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Penn State reacts to announcement of NCAA sanctions

Site of Joe Paterno's statue is seen after its removal outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania AP

Reactions to the NCAA’s stunning announcement of debilitating sanctions on Penn State continues to roll in at an exhaustive clip, with the current leadership at the university the latest to react to the historic penalties levied on the football program.

In separate statements, university president Rodney Erickson — who took over for Graham Spanier, fired in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal — and acting athletic director David Joyner — who replaced Tim Curley, placed on administrative leave after being charged in connection to the Sandusky case — both vowed that the university will “move forward,” with the former stating that will come “with a renewed sense of commitment to excellence and integrity in all aspects of our University.”

Below and after the jump are the officials’ statements, with the first coming from Erickson and the second from Joyner:

“The tragedy of child sexual abuse that occurred at our University altered the lives of innocent children. Today, as every day, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse.

Against this backdrop, Penn State accepts the penalties and corrective actions announced today by the NCAA. With today’s announcement and the action it requires of us, the University takes a significant step forward.

The NCAA 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 NCAA also mandates that Penn State become a national leader to help victims of child sexual assault and to promote awareness across our nation. Specifically, the University will pay $12 million a year for the next five years into a special endowment created to fund programs for the detection, prevention and treatment of child abuse. This total of $60 million can never reduce the pain suffered by victims, but will help provide them hope and healing.

The NCAA penalty will also affect the football program. There is a four-year ban on all post-season games, including bowl games and the Big Ten Championship game, and a future reduction in the number of football scholarships that can be granted. We are grateful that the current student athletes are not prevented from participation because of the failures of leadership that occurred. Additionally the NCAA has vacated all wins of Penn State football from 1998-2011.

We also welcome the Athletics Integrity Agreement and the third-party monitor, who will be drilling into compliance and culture issues in intercollegiate athletics, in conjunction with the recommendations of the Freeh Report. Lastly a probationary period of five years will be imposed.

It is important to know we are entering a new chapter at Penn State and making necessary changes. We must create a culture in which people are not afraid to speak up, management is not compartmentalized, all are expected to demonstrate the highest ethical standards, and the operating philosophy is open, collegial, and collaborative.

Since receiving Judge Freeh’s preliminary recommendations in January, the University has instituted several reforms. Today we accept the terms of the consent decree imposed by the NCAA. As Penn State embarks upon change and progress, this announcement helps to further define our course. It is with this compass that we will strive for a better tomorrow.

Penn State will move forward with a renewed sense of commitment to excellence and integrity in all aspects of our University. We continue to recognize the important role that intercollegiate athletics provides for our student athletes and the wider University community as we strive to appropriately balance academic and athletic accomplishments. Penn State will continue to be a world-class educational institution of which our students, faculty, staff and alumni can be justifiably proud.”


“The Freeh Report concluded that individuals at Penn State University entrusted to positions of authority, shunned their basic responsibility to protect children, and innocent children suffered as a result. Our hearts go out to the victims of this abuse and their families.

“Today Penn State takes another step forward in changing the culture at the institution as we accept the penalties of the NCAA for the failure of leadership that occurred on our campus. We are deeply disappointed that some of our leaders could have turned a blind eye to such abuse, and agree that the culture at Penn State must change.

“As we move forward, today’s student athletes have a challenging road ahead. But they will do the right thing, as they have always done. I am confident all of our head coaches will come together to make the change necessary to drive our university forward. Penn State will continue to fully support its established athletic programs, which provide opportunities for over 800 student athletes.

“Working together, the path ahead will not be easy. But it is necessary, just, and will bring a better future. Our faculty, staff, students, athletes, and parents will work together as Penn State begins this new chapter. Though this cooperation and collaboration, Penn State will become a national model for compliance, ethics, and embodiment of the student athlete credo.”

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23 Responses to “Penn State reacts to announcement of NCAA sanctions”
  1. gooboy6 says: Jul 23, 2012 11:03 AM

    I hope that all of the Penn St. fans who wanted the statue to stay up now realize why that would have been such a tragedy.

