Paterno has wins removed, award taken away; family releases statement

By Cassie Hart

It was nearly nine months ago when fans were celebrating the late former head football coach, Joe Paterno for becoming the winningest coach in college football history when he clinched his 409th win.

Fast forward to July 23, 2012, and Paterno’s legacy has forever been stripped from the books.

From reaching the pinnacle with his 409th win to losing a leadership award, Paterno’s name is slowly becoming less immortal.

At just 298 wins on record for Paterno, former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden now leads the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision in wins with 377 and former Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson supersedes Paterno as the winningest coach with 408 wins.

National Collegiate Athletic Association President Mark Emmert announced Monday morning that the Penn State football program would be revoked of its wins between the seasons of 1998 to 2011 — taking away Paterno’s feat — in addition to a four-year postseason bowl game ban, a $60 million fine to be placed in a child abuse prevention program and a reduction of 10 scholarships per year for four years .

Paterno will also be stripped of the leadership award that he was given last year by the NCAA.

The Gerald R. Ford Award — which, according to the NCAA, is presented to “an individual who has provided significant leadership as an advocate for intercollegiate athletics on a continuous basis during the course of their career” — was given to Paterno because he was a “terrific example of everything the NCAA [stood] for,” Emmert said in a previous NCAA statement.

At a press conference Monday, Emmert stated that Penn State leadership — including Paterno — failed to recognize their duty to be educators first, which is why they will be slammed with the penalties.

Meanwhile, the Paterno family released a statemen t after the press conference Monday afternoon saying that the NCAA decision was “a panicked response to the public’s understandable revulsion at what Sandusky did,” and that it was not “fair” or “thoughtful.”

The statement calls out university President Rodney Erickson , acting Athletic Director David Joyner and the Board of Trustees for breaching their “fiduciary duties” as university officials and hastily welcoming the NCAA-driven sanctions.

“The point of due process is to protect against this sort of reflexive action,” the statement said with respect to the sanctions.

The Paterno’s were never contacted by the NCAA prior to its decision, according to the statement.

“Unfortunately all of these facts have been ignored by the NCAA, the Freeh Group and the University,” the Paternos said, referring to future trials of key administrators and lack of contact on behalf of the NCAA.

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