View Full Version : What did Penn State know?

06-30-2012, 01:27 PM
This is a different topic than the trial.



Penn State emails: Graham Spanier, Tim Curley
'reconsidered' reporting Sandusky
June 30, 2012 - 02:12 pm

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) ­ Emails show Penn State's former president Graham Spanier agreed not to take allegations of sex abuse against
ex­assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to authorities but worried university officials would be "vulnerable" for failing to report it, a
news organization has reported.

CNN says the emails, first obtained by and reported on by NBC, followed a graduate assistant's 2001 report of seeing Sandusky sexually
assaulting a boy in a team locker room shower.

The emails show athletic director Tim Curley and retired vice president Gary Schultz intended to report the allegation, then reconsidered.
Spanier responded that he was "supportive" of their plan, but he worried they might "become vulnerable for not having reported it."
Sandusky was convicted this month of 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys. The scandal led to the ouster of Spanier and revered coach Joe
Paterno and charges against Curley and Schultz, who are accused of perjury for their grand jury testimony and failing to properly report
suspected child abuse. Spanier hasn't been charged.

The CNN report cites an email from Schultz to Curley on Feb. 26, 2001, 16 days after graduate assistant Mike McQueary told veteran coach
Joe Paterno about the shower assault. Schultz suggests bringing the allegation to the attention of Sandusky, Sandusky's charity and the
Department of Welfare, which investigates suspected child abuse, according to the report.

But the next night, Curley sent an email to Spanier, saying that after thinking about it more and talking to Paterno, he was "uncomfortable"
with that plan and wanted to work with Sandusky before contacting authorities, the report said.

If Sandusky is cooperative, Curley's email said, "we would work with him. .... If not, we do not have a choice and will inform the two groups,"
according to the report.

Spanier wrote back and agreed with that approach, calling it "humane and a reasonable way to proceed," according to the report. But he also
worried about the consequences.

"The only downside for us is if message isn't 'heard' and acted upon and we then become vulnerable for not having reported it, but that can
be assessed down the road," the email said, according to CNN.

Spanier's attorney didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment Saturday.

Schultz and Curley's lawyers on Saturday echoed recent comments by Gov. Tom Corbett about the need for a solid case before charging
Sandusky. Corbett began the investigation in 2009 when he was attorney general.

"For Curley, Schultz, Spanier and Paterno, the responsible and 'humane' thing to do was, like Governor Corbett, to carefully and responsibly
assess the best way to handle vague, but troubling allegations," the lawyers said. "Faced with tough situations, good people try to do their
best to make the right decisions."

Paterno, ousted by the school's board of trustees for what was called his "failure of leadership" surrounding allegations against Sandusky,
died of lung cancer in January. After Sandusky's arrest, Paterno said through a spokesman that he reported the allegation to the head of his
department and "that was the last time the matter was brought to my attention until this investigation and I assumed that the men I
referred it to handled the matter appropriately."

07-12-2012, 01:14 PM
They knew!


They knew in 1998.

That Penn State president Graham Spanier, football coach Joe Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz were aware of a 1998 police investigation into an accusation of child molestation against then-Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky isn't, in and of itself, the most damning revelation in the scathing report released Thursday by former FBI director Louis Freeh and his investigative team. The police did their work. The state attorney declined to press charges following that investigation. It is understandable if the men presumed Sandusky had been falsely accused.

But combine that fact with what we already knew. In 2001, graduate assistant Mike McQueary told Paterno he saw Sandusky raping a boy in a shower at Penn State's football complex. Paterno, Spanier, Curley and Schultz -- already aware of suspicions that Sandusky was a child molester -- did absolutely nothing. The two most powerful men on Penn State's campus (Spanier and the late Paterno) and two more on the upper end of the totem pole did nothing to help the child involved in 2001, nothing to stop Sandusky.

While it was a reasonable logical leap to conclude the men knew of the 1998 investigation, there wasn't any hard evidence. Now there is. Now they can't hide their guilt. Certainly, they can lie. They can spin. They or their representatives can perform semantic gymnastics to protect their freedom or their reputations or their legacies, but the world knows exactly what they are. They are the power brokers who decided it would be more convenient to allow a child rapist to keep operating than to deal with the fallout from his arrest.

"Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State," Freeh wrote in his summary of his report. "The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky's victims until after Sandusky's arrest."

Sandusky was clearly deranged, because only a deranged person would sexually abuse a child. These four men have no such excuse. They sought to protect themselves at the expense of innocent children. They may have done good in their lives before and after, but that will always be their legacy.

Anyone who has spent any time inside a major football program or university knows there are few kept secrets. Common sense dictated Penn State's leaders knew in 1998 and that Sandusky's 1999 retirement was no coincidence, but absent evidence to support that, the men still could enjoy some benefit of the doubt. They can't anymore.

Paterno is dead, so he won't have to watch as the tremendous legacy he built collapses under the weight of this one colossal human failing. Any defenders he has left are either blind, fools or family. Most of the nation realized his grand jury testimony provided enough evidence to conclude he enabled Sandusky, but the evidence contained in the Freeh Report should eliminate any doubt.

Curley and Schultz stand accused of perjury for lying to the grand jury last year. They'll get their day in court, and unless they have O.J.-level defense attorneys, they'll be convicted and imprisoned. Hopefully, they'll never work again. They deserve much, much worse.

Spanier has not been accused of any crime. That could change. He still may face a perjury charge. The man who fought hard to make Penn State's e-mails secret so he could avoid accountability is now going to court to seek access to his old e-mails to find out what other paper trails he might have left behind. The image-obsessed Spanier now will be remembered as the leader who presided over one of the most despicable cover-ups in the history of American higher education. Hopefully, he'll also go to jail.

How big of a scumbag is Spanier? When the men decided in 2001 that they wouldn't report Sandusky to any law enforcement agency, Spanier praised Curley's bravery in an e-mail sent at 10:18 p.m. on Feb. 27, 2001:

"Tim: This approach is reasonable to me. It requires you to go a step further and means your conversation [with Sandusky] will be all the more difficult, but I admire your willingness to do that and I am supportive. The only downside for us is that if the message isn't heard and acted upon, then we become vulnerable for not having reported it. But that can be assessed down the road."

Here we are, down the road.

The real downside, as anyone with a soul knows, is that more children were abused. That is the ultimate tragedy, but Spanier, Paterno, Curley and Schultz weren't worried about children. They were worried about themselves.

Penn State's reputation is in tatters. The school will face significant civil action from Sandusky's victims. The federal government plans to investigate. So does the NCAA. My opinion on the latter has not changed after the Freeh Report. Unless the NCAA finds evidence of broken bylaws, it needs to keep its nose out of an issue beyond its purview. Absolute power corrupted absolutely here, but not specifically because this happened in the football building. Powerful people attempt to protect their power in any large institution. Punishing the current crop of 20-year-olds playing at Penn State won't change that.

Besides, the federal government holds a much larger hammer than the NCAA. There are obvious violations of the Clery Act outlined in the Freeh Report, and penalties for those violations could include fines or a loss of federal funding. Penn State can afford to pay fines -- along with the massive settlements it will ultimately pay the victims -- but it cannot bear a cut in federal funding or the elimination of federal aid to its students. The government has yet to use that penalty in a Clery Act case. It seems unlikely it would use it here because doing so would affect thousands of students, put thousands out of work and economically cripple the surrounding region. Still, people need to understand there are far greater issues at play than how many scholarships Penn State's football program has going forward.

The Freeh Report is probably only another mile-marker in a disgusting journey of self-discovery for Penn State. The trials of Curley and Schultz and a planned federal investigation may reveal even more ugly truths about the cover-up. But the Freeh Report provided the evidence that reinforced what most suspected when the Sandusky news broke last November.

The saddest part? It was even worse than we thought.

07-12-2012, 01:17 PM
Here's the 267 page report.


Page 19 has timeline

Atlanta Dan
07-12-2012, 01:24 PM
Because I did not want to start a new thread I will repost my comments in the Sandusky trial thread from this morning here

The report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh on the Sandusky scandal is out

The most senior officials at Penn State University failed for more than a decade to take any steps to protect the children victimized by Jerry Sandusky, the longtime lieutenant to head football coach Joe Paterno, according to an independent investigation of the sexual abuse scandal that rocked the university last fall.

