Penn State nearly got the death penalty… four times over

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Updated: July 25, 2012

If you thought the punishment for Penn State was bad, it could’ve been a whole lot worse.

After receiving a four-year bowl ban, a $60 million dollar fine, loss of scholarships, five years of probation and vacated wins from 1998-2011 Penn State president Rodney Erickson said that the school didn’t have much of a choice but to sign off on the penalties or face something worse

“We had our backs to the wall on this. We did what we thought was necessary to save the program.”

Joined by board of trustees chairwoman Karen Peetz and interim director of athletics David Joyner, Erickson said he signed the NCAA agreement because no better deal was available.

He said Penn State could have faced at least one year without football and still would have endured additional penalties.

So what could’ve been worse? How about a four-year death penalty…

Erickson told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that the University was given the ultimatum that if they didn’t agree to the current penalties then the NCAA would shut down the football program for four consecutive seasons.

“Well, that’s a pretty tough number to swallow,” Erickson said he recalled thinking when told of the four-year possibility by Emmert. “It’s unprecedented. It’s a blow to the gut; there’s no doubt about that … I couldn’t agree to that at all.”

Even without the threat of a four-year football ban, Penn State really couldn’t afford any further PR hits that would’ve come if they chose to fight the penalties.

Ref: CentreDaily.com, ESPN

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