Reporting Mark Viviano
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The NCAA drops the hammer on Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal and alleged cover-up.
Sports director Mark Viviano has more on these unprecedented sanctions.
The sanctions are steep and they include a $60 million fine. That’s equal to one year of Penn State’s lucrative football revenue.
A rich program with a rich tradition finds itself on the brink of busted. In addition to the fine, a four-year ban on bowl games and a reduction in scholarships is likely to cripple a once-strong program.
The Baltimore area is highly populated with Penn State alumni, and a number of area football players have taken scholarships to play for the Nittany Lions over the years.
Alumni and fans were rocked by the sanctions that hit the present day players, and the impact will be felt on the football field for years to come.
The proud past of Penn State is forever tarnished.
Penn State’s current roster includes 14 student athletes from Maryland, five from the Baltimore area. And they are all now free to transfer and play football at other schools.
Penn State football stands to be purged of its talent as the program sees its scholarships reduced along with a ban on postseason appearances, hefty fines and probation—all stemming from a sexual abuse scandal.
“I don’t understand how these sanctions help the victims. I understand if you want to fine the university and have them donate the money to victims of child abuse. That would make more sense to me. But this seems very heavy handed, and I think the NCAA is trying to set a precedent,” said Scott Fata, Baltimore PSU alum.
The NCAA also took the step of wiping out all of Penn State’s victories from 1998 to now. So Joe Paterno is no longer the coach with the most victories.
In that 14-year period, 112 Penn State wins have been erased. That includes six bowl victories and two Big Ten Championships.
A statue of Paterno was removed from its place near the football stadium on Sunday.
Fans vow to remain steadfast amidst the fallout.
“I’m still Penn State proud. I still have my season tickets. I’m going to go up to every game. I support the players. I support Coach O’Brien and everyone who’s up there,” Fata said.
Bill O’Brien is the coach who takes over. He’s a former Maryland assistant and said that he took the job knowing there would be tough times ahead.
The Big Ten announced Penn State will not share bowl revenues during its postseason ban, which will cost the university another $13 million. The money will reportedly go to charities dedicated to protecting children.