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Penn State slammed with NCAA sanctions over handling of Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal
Updated at 10:01 a.m. ET
(CBS/AP) The NCAA imposed a harsh set of sanctions on Penn State Monday, less than two weeks after an independent investigation found that football coach Joe Paterno and other senior school leaders failed to stop former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky from sexually abusing children on campus.
NCAA President Mark Emmert announced that the association was banning the football team from all post-season play and bowl games for four years, reducing the program’s number of scholarships from 25 to 15 per year for four years, and fining the program $60 million. The association also vacated all of the program’s wins between 1998 and 2011.
“Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing and protecting young people,” Emmert said.
[A wonderful statement.]
The program will also be on probation for five years. Current Penn State players will immediately be allowed to transfer without sitting out a year, Emmert said. One coach told CBSSports.com last week that Penn State recruits were already calling him trying to gauge interest in their talents.
When asked about Paterno’s role in the scandal, Emmert said the NCAA decided to withhold judgment on individuals.
Sandusky was convicted on 45 criminal counts last month at a trial that included gut-wrenching testimony from eight young men who said he abused them as boys during the course of a decade.
“No matter what we do here today, there is no action that we can take that will remove their pain and anguish,” Emmert said.
Emmert fast-tracked penalties rather than go through the usual circuitous series of investigations and hearings. The NCAA said the $60 million is equivalent to the annual gross revenue of the football program. 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.
After an eight-month inquiry, a firm led by former federal judge and FBI director Louis Freeh produced a 267-page report finding that Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley, university vice president Gary Schultz, who oversaw the campus police department, and university president Graham Spanier “never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky’s victims until after Sandusky’s arrest.”