Complete coverage of the child sex abuse scandal that rocked a college football giant

Paterno Family Slams NCAA for Sanctions

The family of the late and legendary coach also criticized the NCAA for not conducting its own investigation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Joe and Sue Paterno at the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1, 1972.

    Joe Paterno's family came out punching within hours of the NCAA's announcement of crippling sanctions and corrective actions against the Penn State football program.

    "The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator without any input from our family or those who knew him best," the statement reads.

    The NCAA fined Penn State $60 million, banned it from bowl games for the next four years and stripped it of 10 scholarships per season for the next four years. It also stripped the school of all wins from 1998 to 2011, which cost Paterno his spot as the winningest Division 1 coach of all time.

    The statement says the sanctions are a "panicked response to the public's" reaction to the "revulsion" over convicted pedophile and former PSU coach, Jerry Sandusky.

    NCAA Sanctions Against Penn State Football

    [PHI] NCAA Sanctions Against Penn State Football
    NCAA President, Dr. Mark A. Emmert, announces the sanctions against the PSU football program, which include a fine of $60 million, which is the equivalent of gross revenue that the program takes in each year. (Published Monday, Jul 23, 2012)

    "Punishing past, present and future students of the University because of Sandusky’s crimes does not serve justice. This is not a fair or thoughtful action..." the statement reads.

    Just like their statement criticizing the Freeh Report earlier this month, the Paterno family criticized the NCAA for failing to conduct its own investigation.

    Why PSU Didn't Get Death Penalty

    [PHI] Why Penn State Did Not Get the Death Penalty From NCAA
    NCAA President, Dr. Mark A. Emmert, explains why the Penn State program was not given the so-called death penalty for the way it handled the investigation into child predator Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of children. (Published Monday, Jul 23, 2012)

    "The NCAA never contacted our family or our legal counsel. And the fact that several parties have pending trials that could produce evidence and testimony relevant to this matter has been totally discounted."

    Here is the Paterno family statement, verbatim:

    Sexual abuse is reprehensible, especially when it involves children, and no one starting with Joe Paterno condones or minimizes it. The horrific acts committed by Jerry Sandusky shock the conscience of every decent human being.  How Sandusky was able to get away with his crimes for so long has yet to be fully understood, despite the claims and assertions of the Freeh report.
     
    The release of the Freeh report has triggered an avalanche of vitriol, condemnation and posthumous punishment on Joe Paterno.  The NCAA has now become the latest party to accept the report as the final word on the Sandusky scandal.  The sanctions announced by the NCAA today defame the legacy and contributions of a great coach and educator without any input from our family or those who knew him best.
     
    That the President, the Athletic Director and the Board of Trustees accepted this unprecedented action by the NCAA without requiring a full due process hearing before the Committee on Infractions is an abdication of their responsibilities and a breach of their fiduciary duties to the University and the 500,000 alumni. Punishing past, present and future students of the University because of Sandusky’s crimes does not serve justice. This is not a fair or thoughtful action; it is a panicked response to the public's understandable revulsion at what Sandusky did.
     
    The point of due process is to protect against this sort of reflexive action.  Joe Paterno was never interviewed by the University or the Freeh Group.  His counsel has not been able to interview key witnesses as they are represented by counsel related to ongoing litigation.  We have had no access to the records reviewed by the Freeh group.  The NCAA never contacted our family or our legal counsel. And the fact that several parties have pending trials that could produce evidence and testimony relevant to this matter has been totally discounted.
     
    Unfortunately all of these facts have been ignored by the NCAA, the Freeh Group and the University.