Archive for Monday, July 23, 2012

Penn State fined $60M, wins vacated from ‘98-11

July 23, 2012


— The NCAA slammed Penn State with an unprecedented series of penalties Monday, including a $60 million fine and the loss of all coach Joe Paterno's victories from 1998-2011, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Other sanctions include a four-year ban on bowl games, the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years and five years' probation. The NCAA also said that any current or incoming football players are free to immediately transfer and compete at another school.

NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the staggering sanctions at a news conference in Indianapolis. 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.

Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive coordinator, was found guilty in June of sexually abusing young boys, sometimes on campus. An investigation commissioned by the school and released July 12 found that Paterno, who died in January, and several other top officials at Penn State stayed quiet for years about accusations against Sandusky.

Emmert fast-tracked 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 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 Penn State.

"Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people," Emmert said.

Emmert had earlier said he had "never seen anything as egregious" as the horrific crimes of Sandusky and the cover-up by Paterno and others at the university, including former Penn State President Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley.

The investigation headed by former FBI Director Louis Freeh said that Penn State officials kept what they knew from police and other authorities for years, enabling the abuse to go on.

There had been calls across the nation for Penn State to receive the "death penalty," and Emmert had not ruled out that possibility as late as last week — though Penn State did not fit the criteria for it. That punishment is for teams that commit a major violation while already being sanctioned.


colreader 5 years, 7 months ago

Can KU recruit any of these players? Is that allowed? Is this something we should do?

RoeDapple 5 years, 7 months ago

They can play anywhere that recruits them

Topple 5 years, 7 months ago

Not since we fired the only decent coach we've had to my memory because the football players were too sensitive.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

The inherent sadism of football couldn't possibly have anything to do with the permissive attitude towards Sandusky's extracurricular sadism, could it?

purplesage 5 years, 7 months ago

The money grubbers at the NCAA just took advantage of this sorry situation to line their pockets. Joe Paterno was an honorable man whose legacy is the men whose character he helped build as their coach. This is ridiculous. Jerry Sandusky should be locked away from children for life. If the university chooses to remove higher level administration for job performance, that is their business. Punishing today's program for the sins of a one-time assistant is ignorant. This stuff hastened Joe Paterno's death. Punish the responsible party - Sandusky. They just had to get to Paterno's record and find a way to take that away, too. What possible good is there in transferring millions from a public institution to an oversight organization? Even if it goes into some endowment, why can't it be used at Penn State? NCAA and others are on a witch hunt and must have determined Joe Paterno was the witch. Sanctimonious jerks, they are.

LogicMan 5 years, 7 months ago

"The money grubbers"

? The money is going to programs for abused children.

Cai 5 years, 7 months ago

The problem with this is that Paterno knew. Curly knew. Most of the administrative staff knew. Hell - most of the athletic department knew. There were computer files and emails to prove that they both knew and actively decided to cover it up and hide it. Punish Sandusky - absolutely. But we can't allow the people who chose to actively hide the activity think that the coverup was okay.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 7 months ago

"An investigation commissioned by the school and released July 12 found that Paterno, who died in January, and several other top officials at Penn State stayed quiet for years about accusations against Sandusky."

Wow! Paterno and the university's administration ignored Sandusky's molestation accusations in order to win football games...and you're cool with that. You need your head checked, homie. Something ain't right in there.

labmonkey 5 years, 7 months ago

Joe Paterno's legacy is that he shielded a child molester.

tomatogrower 5 years, 7 months ago

Yet the investigation turned up a cover up, so the football program wouldn't be embarrassed. That is what the NCAA is punishing. The atmosphere that winning at football was the only important thing at this university. "Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people," Emmert said. Penn State's program forgot this, and now they are being punished for it. The NCAA is taking the blinders off Penn's football program. They need to reexamine their morals.

hedshrinker 5 years, 7 months ago

Paterno knew and the admin knew and they turned their heads to keep $$$$$$ flowing in and recruitment high. The college fans, alums, staff, faculty as well as the community businesses which directly benefit from big $$$$$ college sports are responsible for ignoring a culture which overlooks the academic and moral bankruptcy of many athletes who are there ONLY to get into the pros (KY BB, for example) and the athletic directors and coaches who collect monster salaries and perks and accolades while their academic peers and programs languish. I think Penn State deserves every sanction they get; the tragedy is it will do nothing to impact the business plan of college sports in general.

