NCAA Hands Penn State Unprecedented Penalties

On July 23, 2012 by

In an unprecedented move this Morning, The NCAA has handed down it’s penalties to Penn State University. Though there will never be a sanction that can match the tragedy that took place under the watch of University officials, NCAA President Mark Emmert made it clear that Nittany Lion football program will never come before the health and safety of the student body.

Despite handling such unprecedented grounds, Emmert and the NCAA believe that the by laws of the NCAA must protect those in the collegiate culture.

“The Penn State case has provoked in all of us, deeply, powerful emotions – and shaken our most fundamental confidence in many ways, said Emmert. “As we have examined and discussed this case, we have kept foremost in our thoughts the tragic damage that has been done to the victims and their families. No matter what we do here today, there is no action we can take that will remove their pain and anguish. But what we can do is impose sanctions that both reflect the magnitude of these terrible acts and that also ensure that Penn State will rebuild an athletic culture that went horribly awry.”

Here is a breakdown of the sanctions and regulations handed down by the NCAA this morning:

  • A 60 million dollar fine; the equivalent of one year of profit for the football program, that will be set aside as an endowment to support programs around the nation that serve victims of child sexual abuse and prevent such abuse from happening.
  • A ban from bowl games and post-season play for a total of four years.
  • Initial Scholarships will be lowered from 25 to 15 per year for a period of four years.
  • The NCAA will allow any entering or returning football players to transfer and immediately compete at the transfer university.
  • All wins have been vacated from the years of 1998-2011.
  • The Athletic program will serve a five year probationary period in which it must work with a academic integrity monitor of the NCAA’s choosing.
  • The NCAA has reserved the right to initiate a formal investigation on individuals after any criminal proceedings.
  • Penn State must enter into a Athletic Integrity Agreement with the Big Ten and NCAA.  This requires the establishment of a chief compliance director and counsel.
  • The NCAA will also select an independent athletics integrity monitor, who will report quarterly for a total of five years to the Big Ten, NCAA and the Universities Board of Trustees. They will report on the progress that Penn State is making and implementing in accordance to the agreement.


Emmert also touched on the discussion of a “Death Penalty” and explained why it didn’t fit this instance.

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

The NCAA President added that the days of a culture where winning defines society are over in collegiate athletics, and more importantly at Penn State.

“For the next several years now, Penn State can focus on the work of rebuilding it’s athletic culture. Not worrying about whether or not it’s going to a bowl game. With the sanctions imposed today, and with the new leadership at the university, we intend to ensure that will be the case.

This case involves tragic and tragically unnecessary circumstances. one of the grave dangers stemming from our love of sports is that the sports themselves can become too big to fail indeed to big to even challenge. The result can be an erosion of academic values that are replaced by the value of hero worship and winning at all costs. All involved in intercollegiate athletics must be watchful that programs and individuals do not overwhelm the values of education.”

“In the Penn State case, the results were perverse and unconscionable. No price the NCAA can levy will repair the grievous damage  inflicted by Jerry Sandusky on his victims. However, we can make clear that the culture, actions, and inactions that allowed them to be victimized, will not be tolerated in college athletics.”





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