$60M fine levied against Penn State - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Penn State sanctions strip Paterno of title

NCAA President Mark Emmert, left, and Ed Ray, chairman of the NCAA executive committee, announce the punishment to the Penn State football program. (Source: CNN) NCAA President Mark Emmert, left, and Ed Ray, chairman of the NCAA executive committee, announce the punishment to the Penn State football program. (Source: CNN)

(RNN) - Prior to sanctions issued by the NCAA against Penn State on Monday, Joe Paterno, who coached the team for 46 years, was the winningest Division I football with 409 victories.

Now the title is held by former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden with 377 major-college wins. Paterno is now credited with 298.

Eddie Robinson, the late Grambling State coach has the overall NCAA Division I record with 408 wins.

Sanctions imposed by the NCAA on Monday have crippled the Penn State football program with fines, loss of scholarships and erasure of 111 wins from 1998 to 2011.

The year 1998 was selected for vacating the wins because it was the first known year Sandusky sexually abused a child on Penn State campus. It also was the first known year the school failed to report the abuse.

"The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator without any input from our family or those who knew him best," the Paterno family said in a statement.

Mike McQueary is now the last Penn State quarterback to record an official Nittany Lions win on Nov. 22, 1997, according to ESPN.

McQueary is the assistant coach who found former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky in the showers with a young boy and reported the incident to Paterno.

Fines in excess of $60 million will be levied against Pennsylvania State University, but the school's football program will not receive the "death penalty," which would have suspended the program for at least one year.

Speaking from Indianapolis, NCAA President Mark Emmert said Penn State will be punished with severe penalties, including scholarship losses and postseason sanctions.

The sanctions include:

  • A $60 million fine on the university with the funds going to the establishment of an endowment that will serve the victims of child sexual abuse across the country. The amount is the equivalent to one year of gross earnings for the football team.
  • A ban from post-season play and bowl participation for four years.
  • The program will be on probation for five years.
  • Scholarships will be reduced from 25 to 15 per year for four years.
  • The NCAA is vacating all wins from 1998 to 2011.
  • The NCAA reserves the right to initiate a formal investigation on individuals after the conclusion of any criminal proceedings.

Penn State agreed to the penalties.

"There is no action that we can take that will remove their pain and anguish," Emmert said during a Monday morning news conference. "Football will never be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people."

The punishment comes in the wake of the child abuse sex scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted last month on 45 criminal charges for abusing 10 young boys.

"The fundamental chapter of this horrific story should focus on the innocent children and the powerful people who let them down," Ed Ray said, the chairman of the executive committee and Oregon State's president.

As for the Nittany Lion football team, any incoming or current players will be allowed to transfer to another program as long as they are eligible.

Football players also will be allowed to remain enrolled at Penn State - regardless if he plays football or not - and retain his scholarship as long as he meets academic requirements.

The school commissioned former FBI director Louis Freeh to independently investigate the university's role in the Sandusky scandal. The Freeh report showed four top Penn State officials were responsible for failing to stop the abuse, including the university's president, vice president and athletic director.

Paterno also was found to be one of the top officials covering for Sandusky.

Emmert said the NCAA did not conduct its own investigation because the Freeh report was more comprehensive than any investigation they would be able to conduct. Freeh and his investigators interviewed more than 450 people and examined millions of documents including emails.

Emmert also said that the NCAA did not want to conduct an investigation and be confused with or get in the way of the criminal investigation.

However, Emmert said that the "NCAA reserves the right to initiate a formal investigation on individuals after the conclusion of any criminal proceedings."

The new Penn State coach, Bill O'Brien, issued a statement after the sanctions were issued, reaffirming his commitment to the football program.

"Working together, the path ahead will not be easy. But it is necessary, just, and will bring a better future."

The sanctions come one day after Penn State removed a 900-pound bronze statue of Paterno, six months after the legendary coach died of lung cancer at age 85.

Sandusky, whose legal team plans to appeal the convictions, is expected to be sentenced in September.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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