A spokesman for Penn State president Rodney Erickson says the university faced a potential four-year ban on playing football before the NCAA issued its punishment for how the school handled the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
Erickson spokesman David La Torre disclosed the possibility of a four-year ban Wednesday, after Erickson met behind closed doors with the trustees to discuss the sanctions the NCAA imposed earlier in the week.
College sports' governing body on Monday handed down a $60 million fine, imposed a four-year bowl game ban, reduced football scholarships and negated 111 wins under former coach Joe Paterno.
NCAA president Mark Emmert said this week that if a total football ban had been imposed, other penalties would have accompanied it.
The potential four-year ban was first reported by ESPN.
Here is LaTorre's full statement:
"The Penn State Board of Trustees met for a discussion tonight. A vote was not required and none was taken.
The Board finds the punitive sanctions difficult and the process with the NCAA unfortunate. But as we understand it, the alternatives were worse as confirmed by NCAA President Mark Emmert's recent statement that Penn State was likely facing a multi-year death sentence.
The University and Board resolve to move forward together to recognize the historical excellence in Penn State's academic and athletic programs. We anticipate and look forward to demonstrating our outstanding performance in complying with the sanctions.
We continue to recognize the important role that intercollegiate athletics provides for our student athletes and the wider University community as we strive to appropriately balance academic and athletic accomplishments. Penn State will remain a world-class educational institution of which our students, faculty, staff and alumni can be justifiably proud.
The commitment demonstrated by our student athletes in recent days embodies all that is good about Penn State and we look forward to unprecedented support by the Nittany nation when we take the field this fall."