“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,” said Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the F.B.I. who oversaw the investigation. “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.” ...

One new and central finding of the Freeh investigation is that Paterno knew as far back as 1998 that there were concerns Sandusky might be behaving inappropriately with children. It was then that the campus police investigated a claim by a mother that her son had been molested by Sandusky in a shower at Penn State.

Paterno, through his family, insisted after Sandusky’s arrest that he never knew anything about the 1998 case. But Freeh’s report asserts that Paterno not only knew of the investigation, but followed it closely. Local prosecutors ultimately decided not to charge Sandusky, and Paterno did nothing.

Paterno failed to take any action, the investigation found, “even though Sandusky had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years and had an office just steps away from Mr. Paterno’s.”


Joe Pa's knowledge of these crimes in 1998 makes sense - Sandusky suddenly "retired" as defensive coordinator in 1999 and withdrew his name from consideration as HC at Virginia after having been told by Paterno he would never be the HC at Penn State.

Link to the full report here


I can now see Penn State getting clobbered for this by the NCAA since the motive to cover this up apparently included the Penn State HC's interest in shielding his program. That falls under lack of institutional control over the program.

This is the initial response to the Freeh report by the NCAA

NCAA statement on Penn State
Statement by Bob Williams, Vice President of Communications

“Like everyone else, we are reviewing the final report for the first time today. As President Emmert wrote in his November 17th letter to Penn State President Rodney Erickson and reiterated this week, the university has four key questions, concerning compliance with institutional control and ethics policies, to which it now needs to respond. Penn State’s response to the letter will inform our next steps, including whether or not to take further action. We expect Penn State’s continued cooperation in our examination of these issues.”


It appears likely Paterno committed perjury in his grand jury testimony

Freeh's report also implies that Paterno perjured himself while testifying before the Sandusky grand jury. In his testimony, Paterno claimed to only know about the 2001 shower incident purportedly witnessed by graduate assistant Mike McQueary. Freeh's report says that Paterno also knew about the 1998 investigation.


Anything new in this department? Coach is anxious to know where it stands.-- Penn State athletic director Tim Curley's e-mail to vice president Gary Schultz at 2:21 p.m. on May 13, 1998.


Which indicates Paterno was so powerful the prosecutors did not want to challenge him by indicting him

07-12-2012, 01:27 PM
ugly and sad

Lady Steel
07-15-2012, 06:27 AM
They knew!

You're a little late to the party, aren't you? Of course they knew. I thought that was evident from the git-go of the entire scandal. Or maybe it was just evident to me since I live in Penn State country and know how much stuff gets covered up/swept under the rug in that cow pasture.

Atlanta Dan
07-15-2012, 07:13 AM
You're a little late to the party, aren't you? Of course they knew. I thought that was evident from the git-go of the entire scandal. Or maybe it was just evident to me since I live in Penn State country and know how much stuff gets covered up/swept under the rug in that cow pasture.

While I had my suspicions I had difficulty getting my mind around the numbing detail of a cover-up starting in at least 1998 of pedophilia that involved not just the head coach and the AD but the university president while the trustees slumbered on while enjoying football Saturdays at Beaver Stadium. I live in SEC country and know how sleazy big time college football can be but this is a Black Swan of a college football scandal

Of course it is a different world in Happy Valley - while the grand jury investigation was rocking along, the sainted JoePa negotiated a new contract in 2011 before his prior contract expired with all sorts of goodies

Paterno Won Sweeter Deal Even as Scandal Played Out

And Penn State's general counsel Cynthia Baldwin showed up at the grand jury testimony of Schulz and Curley (I was unaware that attorneys get to join their clients in the grand jury room in Pennsylvania - federal system does not work that way) and both witnesses said the general counsel was their attorney

Penn State's general counsel cited for missteps

Legal experts, though, question Ms. Baldwin's attendance, saying that as a representative of the university, she had no business at the grand jury, since Penn State, at the time, was not a party to the criminal investigation.

"The most significant matter in terms of ethics is what happened in the grand jury room," Mr. Ledewitz said. "The first thing you learn in legal ethics is to know who the client is."