  2. stoutfiles says: Jul 23, 2012 11:10 AM

    Can’t wait for the obligatory Paterno family whiny response.

  3. goodfieldnohit says: Jul 23, 2012 11:20 AM

    They should put the Paterno statue in the library to remind the kids to keep quiet

  4. txstatebobcats1868 says: Jul 23, 2012 11:24 AM

    goodfieldnohit says:
    Jul 23, 2012 11:20 AM
    They should put the Paterno statue in the library to remind the kids to keep quiet

    Best paterno/penn st joke yet to date.

  5. godsowncrunk says: Jul 23, 2012 11:39 AM

    Best paterno/penn st joke yet to date.

  6. tommy57 says: Jul 23, 2012 11:43 AM

    My daughter will begin her freshman year at PSU in September and will proudly serve as part of the student body that will restore the PSU reputation to what it should have been – to what we all thought it was. I don’t give a damn about the football program. PSU was known and respected as much for academics as for athletics, and that reputation is much more important.

  7. gopokes0714 says: Jul 23, 2012 11:44 AM

    These sanctions ensure that Penn St will remember this lesson long after the media and the world has moved on.

    I don’t understand the fans of Penn St crying about the student athletes, fans, and small businesses wrongly effected. Guess what, if management runs a business to the ground, everyone is out of a job.

    As a fan you get to chose your allegiance. The Penn St football players get to decide their future. A choice…. Its a hell of a lot more than those kids got.

    As I said before consider that the students and athletes at Penn St have all the advantages and will most likely do well in life. The kids at Second Mile, what are their chances in life? How did Penn St treat those disadvantaged kids?

    The whining in protest only reaffirms that the culture at Penn St needs to be fundamentally changed.

  8. jackychilds says: Jul 23, 2012 11:44 AM

    Thou shalt not worship false idols.

  9. randomguy9999 says: Jul 23, 2012 12:09 PM

    all kinds of PSU students and alumni will whine nonstop how its unfair……

    you guys allowed football to have so much power that they could cover up literally anything…

    you yourselves are OK with whatever happens as long as you get the money and wins…

    you should be ashamed

  10. fourthandgoalfoundation says: Jul 23, 2012 12:20 PM

    Reblogged this on Fourth and Goal Unites.

  11. rickrock6661982 says: Jul 23, 2012 12:34 PM

    Sadly, I don’t think some fans, alumni or students will ever get it.

    Seeing them chant as the statue of Joe Enabler was removed reminded me of the riot.

    Hilariously misguided.

  12. sparky151 says: Jul 23, 2012 12:36 PM

    There are some obvious problems with the NCAA’s actions in this case. It simply accepts the Freeh report at face value. The Freeh report is PSU’s official account of what happened but Freeh is working for the board of trustees who have an obvious motive to put this mess behind them as fast as possible. They don’t have a motive to wait for justice to be done in the cases of Curley, Schultz, and perhaps Spanier. The defense lawyers have rather different theories of the case. The Pennsylvania Attorney General and the grand jury also had a rather different theory of the case, including Paterno’s role.

    Apart from short circuiting the fact finding process, and not letting the legal process play out, how does the NCAA handle incidents of criminality at other schools? If a certain number of players are arrested, does that indicate lack of institutional control? During the 2010 season, several Iowa football players were arrested for selling drugs. The outside income was an obvious violation of the NCAA’s rules but since the players were facing jail time, they let the legal process take care of the matter with no sanctions for Iowa. Is that still the policy or not? Is it mainly a matter of how well known something becomes? On the face of it, the NCAA is throwing PSU under the bus in the interests of good publicity.

    Forfeiting games since 1998 is basically falsifying the record book. Sandusky was investigated but cleared in 1998 and forced into retirement after the season. PSU did about as much at the time as they could, given that the DA had in effect exonerated Sandusky with his decision not to indict. Sandusky turned out to be guilty as hell but the administrators didn’t have any way of knowing that until McQueary told them what he’d seen in 2001.

  13. allmyexsliveintexas says: Jul 23, 2012 12:51 PM

    This just in:

    Franco Harris is flabbergasted.

