all areas of the University community are held to the same high standards of honesty and integrity.

The NCAA also mandates that Penn State become a national leader to help victims of child sexual assault and to promote awareness across our nation. Specifically, the University will pay $12 million a year for the next five years into a special endowment created to fund programs for the detection, prevention and treatment of child abuse. This total of $60 million can never reduce the pain suffered by victims, but will help provide them hope and healing.

The NCAA penalty will also affect the football program. There is a four-year ban on all post-season games, including bowl games and the Big Ten Championship game, and a future reduction in the number of football scholarships that can be granted. We are grateful that the current student athletes are not prevented from participation because of the failures of leadership that occurred. Additionally the NCAA has vacated all wins of Penn State football from 1998-2011.

We also welcome the Athletics Integrity Agreement and the third-party monitor, who will be drilling into compliance and culture issues in intercollegiate athletics, in conjunction with the recommendations of the Freeh Report. Lastly a probationary period of five years will be imposed.

It is important to know we are entering a new chapter at Penn State and making necessary changes. We must create a culture in which people are not afraid to speak up, management is not compartmentalized, all are expected to demonstrate the highest ethical standards, and the operating philosophy is open, collegial, and collaborative.

Since receiving Judge Freeh’s preliminary recommendations in January, the University has instituted several reforms. Today we accept the terms of the consent decree imposed by the NCAA. As Penn State embarks upon change and progress, this announcement helps to further define our course. It is with this compass that we will strive for a better tomorrow.

Penn State will move forward with a renewed sense of commitment to excellence and integrity in all aspects of our University. We continue to recognize the important role that intercollegiate athletics provides for our student athletes and the wider University community as we strive to appropriately balance academic and athletic accomplishments. Penn State will continue to be a world-class educational institution of which our students, faculty, staff and alumni can be justifiably proud.

Statement by Penn St. football coach Bill O’Brien

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

I was then and I remain convinced that our student athletes are the best in the country. I could not be more proud to lead this team and these courageous and humble young men into the upcoming 2012 season. Together we are committed to building a better athletic program and university.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.