If Ms. Baldwin's intent was to attend as a representative of the university, Mr. Ledewitz said, it was her obligation to correct both Mr. Schultz and Mr. Curley when they said she represented them....

Bruce Antkowiak, a former federal prosecutor who now is a law professor at St. Vincent College, said it surprised a lot of lawyers in the criminal defense bar when they learned Ms. Baldwin attended the grand jury.

Occasionally the general counsel for a company or institution will represent a CEO at a grand jury, he said. But if other officials are summoned for testimony, additional attorneys are secured to represent their individual interests.

"In one sense, I'm wondering why the attorney general's office at that time did not raise that question: Who do you represent?" Mr. Antkowiak said.


The toxic stew of malfeasance and incompetence at Penn State is astonishing

Lady Steel
07-15-2012, 10:27 PM
While I had my suspicions I had difficulty getting my mind around the numbing detail of a cover-up starting in at least 1998 of pedophilia that involved not just the head coach and the AD but the university president while the trustees slumbered on while enjoying football Saturdays at Beaver Stadium. I live in SEC country and know how sleazy big time college football can be but this is a Black Swan of a college football scandal.

I don't think we've heard the end of all this. Maybe so, but I don't think so because this thing is HUGE! Mark my words - Governor Tom Corbett not only knew about all of this, but he also participated in the cover-up during his stint as Attorney General. Depends on whether or not they are covering up for Corbett now. :banging:

And God only knows what happened to Ray Gricar and his computer. :noidea:

Atlanta Dan
07-22-2012, 10:45 AM
Penn State apparently knows it is about to get clobbered

CBS News has learned that the NCAA will announce what a high-ranking association source called "unprecedented" penalties against both the Penn State University football team and the school.

"I've never seen anything like it," the source told correspondent Armen Keteyian.


This image of the JoePa statue looking as if it is being perp walked as it was taken down this morning illustrates how far the mighty have fallen


Drudge has another nice photo


07-22-2012, 11:07 AM
They should let the players transfer without losing any eligibility or waiting a year to play.

07-22-2012, 11:25 AM
They should let the players transfer without losing any eligibility or waiting a year to play.

Yeah I agree. Enough peoples lives have been ruined, let them transfer and have a better chance at going pro and/or winning a championship somewhere.

It's not the kids fault.

07-22-2012, 01:57 PM
i don't see the point in sanctioning the school so far after the fact. they are punishing the wrong people. if they wanna strip old wins away fine , but screwing up the careers of people who had nothing to do with it is wrong. if there's going to be a message sent , then it should be from the courts in the form of prison time and lawsuits against the individuals who had knowledge of the crimes and allowed them to be swept under the carpet.

Atlanta Dan
07-22-2012, 02:27 PM
i don't see the point in sanctioning the school so far after the fact. they are punishing the wrong people. if they wanna strip old wins away fine , but screwing up the careers of people who had nothing to do with it is wrong. if there's going to be a message sent , then it should be from the courts in the form of prison time and lawsuits against the individuals who had knowledge of the crimes and allowed them to be swept under the carpet.

NCAA sanctions always punishing the current players and coaches for past sins (e.g. - Pete Carroll may have known Reggie Bush and his family were getting paid, but Pete and Reggie had moved on when the NCAA dropped the hammer on USC). Hitting a program with its future competitiveness is how meaningful NCAA sanctions work.

Don't worry about senior Penn State officials going to jail for the cover-up and Penn State writing some big checks - that will happen as well.

However, since the main finnacial beneficiary of a sucessful football program is the Penn State athletic department, not the players, the NCAA properly is dropping the hammer on the program

Even I am not cynical enough to believe JoePa & friends were motivated solely to protect a pedophile who was also a colleague. So what were they protecting? A compelling argument can be made they were protecting the football program from taking the PR hit from having a pedophile revealed to have been embeddded within the program for decades, which in turn would hammer recruiting, fundraising for a major expansion of Beaver Stadium in the late 90s, and success on the field that funded the athletic department while maintaining alumni loyalty for future fundraising. In other words the cover-up was designed to maintain a competitive advantage on the field and allow JoePa to continue his race with Bobby Bowden (no stranger to running a successful program that met up with the NCAA investigators from time to time) to replace Bear Bryant as the leader in wins among Division I coaches.

