UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- After holding a special closed-door meeting about severe sanctions handed down earlier this week by the NCAA, the Penn State Board of Trustees tonight said it was accepting the punishment rather than face a multi-year 'death sentence.'
In a statement released tonight by the board, it said no vote was required and none was taken.
"The Board finds the punitive sanctions difficult and the process with the NCAA unfortunate. But as we understand it, the alternatives were worse as confirmed by NCAA President Mark Emmert's recent statement that Penn State was likely facing a multi-year death sentence.""The University and Board resolve to move forward together to recognize the historical excellence in Penn State???s academic and athletic programs. We anticipate and look forward to demonstrating our outstanding performance in complying with the sanctions. We continue to recognize the important role that intercollegiate athletics provides for our student athletes and the wider University community as we strive to appropriately balance academic and athletic accomplishments. "Penn State will remain a world-class educational institution of which our students, faculty, staff and alumni can be justifiably proud. The commitment demonstrated by our student athletes in recent days embodies all that is good about Penn State and we look forward to unprecedented support by the Nittany nation when we take the field this fall," the statement said.
All trustees who were asked to comment on the meeting refused.
Earlier this week, university president Rodney Erickson accepted a penalty from the NCAA that was included a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, a loss of scholarships and a removal of 111 of legendary coach Joe Paterno's wins, dethroning Paterno from his seat atop the NCAA wins record.
Mr. Erickson had told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that he had to take the deal because the NCAA would have imposed harsher penalties if he had declined the offer.
Several trustees expressed anger that they were not consulted before the university agreed to the sanctions. That fueled speculation that Mr. Erickson might be dismissed by the board.
Mr. Erickson attended tonight's trustees meeting but departed before it ended. He left without making any comment to reporters.
Brandon Boyd: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1724. Twitter: @brandonmboyd First Published July 25, 2012 9:30 PM