(Indianapolis, IN) - The NCAA hit Penn State with major sanctions Monday in the aftermath of the child sexual abuse scandal involving former Nittany Lions assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Penn State was hit with a 60-million-dollar sanction, a four-year postseason ban for the football team, five years probation and the vacating of all of the football program's wins from 1998 through 2011. The football program was also hit with a reduction in the number of scholarships it can hand out to 65 per year over four years - a 20-scholarship reduction each year.
NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the sanctions at a news conference at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis along with Oregon State president Ed Ray, the chairman of the NCAA's executive committee. They stopped short of handing Penn State the "Death Penalty", which would have suspended operations of the football program for a minimum of one year.
ESPN reports that Penn State president Rodney Erickson signed a consent decree accepting Monday's penalties to avoid facing a potential multiple-year death penalty.
With the sanctions and the scholarship reductions, The NCAA is allowing Penn State football players to transfer from the program without having to sit out one year.
The vacating of 112 wins drops former Penn State coach Joe Paterno from first to twelfth on the NCAA all-time wins list.
According to a report from former FBI director Louis Freeh released by Penn State last week, Paterno was a key figure in an attempt to cover up Sandusky's activities. Sandusky was convicted earlier this month on 45 counts of child sexual abuse. Paterno was fired from his job as head coach last November and died in January from lung cancer.
Three other former Penn State officials - President Grant Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley - lost their jobs with Schultz and Curley later being indicted on charges of lying to the grand jury investigating the case.
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