The NCAA levied a $60-million fine against Penn State, removed all of its recent football wins (1998-2011), and banned the college from the annual bowl games for four years following the scandal of the Jerry Sandusky trial, which revealed the sexual abuse of young boys and a cover-up.
The sanctions issued by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which oversees college athletic programs, also included a reduction in its scholarship funds over the next four years and the right for incoming and current players to transfer, which will restrict the school’s ability to recruit and retain top football talent.
Penn State removed a statue of former coach Joe Paterno prior to Monday’s NCAA announcement. An internal investigation at Penn State found Paterno and other top university officials “concealed” what they knew of the allegations of abuse conducted by Jerry Sandusky.
The school’s new president Rod Erickson ordered the removal of the 7-foot statue, calling it an “obstacle to healing.”
Paterno’s family reportedly visited the statue on Friday before its removal and issued a statement saying the action will not “help heal” the community. Paterno, who was fired in the wake of the scandal that erupted last fall, died in January of cancer.
NCAA president Mark Emmert warned against “hero worship” and a sports culture that enables a “too big to fail, too big to challenge” mentality as he announced the sanctions against Penn State Monday.
Emmert said the punishment was selected to “rebuild an athletic culture that went horribly awry.”