NCAA President Mark Emmert announced sanctions against Penn State University's football program Monday morning in light of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal and the findings of the Freeh Report investigation.
The details of the punishment:
- Four-year postseason ban
- 10 initial scholarship losses and 20 per year for four years
- $60 million fine
- All wins from 1998-2011 vacated
- Five-year probationary period
The NCAA's action in a case like this is unprecedented, as this was a legal issue -- there was no NCAA investigation. Emmert called this a "very distinct and very unique circumstance." And while the NCAA didn't invoke the death penalty as was given to SMU 25 years ago, it's a crippling blow to the program. Under former coach Joe Paterno, the team's most consecutive seasons without a bowl appearance was three. (You can read the entire list of sanctions from the NCAA here.)
[Pat Forde: NCAA hits Penn State football really hard]
After the vacated wins, Paterno's win total goes from 409 to 298. The $60 million fine will go into an endowment for charitable programs that serve the victims of sexual abuse. The NCAA also reserves the right for further individual punishments after all criminal proceedings are finished.
Penn State football players will be allowed to transfer without sitting out a season.
On Sunday, Paterno's statue was taken down in front of Beaver Stadium after Penn State officials in the days prior said a decision hadn't been made about the statue's future. It was removed via forklift and put into storage.
[Paterno family: Tearing down statue 'does not serve' Sandusky victims]
Sandusky, a former assistant coach for Penn State who also ran The Second Mile, a charity for at-risk youth, was convicted on June 22 of 45 of 48 counts of sexual abuse. Many of his victims knew Sandusky through the program.
The Freeh Report, released on July 12, concluded that school officials covered up the Sandusky issue, saying "the most saddening finding by the Special Investigative Counsel is the total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims." The Paterno family, which has said that Joe Paterno wasn't part of any cover-up, responded to the Freeh Report by conducting its own investigation.
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