Penn State Head: ‘Heavy’ Sanctions Better Than Alternative
Penn State President Rodney Erickson said he had no choice but to accept the NCAA sanctions imposed for the child sex abuse scandal, which he called “very heavy.”
“I was faced with a very, very difficult choice. It was made clear to me and to our legal team very early on in the week that we really had a choice, which was multiple years of the death penalty (the loss of the football program) or the sanctions,” Erickson said Sunday on “Face the Nation.”
“Given the two alternatives, I felt that it was best to accept the consent decree. This allows us to continue to go on playing football, it allows us to go on helping to support the other intercollegiate athletic teams that we have at the University,” he said. “The choice that I made really allows us to move forward.”
According to Erickson, the $60 million fine slapped on Penn State by the NCAA will be paid for from the football program’s reserves or a loan to the athletic department by the university.
Erickson said Penn State is “adequately covered” in the instance of lawsuits relating to Jerry Sandusky’s child abuse.
He said, though, “We don’t want to, if at all possible, drag victims through another round of court cases and litigation. If we can come to an agreement with them, with their attorneys, we believe that would be the best possible outcome in this whole very, very difficult, tragic situation.”
The Penn State President, who said he is confident that he will be able to keep his job, said the scandal made him realize that the football program and other athletic programs were “not sufficiently wrapped into the rest of the university,” which Erickson said they are looking into.
Erickson also discussed the legacy of head coach Joe Paterno, which he said was “very important” to Penn State.