Topple 5 years, 7 months ago

Yea, I hate it when law enforcement does that investigating stuff. If there's not explicit evidence right out the open, we should just forget the whole thing!

TopJayhawk 5 years, 7 months ago

So, you just don't get it do you? Says a lot about you. I would keep my mouth shut on this one.

jackpot 5 years, 7 months ago

"Other sanctions include a four-year ban on bowl games, the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years and five years' probation." How did they lose 20 scholarships per year if before the NCAA steps in they have 25 now they have15?

jackpot 5 years, 7 months ago

Thanks found that after I posted. Now they are saying the net loss is 65 over the 4 years.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

Too bad for all those sexually abused kids, but great news for other football programs!!!

Paul Wilson 5 years, 7 months ago

I get most of it. 60M? Hope someone is tracking that cash. How though does 'vacating' wins do anything? Just like many of the sanctions that the NCAA hands out....they only end up hurting student athletes that had nothing to do with the situation.

Tracy Rogers 5 years, 7 months ago

How does that hurt the student athletes? They know they won those games, nothing can change that. All it does is knock JoePa out of the top spot for career wins, which is a good thing.

Paul Wilson 5 years, 7 months ago

My point exactly. "They (and everyone else) know they won those games". I agree, this sanction not as much, but many others like scholarships and no postseason doesn't just effect the PSU football administration. There are many unseen people who are getting screwed. (pun intended)

Tracy Rogers 5 years, 7 months ago

And so many unseen people have profited by this administration looking the other way for 15 years. It's time for the university and community to feel the punishment of having corrupt leaders.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 7 months ago

It makes an example for all other college sports programs to learn from. Don't ignore the devilish ways of your coaches just to win a game. Or are you okay with unchecked and ignored child molestation in order to win?

Paul Wilson 5 years, 7 months ago

Really....and how exactly did Jerry's "devilish ways" with those boys contribute to any of PSU's wins? Please answer that question. You're living up to your name. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Don't forget about the hundreds of student athletes and academic professionals that dedicated their lives to that University. Now to be effected and tarnished by the acts of a few. Please answer the question above. If not...I'll assume you concede.

Paul Wilson 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm sure you'll say the cover up was to win games. Foolish. Sandusky wasn't that good. His skills as a coach did not warrant the coverup. The cover up was to save the University from Humiliation, millions in fines and sanctions, and to save Paterno's legacy. Football wins was just an afterthought in the cover up.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 7 months ago

"Sandusky wasn't that good." Foolish, indeed.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 7 months ago

Sandusky was a legend at Penn State. He was the defensive Joe Paterno. He was Paterno's right-hand man.

Jerry Sandusky: From Rising Star To Most Hated Man In America

This article on Penn State assistant head coach Jerry Sandusky originally appeared in our 1987 college football annual. Given the horrific, recent tragic events surrounding allegations against Jerry Sandusky, we felt our archival pieces pertaining to Jerry, Joe Paterno and Penn State are worth revisiting to show how revered Sandusky was, not only at PSU, but in the world of college football.

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 7 months ago

Sandusky served as an assistant coach for his entire career, mostly at Pennsylvania State University under Joe Paterno, and was one of the most notable major college football coaches never to have held a head coaching position. He received Assistant Coach of the Year awards in 1986 and 1999.

Sandusky served as defensive line coach in 1969, became linebacker coach in 1970, and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1977, holding that position until his retirement. In his years as a linebacker coach and defensive coordinator, he coached many defensive squads, and Penn State gained a reputation for outstanding linebacker play, producing 10 first-team All-Americans at that position, and acquiring the nickname "Linebacker U". Jack Ham and LaVar Arrington were two of the noted pro football greats to emerge from his teams.

