NCAA To Return Penn State Wins Lost After Sandusky Scandal

Jan 16, 2015
Originally published on January 26, 2015 8:17 pm
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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The record of the late Joe Paterno has been restored. Paterno once again has more wins than any other college football coach. Today, the NCAA agreed to give back 112 wins to Penn State's football team. The victories had been erased as part of a 2012 agreement with the university following the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal. NPR's Jeff Brady has more.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: Joe Paterno supporters say the legendary coach was unfairly tarnished by the scandal involving one of his former assistant coaches. Jerry Sandusky was found guilty in 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse and is serving up to 60 years in prison. Today, those supporters celebrated as Penn State's Board of Trustees voted on the new agreement.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Aye.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: And Taliaferro.

TALIAFERRO: Aye.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Let the record show that this resolution was approved by unanimous support of the board.

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BRADY: Penn State President Eric Barron says under the new agreement, his university will spend $60 million on child abuse issues.

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ERIC BARRON: This money will be committed within the state of Pennsylvania and at Penn State for the prevention of child sexual abuse, the treatment of victims of child sexual abuse and the study of issues related to child sexual abuse.

BRADY: The new settlement comes just weeks before a trial was to begin over whether the earlier consent decree that stripped Penn State of its wins was legal. Pennsylvania State Senator Jake Corman led that challenge.

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SENATOR JAKE CORMAN: The NCAA has surrendered. The agreement is - that we have reached represents a complete victory of the issue at hand.

BRADY: NCAA board member and University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides said in a statement that while others will focus on the return of the wins, the Association's top priority is making sure young people are protected. Senator Corman says the Penn State community hopes for the same in the wake of Jerry Sandusky's crimes.

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CORMAN: The fact of the matter is, or was, an evil predator operated in our community for years and everyone missed it.

BRADY: Paterno's family members praised today's settlement, but said they will continue to pursue a separate lawsuit challenging the original consent decree. The NCAA says it will defend itself in that case. Jeff Brady, NPR News, Philadelphia. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.