The NCAA has announced crippling sanctions that could impact the future of the Penn State football program for years.
Mark Emmert, president of the governing body, announced the Penn State NCAA sanctions in a Monday morning news conference. Penn State faces $60 million in fines that will be used to establish an independent organization to help victims of abuse, and the school was also forced to vacate all wins from 1998 to 2011.
It erases 111 wins from the career of coach Joe Paterno, and removes him from the top of the FBS win list.
1998 was the year that the Freeh report says officials at the university first learned of the Jerry Sandusky abuse allegations and initiated a massive cover-up.
More sanctions against the school will have implications for Penn State’s ability to remain competitive in the years ahead. The school will have reductions in initial scholarships from 25 to 15 per year, which will impact their ability to maintain a competitive roster.
The school is also banned from post-season bowls for the next four years.
NCAA officials also announced that it would lift tampering rules that prohibit other universities from speaking to players who have already committed to attend Penn State. Coupled with the announcement that Penn State players will be able to transfer without penalty, it ensures that Penn State’s roster will be picked apart by other schools.
The penalties in total could damage the school’s ability to be competitive on the field for a decade. Roster depth will be an issue and the collective impact of no bowl play will take a crippling toll on the program.
Some legal analysts have said that the NCAA circumvented its own process by not allowing the extended hearing process over rules violations to take their course.
The NCAA has cited the extreme nature of the infractions as their motivation to act quickly. The governing body used the Freeh report in lieu of a traditional NCAA investigation.
Judge Louis Freeh’s investigation was commissioned by Penn State. The university says it will not appeal the sanctions.
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