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Report: Penn State faced four-year death penalty

Penn State would have received a four-year "death penalty" had it not agreed to terms set by the NCAA. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Penn State's football program faced a four-year death penalty if they did not accept the NCAA's sanctions against the program that were announced on Monday, reports ESPN.com.

Penn State president Rodney Erickson and NCAA president Mark Emmert agreed to a punishment of a $60 million fine, a four-year postseason ban, loss of scholarships and the vacating of 14 years of 112 Penn State victories.  The vacated victories has Joe Paterno eighth place on the all-time wins list instead of first.

The punishment is in part for the role played by four Penn State administrators: Paterno, former university president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz. An investigation commissioned by Louis Freeh revealed those four people tried to conceal former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky's child sexual abuse for more than 1o years.

"Well, that's a pretty tough number to swallow," Erickson said about the possible four-year death penalty. "It's unprecedented. It's a blow to the gut, there's no doubt about that ... I couldn't agree to that at all. I think the death penalty would have been far, far worse for the program and the university over the long run."

Erickson was to meet with Penn State's Board of Trustees on Wednesday to discuss the terms of the consent decree he signed with the NCAA. Several trustees are upset because the board was not given the chance to vote for or against the agreement.

"They've destroyed the school, as far as I'm concerned," one named trustee said. "Think of the innocent players hurt by this. They had nothing to do with this and they have to pay the price."
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