CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd has learned that the NCAA will impose major sanctions on Penn State at 9 am Eastern tomorrow morning. According to multiple sources, while the NCAA won't impose a death penalty--as many people, including some here, have called for--the sanctions will be severe enough to hamstring the Nittany Lions for a long time.
There are indications that the penalties could be so unique and severe they would be different than any previously applied by the NCAA.What will those penalties likely be? According to ESPN's Joe Schad, the NCAA will likely strip Penn State of multiple scholarships and remove the Nittany Lions from bowl consideration for at least two years. Schad also reports that the NCAA has apparently granted Mark Emmert the power to deal with this through nontraditional methods, given the unprecedented nature of the case.
CBSSports.com has also learned that the penalties could last beyond one season. The NCAA on Sunday said that it will levy “corrective and punitive actions” against the school. A person with knowledge of the process said there is a way to impact Penn State's competitive ability in football without applying the so-called “death penalty.” That term could be mere semantics by the time the NCAA sanctions are announced according to a source. Penn State, the source said, may prefer the death penalty.
Additionally, Penn State as an institution is likely to face significant punishment--something that has never been imposed before. My hunch is that athletic director Tim Curley will likely face "show-cause penalty, which will likely have the effect of blackballing Curley from ever working in collegiate athletics for a long time, if not forever. Additionally, it's very likely that the NCAA will order Penn State to disassociate itself from Curley, former president Graham Spanier and multiple others.
I have to say, this comes as a surprise. I thought the NCAA would drop the hammer on Penn State for what appears to be the definition of a lack of institutional control. After all, it looks like when Sandusky was caught molesting a boy in a shower back in 2001, it wasn't reported to police after Curley consulted with late head coach Joe Paterno. However, past precedent indicated the NCAA would wait until the federal criminal probe and the Department of Education's investigation into Clery Act violations wrapped up.
But apparently the NCAA has found something so egregious that it felt it had to act, but not egregious enough to warrant a death penalty. And as any college football fan knows, taking away multiple scholarships can be a pretty severe penalty in the long run. There have been a lot of cases over the years where a program has lost so many scholarships that it has taken a decade or more to recover.
It'll be mighty interesting to find out what made them pull the trigger so quickly.