Tomato 5 years, 7 months ago

I think you're making a mistake in assuming that the NCAA sanctions are about Sandusky's crimes. They are not. If Sandusky had been convicted and it came out that no one knew about what he was doing, then there would be no NCAA punishment.

Those wins were vacated to send a strong message to future coaches and administrations that football doesn't come first.

It's not about whether or not the cover up or molestation contributed to the wins. It's that the NCAA is saying, "If you cover up crimes in favor of your football reputation, you will not be allowed to win. We will not let you play. We will not allow you to maintain the reputation that you protected. We will take away everything that you gained."

And you can make an argument that vacating the wins somehow harms the players, but it really doesn't. They moved on, they have careers in sports or not, they still have the degrees that they earned on scholarship.

Of course, this whole situation is bad for ALL of Penn State's students. It's embarrassing. Do you really think that any incoming freshman wants to explain to someone in a job interview/social setting why they chose to go to Penn State AFTER this all came out? Do you think any of the football players who played under Sandusky wants to answer questions about whether or not he made advances/molested them/if they knew about it?

Yes, they are tarnished by the acts of a few. That has happened regardless of if NCAA vacates wins.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 7 months ago

Serioulsy? They are connected because Paterno hid all this to keep the wins, $'s and his glory intact.
Academic professionals? So you concede that academicians are there for the football?
Do you not understand morality? Absolute right and wrong? Do you not see that all were sacrificed in the name of sport?
You have an intellectual, moral, and logical blind spot a mile wide apparently.

Paul Wilson 5 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, I can't argue with someone who can't understand what they read. You hear what you want to instead of what was actually said.

TinmanKC 5 years, 7 months ago

Joe Pa's "character" was just a charade

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

The inherent sadism of football couldn't possibly have anything to do with the permissive attitude towards Sandusky's extracurricular sadism, could it?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

"Give me a break."

Sorry, no breaks allowed in the football creed. It's all about "taking it," just to prove you're a man, right?

blindrabbit 5 years, 7 months ago

Wake up call for KUAD and all other schools, NCAA is flexilng it's muscles; long overdue. Sports programs have become too big and irrevelant to the academic mission of institues of higher education. Particularily agregious is the situation with big time basketball and the role of the triad of universities/NCAA/NB;, players holding schools hostage by accepting scholarships then bouncing out to professional sports at first opprotunity. NCAA needs to put some sort of penalties on programs that allow or encourage this to happen!

John Hamm 5 years, 7 months ago

Should've killed the program for 10 years - one for each molested (we know of) child! Forever to be known as Pedophile State by me.

blindrabbit 5 years, 7 months ago

My prior post: " universities/NCAA/NBA"

Flap Doodle 5 years, 7 months ago

Too bad Paterno isn't alive to see this.

labmonkey 5 years, 7 months ago

Penn State got off too easy. They can still sell tickets to the games and will still receive money from merchandising. They should have received the death penalty for multiple years along with the heavy fine.

funkdog1 5 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, but who's going to walk around wearing a Penn State t-shirt now?

Tracy Rogers 5 years, 7 months ago

This will knock Penn State out of the top echelon of college football for a long long time. they will become the new Northwestern of the Big 10.

DillonBarnes 5 years, 7 months ago

And Jerry Sandusky shouldn't have been allowed to do what he did, but Paterno and Penn St. allowed it to happen.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 7 months ago

If Penn St. had self imposed a two year death penalty, then I would be convinced that they learned the lesson. I would have been convinced that they understood the gravity of what happened. Unfortunately, the actions of Penn St, or more precisely, their lack of actions, makes me think they have not learned the lesson that needed to be learned. Therefore, I would be more comfortable with a death penalty imposed upon them. And the Big 10 should expel them from all sports. Every student athlete that competes for Penn St. in every sport should be allowed to transfer immediately, without penalty.

Patricia Davis 5 years, 7 months ago

Exactly. I also think non-conference teams should refuse to schedule games with Penn State. What Penn State doesn't learn on its own, people who recoil from this kind of crime, should do the right thing.

