Monday, July 23, 2012
The family of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno says the NCAA's sanctions defame his legacy and are a panicked response to the scandal that led to them.
The statement was released Monday by Paterno's family. It says President Rodney Erickson, acting Athletic Director David Joyner and the entire Board of Trustees failed by not seeking a full hearing before the NCAA's infractions committee.
The family also says that punishing "past, present and future" students because of former assistant Jerry Sandusky's crimes did not serve justice.
The family calls the move a "panicked response to the public's understandable revulsion" at Sandusky's sexual abuse of 10 boys over a period of 15 years.
The NCAA has slammed Penn State with an unprecedented series of penalties, including a $60 million fine and the loss of all coach Joe Paterno's victories from 1998-2011, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Other sanctions include a four-year ban on bowl games, and the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years.
NCAA President Mark Emmert announced the staggering sanctions Monday at a news conference in Indianapolis. Though the NCAA stopped short of imposing the "death penalty" -- shutting down the Nittany Lions' program completely -- the punishment is still crippling for a team that is trying to start over with a new coach and a new outlook.
Sandusky, a former Penn State defensive coordinator, was found guilty in June of sexually abusing young boys, sometimes on campus.