Engaging in academic fraud to keep players eligible or paying players to benefit the program may be a subject of a criminal prosecution but has always been a platform for NCAA sanctions. The NCAA, along with Louis Freeh, has concluded that this toxic environment was allowed to flourish because of the cult of JoePa in Happy Valley and the need to continue the success of the football program at all costs.

I agree with Vis and Mach1 that the current playersshould be allowed to transfer with no loss of eligibility. Otherwise I have no problem with Penn State getting blasted without a death penalty, which would have damaged everyone in Happy Valley who does business on football Saturdays.

07-23-2012, 03:13 AM

NCAA official: No death penalty for Penn State

Though he decided against shutting down Penn State's football program in the wake of its child sex-abuse scandal, NCAA President Mark Emmert will announce Monday morning broad and substantial sanctions that will severely affect the program for years, an NCAA official with knowledge of the penalties told USA TODAY Sports.

By John Beale, AP
Outlines of removed players are all that remains where Joe Paterno's statue once stood at Penn State.
By John Beale, AP
Outlines of removed players are all that remains where Joe Paterno's statue once stood at Penn State.
BUY College Football TICKETS
Sponsored Links

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the NCAA has not yet announced the sanctions, says some of the penalties could be non-traditional.
In addressing a case unprecedented in nature and scope, Emmert made a decisive and ground-breaking move, turning to the Division I Board of Directors and NCAA executive committee rather than use the enforcement process the NCAA typically applies to rules violators, according to the NCAA official and another person familiar with the case who is a former NCAA investigator.

The NCAA official said both the board of directors, comprised of 22 university presidents and chancellors, and the executive committee had directed Emmert to look into the Penn State case and to offer recommendations on penalties, which he did. Emmert received broad approval from both groups, the official said, to impose sanctions and bypass the usual investigation process.

Emmert's move is a strong response to a case of misconduct unlike any the association has seen in its history. Rather than view the scandal as an enforcement matter for the infractions committee, which typically acts as judge and jury in NCAA investigations, Emmert saw it as so serious it warranted action by those with more overarching power over the membership.

