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Penn State trustees take no action on decree ratification

The SportsXchange

Although the Penn State Board of Trustees had planned to ratify the consent decree with the NCAA on Sunday, the board took no action because of stipulations in the university's charter, USA Today reported.

The board met through a conference call on Sunday, but it could not vote to ratify the binding document signed by President Rodney Erickson in July, because the charter requires a 10-day notification before a public meeting in person for the board to vote.

However, the board voiced almost unanimous support for the decree after hearing explanations from Erickson and attorney Gene Marsh.

"I would like to be clear on one thing. I absolutely support President Erickson and his decision to accept the consent decree as the only real option in the extraordinarily difficult circumstance," said board chair Karen Peetz, according to USA Today. "It is my sense that every member of this board also fully supports President Erickson, even though we may not agree with the process used by the NCAA or with the harshness of the sanctions imposed."

The NCAA sanctions of the Penn State football program included a $60 million fine, four-year postseason ban, a reduction in scholarships and the vacation of wins from 1998 through 2011. The penalties were issued for the actions of coach Joe Paterno and other Penn State officials in response to information they had about Jerry Sandusky's activities that eventually led to him being convicted on child sex-abuse charges.

Two groups are appealing those NCAA sanctions. One is a group of four trustees led by Ryan McCombie that filed an appeal with the NCAA a week ago. Paul Kelly, who represents the McCombie group, also represents a group of eight former Penn State players and one former coach who are appealing only the NCAA's decision to take away 112 Penn State wins in a 14-year span.

McCombie agreed to suspend his appeal if the board would do three things: review the legal advice Erickson received before signing the decree without consent of the full board, review the Freeh Report; and review the NCAA sanctions.
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