Article by: Matthew J. Mitten

41 PEPP. L. REV. 321 (2014)

In a July 23, 2012 Consent Decree, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), acting through its Executive Committee and President Mark Emmert, imposed unprecedented sanctions on Pennsylvania State University (Penn State).  This action apparently was taken in an effort to convincingly demonstrate presidential control of intercollegiate athletics after recent widely reported scandals involving violations of NCAA amateurism, academic integrity, and ethical conduct rules by persons associated with high-profile intercollegiate football programs, including the University of Southern California, the Ohio State University, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Miami.  Based solely on the findings and conclusions of the July 12, 2012 “Freeh Report” and the June 22, 2012 criminal conviction of former Penn State assistant football coach Gerald Sandusky of serial child sexual abuse, the NCAA coerced Penn State into accepting draconian institutional sanctions, including a $60 million fine, a four-year ban on any postseason football games, a significant reduction of football scholarships over a four-year period, and vacation of 112 football wins from 1998–2011.   It also required Penn State to waive its rights “to a determination of violations by the NCAA Committee on Infractions, any appeal under NCAA rules, and any judicial process.”

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