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In an interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” Penn State president Rodney Erickson said that if Penn State had not agreed to the historic sanctions handed down earlier this week, the NCAA was leaning towards a death penalty against Penn State that would have shut down the football program for four years. In addition, the school faced a financial penalty “far greater” than the $60 fine the school ultimately received.NCAA president Mark Emmert confirmed in a separate interview that a “core group” of NCAA presidents had already agreed last week to ban the football program for four years.
When the NCAA levied their punishment against Penn State earlier this week, some thought the penalties ultimately were more damaging than the so-called “death penalty,” in which the football program would have been shut down for one or two years. However, this report suggests that the penalties received by Penn State could have been much worse.
When Erickson learned about the four-year ban, he entered into secret negotiations with the NCAA that resulted in the punishment that was ultimately handed down. The negotiations were so secret, that even members of the school’s Board of Trustees were unaware they were being conducted.
Ultimately, Penn State agreed to a 4-year bowl ban, a reduction in scholarships, and the $60 million fine.
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