Update: The Big Ten has announced that they are imposing their own four year ban on Penn State from being eligible for the Big Ten championship game, along with a formal censure of the university, and a forfeiture of their portion of the bowl monies over the next four seasons, totaling about $13 million that must also go to charity.
Yesterday it was the hammers bringing down the statue of Joe Paterno, today it was the NCAA bringing down it's own hammer against Penn State.
NCAA President Mark Emmert announced early on Monday morning in a Press Conference that Penn State would face a four-year postseason ban, a $60 million fine, a reduction in scholarships from 20 to 15 per year for four seasons, they must vacate all victories from 1998 to 2011, and there will be a whole new level of oversight from the NCAA over the next five years as a result of it's years of cover up by high ranking athletic department and university officials regarding Jerry Sandusky and child sex abuse.
The $60 million fine is akin to one year of gross football revenue and will be put into an endowment fund to set up a foundation to assist children victimized by sexual abuse.
According to Emmert Penn State signed a consent decree to these findings and penalties, so there can be no appeal of these findings or sanctions against them.
One of the biggest changes for Penn State on an administrative level going forward is the establishment of an Athletic Integrity agreement between the athletic department and the NCAA. It will include a new Athletic Integrity monitor based at Penn State that will report to the NCAA on a quarterly basis over the next five years.
As for the players currently at Penn State or about to enter Penn State? They will be allowed to transfer for the '12-'13 season and be eligible to play right away. Additionally the schools taking in those players will not see the scholarships count against them in this upcoming season.
The biggest question outside of what the punishment was going to be was why so fast?
According to NCAA Executive Committee chairman Ed Ray "these penalties were warranted by the conspiracy of silence by the university in callous disregard for the innocent children."
What about the message to other universities?
"The lesson here is one of maintaining an appropriate balance of our values. If you find yourself in a position where the athletic culture takes over the academic then you have an issue," said Emmert.
Emmert openly discussed that the so-called "death penalty" was on the table, but it was felt that it was unfair to punish the student-athletes that had nothing to do with what occurred in this case.
In the end it was made quite clear by Emmert and Ray that the overarching consideration for the NCAA was that the hero worship and power that the football program had over the leadership of the university led to a culture that allowed a cover up to occur and that the message going forward is that no sport should outweigh the mission of the institution as a whole, there must be balance to make sure that the situation that hap pend at Penn State will never happen again.
We will have much more on this over the course of today and a special podcast tomorrow from Kevin and myself, so make sure you stay tuned to Crystal Ball Run over the next 48 hours as we bring you the best coverage possible.