Emmert will announce the sanctions against Penn State at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis at 9 a.m. ET today, one day after Penn State officials removed coach Joe Paterno's statue outside Beaver Stadium. Appearing with Emmert will be Ed Ray, president of Oregon State and chairman of the NCAA executive committee.
A report by former FBI director Louis Freeh found that top university leaders, including Paterno, who died in January, covered up information for years that could have stopped Sandusky's attacks on children. Penn State's punishment likely will range from postseason bowl bans and scholarship reductions for the football program to other non-traditional sanctions that the NCAA has the authority to impose. In a statement Sunday, the NCAA said it will impose "corrective and punitive measures."
The NCAA's move to take action on the case is unusual because the issues involve a cover-up of criminal activity rather than a violation of typical association bylaws. No obvious on-field competitive advantage was gained by the misconduct. Some questioned the rush to hand down a decision.
"I am completely in the dark," said Anthony Lubrano, a newly elected Penn State board of trustee member. "I am so frustrated as a trustee. It is really disheartening. I am hearing the same things the (media) are.
"It is unforgiveable that Mark Emmert feels he needs to make an example, if what is being reported (is accurate). Joe Paterno is not responsible for pedophilia in America. Louis Freeh reached an (erroneous) conclusion."
ACC commissioner John Swofford, who had no details on the pending sanctions, on Sunday said the case as "goes well beyond anything related to athletics." Swofford said many individuals working in college sports have wrestled with how to sanction Penn State.
"I don't know if there's anything to compare it to," he said. "So it's uncharted waters …a tragedy from every angle, starting with the young kids that were victims. And the question is, where do you put something like that in terms of NCAA violations, recruiting violations or that type of thing."
Unchartered territory for the NCAA
The case is unprecedented — Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of abuse — and the NCAA underscored the point in departing from its typical investigation protocol.
Said former longtime NCAA enforcement head David Price in an email to USA TODAY Sports: "On the surface, they seem to be separating the issue from the enforcement process. … I am curious to learn what they have decided and what process they are using."
Emmert, who at one point said he had not ruled out shutting down the program for a period of time, told Penn State in November that the NCAA would be examining the exercise of "institutional control."
Only one major college football program, Southern Methodist in the late 1980s, has received the so-called death penalty. Several NCAA former investigators have said that one of the reasons why the death penalty has not been imposed since is because of the devastating effect it had on SMU's football program, which has had three winning seasons since 1986.
According to the NCAA database of major infractions cases, the longest postseason ban issued in major college football has been four years, to Indiana starting in 1960.
Sunday's announcement by the NCAA brought mixed reaction in the Penn State community.
Said Michael Robinson, who helped lead Penn State to the 2005 Big Ten title: "I know the NCAA felt like it had to do something, but Jerry and this scandal — it gave us no competitive advantage, you know? We had no idea. … The NCAA, when it talks about docking scholarships, bowls, wins or whatever, the death penalty, I look at it as if you were doing something to create a competitive advantage. That wasn't the case here."
Said William Earley, a retired Wall Street executive who made five-figure donations to Penn State for 20 years: "Is the punishment expected? Yes. Is it deserved? Yes. It is the beginning of the whole rehabilitation process. Just like taking down the statue. You can't avoid it. It is a perpetual reminder of doing the wrong thing. This is one of the ugliest episodes in American sports."
And former Penn State standout Matt Millen said: "Here is what disappoints me: What are they basing it on? They didn't conduct an investigation. They are going off a report the university paid for. So the university's own words killed them.
"Doesn't the NCAA have an investigative arm? Isn't that what they are supposed to do? … This looks to me like the NCAA is doing it while it is hot. There are some positives: The fact that they are being this swift can help with recruiting ."
According to the version of first-year coach Bill O'Brien's contract available on Penn State's web site, O'Brien, whose base salary this season is $950,000, cannot terminate the agreement because of sanctions against the program without having to give the university a sizeable buyout payment. O'Brien has been steadfast in his commitment to Penn State amid the widening scandal.
Just the beginning of sanctions?
Two former chairmen of the NCAA infractions committee as well as former NCAA investigators said last week that the Penn State case, while reprehensible, might not qualify as an enforcement issue.
"You might argue that by what Sandusky did do and by what Penn State did not do, that it is a violation of ethical conduct, but I don't think I have ever seen it used in that fashion," former infractions committee chairman David Swank said. "My opinion would be that it is not (an enforcement issue). There are other venues to take care of the problems that occurred at Penn State, and one of those is not the NCAA."
Chuck Smrt , who was on the NCAA enforcement staff for more than 17 years, said that the NCAA involvement in the case could open a Pandora's Box for the organization in the future regarding criminal activities on campuses across the nation.
"Then the next time an athletic staff member at another school is involved in criminal activity, are you going to look at whether other staff members were aware and followed up on that?" Smrt said. "When a coach is involved in criminal activity, does every school then need to review who knew what along the way and assess whether there has been unethical conduct? Or does it relate only to the significance of the criminal activity? And then, well, where do you draw that line?"
The former investigators and former infractions committee chairman Tom Yeager said that Penn State was eligible for the death penalty even though it is not a so-called repeat violator — more than one major rule violation within a five-year period — because all punitive options are on the table in cases involving major rules violations.
The NCAA penalties could be just the beginning of sanctions for Penn State. The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education are conducting investigations into the school's actions in relation to the scandal.
Also, athletics director Tim Curley, who is on leave, and former vice president Gary Schultz await trial on charges of failing to report child abuse and lying to a grand jury but have maintained their innocence.
And the sanctions will have far-reaching ramifications for the current Penn State players, who had scheduled a meeting for 10 a.m. Monday, according to Twitter reports.

07-23-2012, 09:44 AM
Penn State sanctions: $60M, bowl ban
ESPN.com news services

The NCAA has hit Penn State with a $60 million sanction, a four-year football postseason ban and a vacation of all wins dating to 1998, the organization said Monday morning.

The career record of Joe Paterno will reflect these vacated records, the NCAA said.

Penn State must also reduce 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period.

