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Proposed NCAA Deal Would Restore Penn State Football Wins

The proposed agreement would restore late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, pictured in 2005, as the winningest coach in major college football history.
Carolyn Kaster

The NCAA has announced a proposed settlement under which the Penn State football team's 112 wins from 1998 through 2011 that were thrown out amid the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal will be restored. The move would restore late coach Joe Paterno as the most successful coach in major college football history.

Under the proposed deal, Penn State agreed to commit $60 million to programs that work to prevent child sexual abuse. The university in State College, Pa., would also acknowledge the NCAA's "legitimate and good faith interest" in the Sandusky scandal.

The deal, which must be approved by the boards of Penn State and the NCAA, comes weeks before a trial to decide whether the 2012 consent decree between the sides is legal.

As NPR's Bill Chappell has previouslyreported:

"The consent decree, a descriptor that may strike some as an oxymoron, is the term for the binding agreement between the NCAA and Penn State to abide by the stiff sanctions the organization imposed on the university last July.

"Those penalties included a four-year ban on bowl games, a cut in athletics scholarships, a $60 million fine and the voiding of all football victories from 1998 to 2011. It also includes a monitoring and probation period."

Paterno's family had challenged that agreement.

Last year, the NCAA lifted some of the most severe sanctions on Penn State, imposed after the scandal broke. The school's football team was allowed to compete in last year's postseason, and its scholarships returned this year.

The child sexual abuse scandal cost the university's president and Paterno their jobs.

Sandusky, the team's assistant coach, was found guilty in 2012 of charges related to abusing boys for more than a decade. He was sentenced to between 30 and 60 years in prison.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.
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