Penn State removed this statue of embattled former coach Joe Paterno Sunday. (Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
The NCAA has hit Penn State with an unprecedented series of punishments, including a $60 million sanction and the removal of football coach Joe Paterno's wins from 1998 through 2011 in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal.
Other penalties announced at a press conference on Monday include a four-year ban from annual bowl games, five years of probation and a reduction in scholarship funds, as well as a transfer allowance for incoming and current players.
"No price the NCAA can levy will repair the damage inflicted by Jerry Sandusky on his victims,'' said NCAA president Mark Emmert, as reported by the Associated Press. "In the Penn State case, the results were perverse and unconscionable," he added, in reference to the school’s former defensive coordinator being convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse in June.
The severe blow to the Nittany Lions’ program comes only hours after Penn State’s removal of a Joe Paterno statue near the football stadium on campus. The penalties vacating the 112 Penn State wins between 1998-2011 has cost the Hall of Fame coach 111 wins, causing the former head coach to lose his NCAA record for most wins.
Though the NCAA stopped short of imposing the "death penalty'' - shutting down the Nittany Lions' program completely, writes the Associated Press. However, the punishment is more like a slow-death penalty.
Penn State has agreed to the sanctions.
The $60 million sanction is equivalent to the average gross annual revenue of the football program. The funds must be paid into an endowment for programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims and may not be used to fund such programs at the university, according to the NCAA.
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