The NCAA revealed the sanctions as NCAA president Mark Emmert and Ed Ray, the chairman of the NCAA's executive committee and Oregon State's president, spoke at a news conference in Indianapolis at the organization's headquarters.

Penn State sanctions

• $60 million fine
• Vacation of wins from 1998-2011 (112 wins)*
• Four-year postseason ban
• Players may transfer and play immediately at other schools
• Athletic department on probation for five years
* Joe Paterno record now 298-136-3; fifth on FBS all-time list

"In the Penn State case, the results were perverse and unconscionable," Emmert said.

"No price the NCAA can levy with repair the damage inflicted by Jerry Sandusky on his victims," he said, referring to the former Penn State defensive coordinator convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse last month.

The NCAA said the $60 million was equivalent to the average annual revenue of the football program. The NCAA ordered Penn State to pay the penalty funds 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."

With the wins from 1998-2011 vacated, Paterno moves from 409 wins to 298, dropping him from first to 12th on the winningest NCAA football coach list. Penn State will also have six bowl wins and two conference championships erased.

The Penn State athletic program will also be put on five-year probation and must work with an athletic-integrity monitor of NCAA's chosing.

"There is incredible interest in what will happen to Penn State football," Ray said at the news conference. "But the fundamental chapter of this horrific story should focus on the innocent children and and the powerful people who let them down."

The Big Ten will also sanction Penn State. The conference has called an 11 a.m. ET news conference to announce league-related penalties.

Penn State, in a statement released less than an hour after the sanctions were revealed, said it will accept them and that the "ruling holds the university accountable for the failure of those in power to protect children and insists that all areas of the university community are held to the same high standards of honesty and integrity."

"The tragedy of child sexual abuse that occurred at our university altered the lives of innocent children," school president Rodney Erickson said in the news release. "Today, as every day, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse."

The penalties came a day after Penn State removed Paterno's statue outside Beaver Stadium, a decision that came 10 days after a scathing report by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh found that Paterno, with three other top Penn State administrators, had concealed allegations of child sexual abuse made against Sandusky.

The Freeh report concluded their motive was to shield the university and its football program from negative publicity.

"Today we receive a very harsh penalty from the NCAA and as head coach of the Nittany Lions football program, I will do everything in my power to not only comply, but help guide the university forward to become a national leader in ethics, compliance and operational excellence," Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien said in the statement. "I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes."

By vacating 112 Penn State victories over a 14-year period, the sanctions cost Paterno 111 wins. Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will now hold the top spot in the NCAA record book with 377.

The scholarship reductions mean that Penn State's roster will be capped at 65 scholarship players within a couple of seasons. The normal scholarship limit for major college football programs is 85. Playing with 20 less is crippling to a program that tries to compete at the highest level of the sport.

Biggest Postseason Bans

Penn State was hit with a four-year postseason ban from the NCAA on Monday. The penalties also include a $60 million fine and vacation of wins dating to 1998. Here's a list of the longest postseason bans for FBS programs since 1960. No team has ever received a five-year ban.
Other FBS Programs To Receive At Least
a 3-Year Postseason Ban Since 1960
School Report year Length
of ban
Indiana 1960 4 years
• Improper recruiting inducements
Oklahoma St. 1989 3 years
• Improper financial aid, extra benefits
Michigan St. 1976 3 years
• Extra benefits, improper recruiting entertainment
Houston 1966 3 years
• Extra benefits, improper recruiting entertainment
-- Source: NCAA Major Infractions Database

The NCAA took unprecedented measures with the decision to penalize Penn State without the due process of a Committee on Infractions hearing, bypassing a system in which it conducts its own investigations, issues a notice of allegations and then allows the university 90 days to respond before a hearing is scheduled.

Following the hearing, the Infractions Committee then usually takes a minimum of six weeks, but it can take upwards of a year to issue its findings.

But in the case of Penn State, the NCAA appeared to use the Freeh report -- commissioned by the school's board of trustees -- instead of its own investigation.

"We cannot look to NCAA history to determine how to handle circumstances so disturbing, shocking and disappointing," Emmert said in the statement. "As the individuals charged with governing college sports, we have a responsibility to act. These events should serve as a call to every single school and athletics department to take an honest look at its campus environment and eradicate the 'sports are king' mindset that can so dramatically cloud the judgment of educators."

