NCAA vows ‘corrective and punitive’ sanctions for Penn State; program’s future at stake
Now the NCAA gets its say on Penn State.
College sports’ governing body was expected to deal a series of heavy blows to the Nittany Lions football program on Monday, less than two weeks after a devastating report accused coach Joe Paterno and other top university officials of concealing child sex abuse allegations against a retired assistant coach for years to avoid bad publicity. A news conference was scheduled for 9 a.m. in Indianapolis.
A multi-year bowl ban, lost scholarships, recruiting limits, probation and a multimillion-dollar fine all seem likely for the program Paterno built into a national power under the slogan of “success with honor.” And the NCAA, heavily criticized for its sometimes-ponderous pace in deciding penalties as scandals mounted at Ohio State, Auburn, USC and elsewhere, acted with unprecedented swiftness in arriving at what it called “corrective and punitive” sanctions for a team that is trying to start over with a new coach and a new outlook.
The NCAA announced no details Sunday in serving notice that it would indeed weigh in on perhaps the worst scandal in American college sports history. President Mark Emmert cautioned last week that he had not ruled out the possibility of shutting down the football program altogether – the so-called death penalty, famously used against Southern Methodist a quarter-century ago – saying he had “never seen anything as egregious” as the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
The NCAA announcement Sunday came shortly after Penn State took down its famed statue of Paterno, six months to the day since his death from lung cancer. The university said leaving it up would be a “recurring wound” for Sandusky’s victims. An accomplished defensive coordinator, Sandusky was convicted of molesting young boys over more than a decade.
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