The NCAA is expected to impose harsh penalties against the school following an investigation that revealed high ranking officials including the former president of the university and Joe Paterno, the former head football coach, covered up a child abuse scandal. The scandal involved a former assistant to Paterno, Jerry Sandusky.
The president of the NCAA, Mark Emmert, said he would not rule out enforcing the death penalty against the school. The penalty means Penn State would be on a temporary ban from football. A sports law professor explained that the university would look much better in both the eyes of the general public and the NCAA if it were to punish itself with a ban before the NCAA did so.
Of course, the professor said the only self-imposed punishment that would work would be the death penalty; otherwise people would feel the school was letting itself off easily. He said Penn State failed from the top level to the bottom. He also said that institutional culture was the root cause of the problem and that could be addressed by imposing the death penalty.
If the school football program were to be banned it would cost not only the school by the community around the school over $70 million annually.
Sandusky was convicted in June on 45 of 48 charges against him. It was learned through the internal investigation that a number of top level officials at the university were aware of Sandusky’s abuse and did not stop it from happening.