I also hope that the civil suits that are coming will use Penn State's true lack of regret for its decade+ of criminal behavior to further weaken this hideous institution and that the university should be stripped of accreditation. This was not simply the football program. This was the university.

lucky_guy 5 years, 7 months ago

I find it ironic that the NCAA is willing to hand out a large penalty for child molestation and cover up in one of it's institutions when the Catholic Church is not.

Matt Schwartz 5 years, 7 months ago

Either way, who knows hot to count better?

Armored_One 5 years, 7 months ago

You say that vacating the wins, restricting the scholarships and other such penalties doesn't impact the students?


Paterno might have been the coach of the football team, but the blood and sweat on the field was definately not his. The students won their football games. But that is just the big, blinking billboard of the point I'm making.

How many of those students will now question what they learned from Paterno? Commitment, dedication, striving for perfection. JoePa had a large hand in forming the mature psyche of a number of professional athletes, but also a number of other fields, such as business, medicine, the arts... that list is easily as long as JoePa's win list.

My main question is why did the 'whistleblower', Mike whatever-his-name-is, not face any charges stemming from the fact that he 'witnessed' one of the attacks and didn't report it to the police, considering JoePa is being slammed for exactly that same thing? Why are there no calls for his proverbial head? No, he get heralded as a hero despite doing the exact same thing that Paterno did.

Humanity loves nothing more than to lift a rare few up on their shoulders. Well, that's not quite true. They love destroying that same person with at least as much, if not more, relish.

Leave JoePa's win record intact. Whether Sandusky was raping children, smuggling military vehicles or trading muclear secrets to the rest of the world, that doesn't change the fact that Paterno coached the players and the players won the games.

Vacating those wins directly punishes those players. They cannot, legally, claim to be on the winning team for any standard, championship or bowl game. Ever. To put it in easier terms, should the guy making your hamburger at Burger King be banned from putting that work experience on an application simply because the franchise owner, whom he's likely never met, was a child molester? It's the same end result.

Bob Forer 5 years, 7 months ago

In my humble opinion, vacating the wins was one of the most significant and important sanctions that were issued. Approximately three years prior to shower incident, the mother of one of Sandusky's first victims reported to officials inappropriate hugging in the showers. Joe Paterno knew of this, but no action was taken by either college or law enforcement officials. At the end of the season Sandusky abruptly resigned. The official story was he was upset because he was told he would not be considered as Paterno's eventual placement. Unofficially, the conventional wisdom is that he was forced out because of the first shower incident. .

Fast forward three years to the shower incident witnessed by the redheaded assistant coach. At the time, Paterno was closing in on the all-time win record. Had the second shower incident been investigated and made public, the earlier incident would have invariably come out as well, and Paterno would have had his ticket punched, as his failure to do anything beyond a forced resignation while allowing Sandusky continued access to the program undoubtedly resulted in several additional young boys being molested.

Paterno's obvious motivation behind the cover up was to preserve his tenure as the Penn State head coach so he could continue to pursue his quest as the winningest college coach of all time, a goal which he eventually achieved, albeit tragically, and at the tremendous cost of countless additional victims.

By vacating the wins Joe Paterno no longer sits at the top of the heap. A bitter and harsh punishment, and entirely appropriate. It was the only way the NCAA could punish the deceased Paterno for his outrageous behavior, and thoroughly just and proper.

I commend the NCAA.

Jayhawk1963 5 years, 7 months ago

I agree !! One has to conclude that Paterno's ego seriously clouded his judgment in this matter. After all, he couldn't catch Bowden or Robinson as the winningest coach if he were forced to step down for not promptly investigating/reporting this terrible tragedy. Another clue as to how important this record was to him was he was still coaching into his eighties....Sadly, if he had done the right thing initially by getting rid of Sandusky (AND preventing him from using PSU's facilities), he would have protected both his reputation and numerous young boys.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 7 months ago

In my opinion, as has been stated by some of the above respondants, the NCAA grossly over reacted to this situation. The perpertrators have been identified. Joe Paterno is forever disgraced. The culprit is headed to prison. Others who bear some responsibility are now gone. so what of all those students and players that performed to their very best that are now saddled with the sins of their leaders and who had no knowledge or responsibility at all in this sordid mess?.

