Regardless of how you feel about the situation, there’s a new/old reality: Joe Paterno is, again, the winningest head coach in Div. I football history.
Friday afternoon, it was announced that, as part of a settlement of the lawsuit filed against the NCAA challenging the validity of Penn State’s consent decree, the NCAA has agreed to restore the 111 wins that had been stripped from Paterno. The vacated wins were part of the historic sanctions levied on the Nittany Lions football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
The proposed settlement agreement with the NCAA, university and state officials, among other things, restores Penn State’s vacated wins from 1998 through 2011.
The NCAA had previously restored scholarships and reduces the program’s bowl ban that had been a part of the original sanctions. It had previously been reported that the sides were in talks to have the wins restored.
The settlement that reinstates the 112 wins, 111 of which were Paterno’s, pushes his career total back to the pre-sanction level of 409, one ahead of Eddie Robinson‘s 408. John Gagliardi is the all-time leader at any level with 489.
Paterno died at the age of 85 after a short battle with cancer in January of 2012, two months after he was fired after more than five decades with the Nittany Lions. Sandusky was ultimately found guilty of numerous charges related to the rape of underage boys, and is currently serving a 30- to 6-year sentence.
In addition to the restoration of wins, the NCAA announced the following in its release (for the complete release, click HERE):
Subject to board approval from Penn State and the NCAA, the new agreement between the NCAA and Penn State, replacing the 2012 consent decree between the parties, provides the following:
- Penn State agrees to commit a total of $60 million to activities and programs for the prevention of child sexual abuse and the treatment of victims of child sexual abuse.
- Penn State acknowledges the NCAA’s legitimate and good faith interest and concern regarding the Jerry Sandusky matter.
- Penn State and the NCAA will enter into a new Athletics Integrity Agreement that (with concurrence of the Big Ten) includes best practices with which the university is committed to comply and that provides for the university to continue to retain the services of Sen. George Mitchell and his firm to support the university’s activities under the Athletics Integrity Agreement and in the areas of compliance, ethics and integrity.