NCAA Division I Board of Directors and/or the NCAA Executive Committee granted Emmert the authority to punish through the nontraditional methods.

"It was a unanimous act," Ray said. "We needed to act."

Penn State athletics had been given no indication from the NCAA about what sanctions or penalties were to be levied on the department and football program, a source with direct knowledge of the situation in State College told ESPN.com's Andy Katz on Sunday night. If this were a traditional infractions case, the athletic department would have known up to 24 hours in advance.

A trustee said Penn State has hired Gene Marsh, a lawyer for Lightfoot, Franklin & White in Birmingham, Ala., and a former member and chair of the NCAA Infractions Committee. Last week, ESPN contacted Marsh, who also previously represented former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, and he refused to confirm or deny he had been retained by Penn State.

A former Committee on Infractions chairman and current Division I Appeals Committee member told ESPN.com's Katz on Sunday the NCAA's penalizing of an institution and program for immoral and criminal behavior also breaks new ground.

The former chair, who has been involved with the NCAA for nearly three decades, said he couldn't use his name on the record since the case could come before him and the committee he still serves on in an appeals process.

"This is unique and this kind of power has never been tested or tried," the former chair said. "It's unprecedented to have this extensive power. This has nothing to do with the purpose of the infractions process. Nevertheless, somehow (the NCAA president and executive board) have taken it on themselves to be a commissioner and to penalize a school for improper conduct."

The chair said that the NCAA was dealing with a case that is outside the traditional rules or violations. He said this case does not fall within the basic fundamental purpose of NCAA regulations.

"The purpose of the NCAA is to keep a level playing field among schools and to make sure they use proper methods through scholarships and etcetera," the chair said. "This is not a case that would normally go through the process. It has nothing to do with a level playing field. It has nothing to do with whether Penn State gets advantages over other schools in recruiting or in the number of coaches or things that we normally deal with."

The NCAA, the chair said, had never gotten involved in punishing schools for criminal behavior.

Big Ten Blog

Big Ten ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett write about all things Big Ten in the conference blog.

• Blog network: College Football Nation

"The criminal courts are perfectly capable of handling these situations," the former chair said. "This is a new phase and a new thing. They are getting into bad behavior that are somehow connected to those who work in the athletic department.

"This is an important precedent. And it should be taken with extreme care."

Under NCAA rules covering postseason bans, players are allowed to transfer without sitting out a season as long as their remaining eligibility is shorter than or equal to the length of the ban.

The NCAA, heavily criticized for its sometimes-ponderous pace in deciding penalties as scandals mounted at Ohio State, Auburn, USC and elsewhere, acted with unprecedented swiftness in arriving at the sanctions for a team that is trying to start over with a new coach and a new outlook.

Emmert had put the Penn State matter on the fast track. Other cases that were strictly about violating the NCAA rulebook have dragged on for months and even years. There was no sign that the infractions committee so familiar to college sports fans was involved this time around as Emmert moved quickly, no doubt aided by the July 12 release of the report by former FBI director Louis Freeh and what it said about Paterno and the rest of the Penn State leadership.

The investigation focused partly on university officials' decision not to go to child-welfare authorities in 2001 after a coaching assistant told Paterno that he had seen Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in the locker room showers. Penn State officials already knew about a previous allegation against Sandusky by that time, from 1998.

The leaders, the report said, "repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky's child abuse from authorities, the university's board of trustees, the Penn State community and the public at large."

Sandusky is awaiting sentencing after being convicted last month of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.

Emmert had warned Penn State last fall that the NCAA would be examining the "exercise of institutional control" within the athletic department, and said it was clear that "deceitful and dishonest behavior" could be considered a violation of ethics rules. So, too, could a failure to exhibit moral values or adhere to ethics guidelines.

The Freeh report also said school had "decentralized and uneven" oversight of compliance issues -- laws, regulations, policies and procedures -- as required by the NCAA.

Recent major scandals, such as improper payments to the family of Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush while he was at Southern California, and players at Ohio State trading memorabilia for cash and tattoos, have resulted in bowl bans and the loss of scholarships.