The NCAA has presented itself as a vengful, reckless and mindless organization that seeks to assign more guilt and responsibility that ever existed and to destroy the achievements of many dedicated students and athletes with their collateral damage inflictions on those who had no connection to or knowledge of the criminal acts of one person.

beatrice 5 years, 7 months ago

"Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people," Emmert said.

"Well ... at least not until the season starts," he should have added.

As long as a single football coach is getting paid as much as 30 or more professors, football will always be placed ahead of education at universities across the country.

kuguardgrl13 5 years, 7 months ago

I ask all of you:

What if this had happened at KU? What if we were being told that our 2008 championship is no longer ours because of the actions of one person? How would you feel if you were in a job interview, and the interviewer made some comment about whatever the scandal was? If you were a senior in high school, would you apply to KU if the university had a situation of this magnitude? This will hurt Penn State and Pennsylvania for years. Penn State is one of the largest state institutions in Pennsylvania with several branches. I can't imagine that this will only affect main campus in State College. This will be felt at every branch across the state. I grew up in Pennsylvania, and pride for Penn State is everywhere. It's more than just football. Call me immoral if you want. I certainly feel that Sandusky should face justice for what he did. Leave Paterno and his family in peace. This cost him his life. Say what you will, but Joe Pa was a great coach. His players learned more than just football. Hard work, dedication, pride, all things we value in our own Jayhawks. Should Paterno and the other leaders acted differently? Maybe. What would you do if your career and the futures of your players were on the line? I can only hope that Paterno did what he thought was best for the program and his players. They won games because of their hard work and skill, not because of a coverup. I hope college athletics learns from this situation and that Penn State can come out of this eventually.

notaubermime 5 years, 7 months ago

I don't really think that there is a "maybe" to whether or not Paterno should have acted differently. Preventing children from being abused by a sexual predator is one of those things which should have a higher priority than whatever Paterno though we would say about him.

As for the effect you think that these sanctions will have on the university as a whole and the state as a whole, I think that such claims are part of the problem. The problem seems to be that somewhere down the line, Penn State became synonymous with football. Penn State is more than just their football program and it is well passed the time when the university as a whole should have made this apparent to everyone. When I donate to KU, I do not donate to the athletic department. I donate to the department I graduated from because I am a lot more proud of their accomplishments than I am the basketball team winning a national championship. I cheer on the basketball team, but it is just a sport when all is said and done.

riverdrifter 5 years, 7 months ago

As Snap aptly said: "Joe knew." Best thing for the Paterno family to do is just go silent -and go away.

gw1044 5 years, 7 months ago

"The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny"!

tbaker 5 years, 7 months ago

SO the NCAA nails SMU with the "death penalty" (banning them from participating in football for two seasons) back in the 80's when it was discovered they were paying players. Yeah, they were already on double-secret what.

Top Penn State officials participate in an organized cover up of a serial child rapist for a decade or more and they get a fine and some other BS. What a bunch of crap. NCAA are cowards.

notaubermime 5 years, 7 months ago

SMU was only banned for one season and part of another. SMU made the decision to cancel the rest of the second season. Penn State's probation is longer, their post season ban is longer, they will lose more scholarships than did SMU over the same period of time. Penn State will have to pay a lot more money in penalties, but they also won't have some of the restrictions that SMU had.

The financial and scholarship penalties will likely doom Penn State, especially with them having a new coach. This isn't exactly the same penalty they gave SMU, but the result will likely be the same.

LeBo 5 years, 7 months ago

Since when did the N. (no) C. (compensation) {for} C. (college) A. (athletes) become a criminal justice agency. Was that a part of the 'patriot act' that I missed?

Armored_One 5 years, 7 months ago

Still waiting for someone to explain why the whistleblower isn't facing any penalties, despite claiming to have direct knowledge of one of the incidents...

What prevented him from going to the police?

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