The NCAA has levied the harshest punishment imaginable without simply terminating the Penn State football program (the "death penalty"), and deservedly so. Jerry Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive coordinator, was found guilty in June on 45 counts of sexually abusing young boys, several times in Penn facilities, for which there were witnesses who reported what they saw, only to have their reports ignored or covered up.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh investigated the case, at the request of the school, and released his report on July 12, finding that Joe Paterno, who died in January, former Penn State President Graham Spanier ,and athletic director Tim Curley, were among several top officials at Penn State who helped cover-up, failed to report, or lied under oath about their knowledge of the accusations against Sandusky.
Yesterday, the statue of Joe Paterno was removed from outside of Beaver Stadium on the Penn State campus.
Penn State and those named officials still face criminal and civil lawsuits that could bring more fines for the individuals and pay-outs by the University for compensation to the victims.
Penn State Punishments:
- $60 million fine, representing approximately one year of football profits. [The money must be paid into an endowment for external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims and may not be used to fund such programs at Penn State.]
- 4-year bowl game ban.
- Scholarship reduction, cap lasting four years. [A loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years, from 85 to 65.]
- Any entering, returning football student athlete can transfer immediately. Presuming academic requirements are met, these potential transfers can play immediately.
- PSU vacates all wins from 1998-2011. The loss of 111 career wins drops Joe Paterno from atop the all-time wins list to 12th.
- PSU begins a five-year probationary period, with the NCAA reserving the right to implement further punishments.
In reality, there is nothing that can compensate the survivors for what they have been through. No amount of money removes those scars or stops those nightmares.