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Penn State Football: Program Faced 4-Year Death Penalty, Report Says

by on July 25, 2012 6:23 PM

The Penn State football program could have been threatened with an official NCAA investigation and a possible four-year death penalty if Penn State President Rodney Erickson had not accepted the sanctions announced Monday. 

Erickson told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" Penn State faced a "historic" four-year death penalty, in which no football would have been played as a penalty for the cover-up of Jerry Sandusky's serial molestation on-campus.

"Well, that's a pretty tough number to swallow," Erickson said. "It's unprecedented. It's a blow to the gut; there's no doubt about that ... I couldn't agree to that at all."

The agreement, signed by Erickson Monday, remanded Penn State to a four-year bowl ban, significant loss of scholarships, a vacation of all wins under former head coach Joe Paterno between 1998-2011 and a $60 million fine, which will go toward charities that support victims of sexual abuse. 

Meanwhile, the Penn State Board of Trustees called an private meeting at the Penn Stater Conference Center at 5 p.m. Wednesday to discuss Erickson's acceptance of the sanctions. According to the board's bylaws, Erickson may have broken Standing Order IV, requiring him to approach the Board of Trustees with certain matters. 

Barricades were put up surrounding the corridor to the room in which the trustees are meeting, though hotel staff could not specify why the action was taken. 

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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