NCAA Fines Penn State $60 Million Over Child Sex Abuse, Vacates Wins Since 1998


The NCAA came down on Penn State this morning with a hefty punishment for the football organization's despicable and tragic decision to look away as dozens of children were sexually abused:

"The NCAA imposed a $60 million sanction on the university, which is equivalent to the average gross annual revenue of the football program. These funds 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 the university. The sanctions also include a four-year football postseason ban and a vacation of all wins from 1998 through 2011. The career record of former head football coach Joe Paterno will reflect these vacated records. Penn State must also reduce 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period. In addition, the NCAA reserves the right to impose additional sanctions on involved individuals at the conclusion of any criminal proceedings."


  1. Michaelandfred says

    It would be nice to think the Vatican is taking notes on how responsible, moral organizations deal with this issue. But hey, who can expect morals from a church.

  2. Jacques says

    Wow, that’s harsh. As it should be.

    Sadly, I suppose it indicates the level of embarrassment inflicted on the NCAA as much as the damage inflicted on the real victims.

  3. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    The only question that I have is over the $60-million-dollar fine. Is the $60m to be paid be the football program directly? Or by the current students of Penn State through higher tuition and fees?

  4. TampaZeke says

    Not harsh enough. Their football team is being suspended from post season play. The ENTIRE sports program should be suspended from ALL play for four years. The athletes of Penn State need to find other programs to join. Everything and everyone associated with Penn State sports should be taken down so that they have to start from scratch in four years.

  5. TampaZeke says

    This should mean that Paterno is stripped of his record.

    Bobby Bowden should have the record of most career wins.

    Two years ago who would have imagined that Paterno would suffer the fate of hated dictators?

  6. Mike8787 says

    @Tampazeke: What Paterno and the football program did was reprehensible, but should hundreds of others completely innocent lose their jobs simply because of what a distant but affiliated program did? No.

  7. pr_pro says

    And who else, just like Jerry Sandusky, set up their very own charity to help boys from “troubled families”? Why if it weren’t the founder of Chick-fil-A himself, S. Truett Cathy. Truett Cathy is a child molester “hiding” in plain site, and just like Penn State, no one wants to know.

  8. SgtSausagepants says

    I agree with the not harsh enough side.

    The first thing this community did when they heard about this was harass the first known victim until his family was forced to leave town.

    Shut the whole thing down. Something is wrong with these people.

  9. Dback says

    Fortunately, all the football players have been given the option of transferring schools, so that their careers and hard work (and in some cases scholarships that allowed them to go to college) will not be wiped out. All of the suits who enabled Sandusky and knew about it should take the fall; innocent players who’ve given their blood and sweat for the school shouldn’t be penalized. (“The sins of the fathers” and all that.)

  10. jamal49 says

    Too little, too late. Too many knew too much long ago and never spoke out about it. It should have been a lifetime ban from college football.

    Regardless, the NCAA is a decadent, dysfunctional, completely politicized and very corrupt organization. The cure for all of what ails college sports is to take down the NCAA.

  11. ratbastard says

    I agree with what Jamal wrote, but in this case they did good. Penn State got what it deserved. They’ve taken a big financial hit [it’ll end up being much bigger than $60 million, factoring in donations, lost revenue, etc. And their ‘brand’ has been badly tarnished.

  12. D.B. says

    @TED B.: It’s my understanding that the $60 million fine is to come from Penn State’s athletics budget, and not from the school’s general budget. The two are largely separate. Also, it’s to be paid in installments over 5 years, not all at once.

    Penn State is one of the few large universities who’s athletic department had always operated in the black, turning a very healthy profit even in less-than-stellar years. The bottom line is that Penn State should be able to pay this fine without significant cuts to other sports’ budgets, and without passing the costs on to students.

  13. anon says

    It’s more appropriate for the program to penalized for sports related offenses. This scandal only related to the sports program because JS was a former coach and JP didn’t tell anyone what he knew in order to protect the program’s reputation. No school that’s ever been penalized by the NCAA has actually ever reformed itself. I just don’t see how the NCAA is party to this suit.

  14. thayer says

    Um while what happened was horrible, as a Penn State alumni I really have to say I’m disgusted by everything associated with this case. I’m disgusted with the people, the way those responsible handled it, but I’m also disgusted at the reaction from most people. Penn State isn’t just football, and penalizing the program like this isn’t going to do much more than hurt the current and future players who had no relation to this scandal. Also, I hope that the NCAA is smart enough to realize they need to force PSU to shift those scholarships to other programs rather than simply eliminate them, otherwise you’re also reducing the number of scholarships that are going to women athletes in other sports (good ol’ Title 9)…

  15. D.B. says

    @Thayer: Sorry, but you’re wrong on this. The sanctions will make it almost impossible for Penn State to field a football team that can realistically compete at the highest levels, and somewhat curtail the money flowing to the university as a result of football.

    (Penn State will still make money on football by ticket sales, merchandising and licensing, alumni donations, etc. — even with these actions, it’s highly likely the program will continue to break even financially.)

    While the outcomes of these sanctions seem bad, they could (ideally) have a positive impact — without the lure of “big time football,” it will force the university to reconsider the proper place a football program should have in an academic institution and the university community as a whole.

    Current players are free to leave without penalty, and future players can obviously choose to go elsewhere. And the NCAA penalty absolutely does not impact scholarships going to female athletes at all — that assumption is quite a stretch.

    And as a fellow Penn State alumnus, I have to say that I would hope a Penn State grad would know the difference between the words alumni, alumnus, and alumna.

  16. Josh says

    You gay guys calling for more “harshness” — did you get it this weekend? All this goes to prove is that young boys are desirable — to the wrong person in this case. But I’d say for $60 million they got the girls beat. We’re actually a boy culture.

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