Big Ten to impose own penalties on PSU

July, 23, 2012
7/23/12
9:48
AM ET

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA has had its say on Penn State. Now it's the Big Ten's turn.

The Big Ten will announce its own punishment for Penn State for massive failings during the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at the school. University of Iowa president Sally Mason, the chair of the Big Ten's Council of Presidents/Chancellors, will discuss the penalties along with league commissioner Jim Delany at 11 a.m. ET. Big Ten presidents and chancellors announced their own investigation into the problems at Penn State back in December.

What will the Big Ten do? The NCAA already has hammered Penn State with heavy scholarship losses, fines and a four-year postseason ban. ESPN.com has learned the Big Ten doesn't want to be redundant with its penalties. Unlike the NCAA, which collaborated with Penn State in advance of Monday's announcement, the Big Ten will act on its own.

The big question is whether the Big Ten will expel Penn State. My conversations with league sources indicate this will not happen, although the presidents considered the option. Big Ten bylaws state 70 percent of the league's presidents -- in this case, nine of 12 -- must vote for Penn State's removal to trigger expulsion.

Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman recently told the Lincoln Journal Star that the league's presidents weren't considering removing Penn State.

"We are dealing with an unprecedented situation," Mason told the Des Moines Register last week. "It clearly is a sports-related incident, but it's also indicative of systemic institutional failures -- a moral failure as well a legal failure -- and we as a conference want to do everything we can to both send a very strong message to our conference member, and at the same time also help Penn State find ways to really get back to emphasizing the great educational institution that it is."

The Big Ten could place Penn State on some type of probation. Unlike the NCAA, which is an umbrella organization, the Big Ten looks at itself as a club or a family. One of the family members has made egregious mistakes, and retribution is in order.

Revenue is one area where the Big Ten can punish Penn State. The league could reduce Penn State's revenue share for a determined period. The Big Ten announced last month it would distribute a record $284 million to its members at the end of the fiscal year. Penn State has been receiving a full share of revenue, which translates to $24.6 million for this fiscal year.

The television component also will be interesting. The Big Ten Network televises all football games not appearing on ESPN or ABC. Would Penn State's BTN appearances drop because of these penalties? Anything is on the table.

Stay tuned as we'll have full coverage of the Big Ten's penalties for Penn State football.


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