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Penn State's football program was spared the so-called "death penalty" on Monday, but the university was nonetheless hit with an unprecedented host of sanctions, including a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, and the vacation of all wins dating back to 1998.
The penalties also include the loss of 20 scholarships per year over four years and a five-year probationary period. The NCAA likewise announced that any current or incoming football players will be free to immediately transfer and compete at another school, a decision that is sure to deplete the Nittany Lions squad moving forward.
"In the Penn State case, the results were perverse and unconscionable," NCAA President Mark Emmert said. "No price the NCAA can levy with repair the damage inflicted by Jerry Sandusky on his victims." Sanduksy, the team's former defensive coordinator, was convicted last month of 45 counts of child sex abuse.
The $60 million—a total worth roughly the annual gross revenue of the school's football team—will go toward "an endowment for external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims," and cannot be used to pay for such programs at the university itself.
"Football will never again be placed ahead of educating, nurturing, and protecting young people," Emmert said.
In addition to the severity of the sanctions, the process itself was also unprecedented, ESPN explains. The NCAA decided to penalize the program without the due process of a Committee on Infractions hearing, opting against conducting its own investigation and instead relying heavily on the so-called Freeh report, which was commissioned by the school's own board of trustees.
The vacation of nearly a decade and a half's worth of wins will also strip the late Joe Paterno of the title of winningest coach in major college football history. Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, who himself saw 12 wins vacated due to NCAA violations, now is the new bowl-subdivision leader with 377 victories, according to USA Today.
Business Insider notes another result of the school's loss of all wins from 1998 through 2011: Mike McQueary, the former Penn State assistant coach who witnessed Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in the shower, is now the last quarterback to lead the team to a winning record. McQueary quarterbacked the team from 1994 to 1997, when he led the squad to a 9-3 record and a trip to the Citrus Bowl.