The Penn State football team gathers on the field before...

The Penn State football team gathers on the field before an NCAA college football game against Temple at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa. (Sept. 25, 2010) Credit: AP

The NCAA hit Penn State with sanctions for their handling of Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children. Here are the main sanctions and what they mean for the school:

$60 million fine

Penn State must pay the amount over a five-year period beginning in 2012, with the minimum amount at $12 million per year. The amount is the approximate average of one year’s gross revenues from the football program. The money will be placed in an endowment for programs preventing child sex abuse and/or assisting victims of child sex abuse. The NCAA makes clear that Penn State cannot use the proceeds to fund another program at the school and cannot reduce or eliminate a current sponsored athletic team to pay this fine.

What it means: Penn State must pay the amount in addition to taking an expected big drop in revenue because the team won’t be eligible for postseason games from 2012-13 to 2015-16, including the Big Ten championship and bowl games. Therefore, Penn State is not eligible for the Big Ten bowl revenues over those four years, which the conference estimates to be approximately $13 million over the four-year span.

Four-year postseason ban

Penn State cannot participate in a postseason game — either a bowl game or the Big Ten championship — from 2012-13 until 2015-16.

What it means: No Bowl games, of course, but Penn State also will be left out when the first college football playoff starts in 2014. It’s also going to be difficult for head coach Bill O’Brien to convince any top recruits to play for Penn State without the possibility of playing in a bowl game, conference title game and even national championship game.

Loss of scholarships

Penn State will lose 40 total scholarships beginning with the 2013-14 season through the 2016-17 season. Penn State will be limited to offering 15 scholarships per season to recruits (25 is the maximum). Penn State will have a limit of 65 total scholarship players on the roster during the four years (85 is the maximum).

What it means: Losing 10 scholarships per year and having just 65 scholarship players on the roster is crippling for a program trying to compete at the highest level of the Football Bowl Subdivision. In comparison, Football Championship Subdivision schools (formerly Division I-AA such as Stony Brook, Delaware and Richmond) are allowed 63 scholarship players on the roster.

Wins vacated

The NCAA announced that it would vacate all Penn State wins (112) from 1998 to 2011 and remove those numbers from the official records.

What it means: Joe Paterno loses 111 wins (Tom Bradley had one win in 2011 after Paterno was fired) and goes from being the all-time leader in Division I career coaching wins with 409 to 298, which is fifth among FBS (formerly Division I-A) coaches. Grambling’s Eddie Robinson retains the top spot among Division I coaches with 408 career wins and Florida State’s Bobby Bowden is now the top FBS coach with 377 wins. Penn State’s 2005 and 2008 Big Ten title are no longer valid.  


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