Friday November 14th, 2014

The NCAA released a set of documents Friday that it says provides "important context in understanding the events that led to the consent decree" between the NCAA and Penn State.

NCAA spokesperson Erik Christianson said the organization believes "the full story will emerge" in January at the scheduled trial.

"When taken out of context, some of this material creates a misleading impression of the important issues related to the consent decree between the NCAA and Penn State," said Christianson.

The documents include emails that the NCAA said shows Penn State was advised by a team of lawyers whether to execute the consent decree and that counsel for Penn State advocated on its behalf regarding the consent decree and recognized that the school "could have opted for the traditional enforcement process."

LAYDEN: Where is Penn State three years after Sandusky scandal?

Previously released emails showed that the NCAA questioned if it had the authority to punish the school. An email in the court case shows the NCAA nearly gave Penn State's football program the "death penalty." 

The NCAA addressed this in its response Friday:

Penn State’s outside counsel specifically requested that, at the conclusion of the process, the NCAA emphasize in its public statements the "strength of feeling on the [NCAA Executive Committee and Division I Board] regarding the possible application of the death penalty" to help in "bringing the ‘community’ along in buying in to this."  

Penn State accepted the NCAA's consent decree on July 23, 2012, and received sanctions that included the vacating of all wins from 1998 to 2011, scholarship restrictions, a postseason ban and a $60 million fine, which was to go towards programs to help prevent child abuse.

Earlier this fall, the NCAA restored Penn State's postseason eligibility and lifted its scholarship restrictions because of how the program and university have responded since the punishment was handed down. The scholarship restrictions had been lessened last year for the same reason.

- Molly Geary

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