  14. papichulo55 says: Jul 23, 2012 12:55 PM

    There have been key moments in sport that has transcended the sport itself. Babe Ruth as a much needed diversion during the Great Depression. Joe Louis symbolizing American fighting spirit during WWII. Jackie Robinson and race relations in America. Muhammad Ali and the legitimacy of the Vietnam War. Pat Tillman showing the world the American willingness to sacrafice to win this War on Terror.

    The Sandusky Rapes can be an event that transcends college football. Our children are under attack
    like never before in the history of our nation. Every newscast in every part of our nation has a story. I pray that this tragedy will cause us to keep our childrens safety as an active dialog. This must be a campaign issue. We should be focused on preventing the next Sandusky. That should be the focus of our great debate.

    Everybody that takes the effort to post on these blogs has proven that they have the time, technical resources and desire to voice your opinion. Now, do what you gotta do to
    take this to the next level!

  15. CJ says: Jul 23, 2012 12:57 PM

    godsowncrunk says:
    Jul 23, 2012 11:39 AM
    Best paterno/penn st joke yet to date.

    Yep, too bad it isn’t original. Lisa Lampanelli told it almost a week ago.

  16. delawarephilliesfan says: Jul 23, 2012 1:15 PM

    sparky151 says:

    “the NCAA is throwing PSU under the bus in the interests of good publicity. ”

    Spanier, Curley, Schultz and Paterno threw 5 kids under the bus who were raped after 2001 in the name of good publicity.

    Your beloved football program will arise again. Those kids will live with their ordeal forever.

  17. papichulo55 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:23 PM

    And please stop using Penn State to identify Sandusky’s crimes. Yes, they are culpable, and justice will be and has been served.

    But refering to this as “The Penn State ….” is like calling 9/11 the American Airlines Hijack. The airline industry certainly took a hit, but so did shipping, utilities, military bases, government offices… You get my point. The only way we stop this shit is to see the big picture and declare war on these pervs!

  18. horses721 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:43 PM

    You post using the 9/11 attacks as a comparison was the most moronic thing written to date. Get a clue you idiot.

  19. papichulo55 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:52 PM

    Horses721, I worked at WTC. Saw body parts, people jumping from the 100th floor, lost coworkers. I have earned the right to make this analogy!

    My analogy is consistent with associating these pervs to the terrorists that tried to take my life. They are terrorizing our children and affecting how we live.

  20. papichulo55 says: Jul 23, 2012 2:20 PM

    Horse721, all I want is to get people to understand that we are at war with people like Sandusky. They are organized
    and they have plans. The Freeh Report is not the final word on this. You can be sure that Sandusky had associations with like-minded monsters.

    Its OK that you saw fit to question my use of words. I just hope you dont question my attempt to ask YOU to use these headlines to organize and fight back.

    I am willing to be any flavor of moron that you want, as long as we can win, together.

  21. 11thstreetmafia says: Jul 23, 2012 2:44 PM

    Penn State people are a joke.

  22. papichulo55 says: Jul 23, 2012 2:51 PM

    Cornell, Class of ’73.

  23. sparky151 says: Jul 23, 2012 9:38 PM

    delawarephilliesfan says: Jul 23, 2012 1:15 PM

    sparky151 says:

    “the NCAA is throwing PSU under the bus in the interests of good publicity. ”

    Spanier, Curley, Schultz and Paterno threw 5 kids under the bus who were raped after 2001 in the name of good publicity.

    Your beloved football program will arise again. Those kids will live with their ordeal forever.


    Schultz is the one who didn’t investigate what McQueary saw in 2001. Curley and Paterno didn’t make that decision and there’s no evidence that Spanier ordered that outcome.

    If your argument is that a chance was missed that let others be victimized, ok but how about the DA in 1998? The victim, his mother, and the local police wanted to prosecute. Unlike college administrators and coaches, it’s the DA’s job to prosecute criminals.

    I’m not a PSU fan and don’t care if they lose every football game they play til the end of time. I just think the NCAA is acting rashly and frankly corruptly here. What if they had acted in the Duke lacrosse case? What are they going to do to Syracuse basketball? What are they going to do the next time a college athlete murders someone?

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