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NCAA poised to hit Penn State with 'corrective and punitive measures'

On Monday, the NCAA is scheduled to hit Penn State with 'corrective and punitive measures' for the university's failure to prevent repeated sexual abuse of young boys by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

By Staff writer / July 22, 2012

Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien gestures during the team's spring scrimmage in State College, Pa. On Monday, the NCAA is scheduled to issue sanctions against Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Keith Srakocic/AP


The NCAA appears ready to hit Penn State with stiff sanctions because of the university’s failure to prevent years of child sex abuse by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

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The organization – the National Collegiate Athletic Association – has scheduled a Monday morning press conference to announce “corrective and punitive measures” against the university’s football program. The NCAA is empowered to enforce infractions of the rules agreed to by member schools, although critics over the years have said the organization typically is not tough enough in addressing offenses.

While the NCAA has yet to detail its findings and whatever sanctions it might impose, a high-ranking association source told CBS News that penalties against both the Penn State football team and the university itself would be “unprecedented.”

IN PICTURES: Fallout from the Penn State scandal

That could include no post-season games, loss of scholarships, and a TV ban, but it could go as far as the so-called “death penalty” – shutting down Penn State’s football program for one or more seasons.

The last time that happened to a major football school was in 1987, when Southern Methodist University had to sit out a season for paying players.

In a PBS interview last week, NCAA President Mark Emmert said he's "never seen anything as egregious as [Penn State’s situation] in terms of just overall conduct and behavior inside a university." He said he doesn't want to take "anything off the table" if there's a finding that Penn State violated NCAA rules. 

Those rules limit the maximum penalty to colleges already on probation that commit another major violation. But NCAA leaders have indicated in recent months they are willing to use harsher penalties for the worst offenses.

"This is completely different than … anything else we've dealt with,” Mr. Emmert told PBS. “This is as systemic a cultural problem as it is a football problem.”

“There have been people that said this wasn't a football scandal," Emmert said. "Well, it was more than a football scandal, much more than a football scandal. It was that but much more. And we'll have to figure out exactly what the right penalties are. I don't know that past precedent makes particularly good sense in this case, because it's really an unprecedented problem."


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