In NCAA sanctions, Penn State fined, vacates years of wins [updated]

    NCAA President Mark Emmert delivered a blow today to Penn State University and its athletic community.Emmert read off six main sanctions against the organization, following the release of the Freeh report, which indicated former university football coach Joe Paterno was aware of and failed to stop the child sex abuse by his former assistant Jerry Sandusky.

    Calling the Freeh report “thorough,” Emmert announced a $60 million fine against the university to establish an endowment to serve child sex abuse victims. The fine is one year’s worth of gross revenue from football.

    The PSU football team has also been banned from post-season bowl games for the next four years, and must vacate all wins on record between 1998 and 2011.

    “The 1998 date was selected because that’s when the first reported abusive incidents occurred,” Emmert explained. He would not go into details about what this particular sanction means for Paterno, known as the winningest coach.”The goal is not to be just punitive,” Emmert said, and noted that suspending the team from play altogether would lead to “significant unintended harm” to individuals with no connection to the Sandusky scandal.The university will have to cut athletic scholarships over the next four years, leaving current and incoming players free to transfer without penalty.The athletic program is on a five-year probation period, and Emmert said the NCAA reserves the right to impose additional sanctions on individuals as need. An “independent athletic integrity monitor” will oversee the program for the next five years.

    Emmert called the scandal and resulting sanctions an “unprecedented painful chapter in the history of collegiate athletics.”

    Update, 11:30 a.m. The Big 10 , PSU’s conference has added its own sanctions against the university. The football team is banned from the Big 10 championship game for the next four years, and the school’s share of bowl game money will go to children’s charities.

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