Entertainment & Sports Law

Penn State Avoids NCAA 'Death Penalty,' Is Fined $60M, Faces More Sanctions re Child Sex-Abuse Case


The governing body of college sports declined to impose a so-called “death penalty” on Pennsylvania State University by shutting down its entire football program as a punishment for the institution’s handling of child abuse allegations concerning former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

However, at a press conference Monday the National College Athletic Association announced that it has fined Penn State $60 million, stripped the university of all Nittany Lions wins from 1998 to 2011, imposed a four-year ban on postseason football games and eliminated 20 scholarships for the same period, reports Bloomberg.

The Big Ten conference subsequently announced, as an additional penalty, that Penn State will not get a share of bowl revenues while it is under the postseason play ban. That amounts to an additional penalty of about $13 million, according to the Associated Press and the State College News.

The NCAA says the $60 million penalty is the same amount as Penn State’s annual football revenue, reports ESPN. The university was ordered to pay the $60 million to an “endowment for “external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims.” The money, however, “may not be used to fund such programs at the university.”

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Convicted and Jailed, Ex-Penn State Asst. Coach Jerry Sandusky Is Expected to Appeal”

ABAJournal.com: “Freeh’s Scathing Report an Unusual ‘Road Map’ to Litigation Against Penn State, Lawyers Say”

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