The NCAA, a methodical and procedural organization not known for tipping its investigative hand, has scheduled a Monday morning news conference at which, it stated, it will levy corrective and punitive measures against the school in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal that led to the conviction of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
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The penalties will be disclosed at the organizations Indianapolis headquarters by NCAA President Mark Emmert and Ed Ray, chairman of the NCAAs executive committee.
A Penn State spokesman reached Sunday said he had no information on the announcement.
The potentially extraordinary NCAA action comes less than two weeks after an investigation led by former FBI director Louis Freeh asserted that top officials at Penn State, including Paterno, agreed to cover up Sanduskys abuses.
It is a contention Paternos family has vehemently denied. Paterno, who spent 61 years at the school and compiled a major college record 409 victories, died in January at age 85.
Sandusky was a longtime Paterno assistant who retained access to school facilities after his 1999 retirement from the coaching staff.
Speculation on the severity of Penn States sanctions moved furiously across multimedia and social networking outlets.
CBS News, quoting sources, reported Penn State would receive unprecedented punishment for its role in the scandal that has rocked college sports since November, when Sandusky was arraigned on charges that eventually led to conviction on 45 counts involving 10 boys.
Yahoo reported the Penn State penalties would be significant and staggering and include a bowl ban and loss of scholarships.
The NCAA hasnt banned a program from television appearances since 1996, but that remains one of the more punitive options.
The NCAA has not used the death penalty in football since it imposed a one-year ban on Southern Methodist in 1987 for a litany of violations, most involving payment to players by boosters.
The school elected not to play in 1988 and has since recorded only three winning seasons.
The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported Sunday that the impending sanctions against Penn State would not be appealed or substantially challenged.
Emmert, as NCAA president, has reportedly received unprecedented permission by the NCAAs board of directors to bypass normal channels of enforcement to act in this case.
Penn State under Paterno, the schools head coach from 1966 until his firing last November, was never cited for an NCAA violation.
Some are already questioning Emmerts jurisdiction.
The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm, which serves as legal counsel for schools with cases before the NCAA committee, issued a statement saying it was extremely concerned about the possible NCAA actions and urged the organization to comply with existing processes and procedures to address the Penn State sexual abuse scandal.
In a PBS interview last week, Emmert did not rule out using the death penalty in outlining the parameters of the case.
This is completely different than an impermissible benefits scandal like what happened at SMU, or anything else weve dealt with, Emmert said. ... I dont know what past precedent makes particularly good sense in this case, because its really an unprecedented problem.
Dawn broke Sunday at Penn State with the removal of Paternos 7-foot, 900-pound statue, built in 2001 to commemorate the coachs record-setting 324th victory.
Workers barricaded the streets and nearby sidewalks and covered Paternos likeness with a blue tarp. A bulldozer lifted Paternos statue off its moorings as an estimated 100 to 150 students chanted, We are Penn State.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson said he ordered the statue moved into storage because it had become a source of division.
I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse, Erickson said in a released statement.
Erickson said Paternos name would remain on the schools library that is a tribute to Joe and Sue Paternos commitment to Penn States student body and academic success.
Erickson added: The world will be watching how Penn State addresses its challenges in the days ahead. While some may take issue with the decisions I have made, I trust that everyone associated with our University will respond in a civil and respectful manner.
Joe Paternos family, in a statement, objected to the statues removal and the continued assault on Paternos legacy.
Tearing down the statue of Joe Paterno does not serve the victims of Jerry Sanduskys horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State Community, the statement read in part. We believe the only way to help the victims is to uncover the full truth. The Freeh report, though it has been accepted by the media as the definitive conclusion on the Sandusky scandal, is the equivalent of an indictment a charging document written by a prosecutor and an incomplete and unofficial one at that.
Paternos statue was removed, coincidentally, six months from the day of his death.