Penn State to give back trophies because of NCAA sanctions
Penn State's trophy for their win in the 2006 Orange Bowl game is one of several they will return because of NCAA sanctions.
August 29th, 2012
04:27 PM ET

Penn State to give back trophies because of NCAA sanctions

Penn State will have to return all of the football trophies they won during a 14-year span as a result of sanctions handed down by the National Collegiate Athletic Association for school's role in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, a school official said on Wednesday.

The move is another blow to the State College community, which has been plagued by the scandal for nine months.

Earlier this summer the NCAA fined Penn State $60 million, banned the football program from bowl games for four years, stripped scholarships and vacated the team's wins from 1998 to 2011 following the Freeh Report, which issued a scathing statement about how much the university knew and when.

"Per the NCAA consent decree, all football team trophies won from 1998-2011 are to be returned to the awarding authority and we plan to do so," said Jeff Nelson, assistant athletic director of communications for football at Penn State.

Some of the trophies that the school will have to return include their bowl game wins. Penn State won the Outback Bowl in 1999 and 2007, the Alamo Bowl in 1999 and 2007, the Orange Bowl in 2006 and the Capital One Bowl in 2010.

While those residing in Happy Valley are still trying to resurrect their image in the wake of the scandal and show they still back their team, they do have one thing to smile about this week as they head into their first football game without famed coach Joe Paterno in more than four decades.

Their spirit has won them $10,000 for the school's general scholarship fund after they beat out more than 200 other schools in a voting campaign hosted on, according to a press release sent out by the school.

Penn State led the competition from start to end, the release said.

“We are elated to see this incredible expression of Penn State pride, spirit and support demonstrated by our students, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends and fans in winning the Pledge Your Allegiance contest,” Roger Williams, executive director of the Penn State Alumni Association, said in a statement. “This national victory is what Nittany Nation is all about. We know Penn Staters everywhere will join us in celebrating by wearing their blue and white with great pride.”

soundoff (440 Responses)
  1. Dan

    I think this is wonderful news. I wish their football players also had to return their trophies and awards also. Penn State is a disgrace to education and the NCAA.

    August 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sandy

      Srew you! There have been lots of things go on at other colleges get rid of the NCAA IT'S ALL STUPID

      August 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • t. kampia

      NCAA is the a corrupt, hypocritical, power hungry organization that does not follow it's own bylaws and has no oversight. I love how the lawsuits against the NCAA continue to mount.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bugler

      Penn State is not #1 in football academics. There are a number of schools rating higher – Stanford, BC, Notre Dame, Air Force and Navy. How legitimate is the Penn State football academic record? Perhaps that is a facade as well.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darlene

      You don't know what went on but you judge them? The football team or the students at the school did not have anything to do with the incident. God is the only one to judge not the people who have never liked Penn State.....

      August 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Darlene, where was God for those 14 years that Sandusky was raping boys? And what exactly has God done since then to keep such things from happening again? As corrupt as the NCAA may or may not be, at least they're paying attention while God isn't.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      It never even crossed my mind to apply to a school as poorly ranked as PSU....the place is garbage...

      August 30, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      The "football team and students" aren't being "punished"....the SCHOOL is being punished, and the CULTURE is being destroyed....the players and students are just unavoidable collateral damage....

      When a father commits murder, do we give him a pass so that his kids don't grow up without a daddy? HELL NO! He goes to prison and the kids have to suffer the fallout.

      August 30, 2012 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • LanaHere

      Agreed !!

      August 31, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • LanaHere

      That's right Dan. I say take ALL the trophies back. What a disgrace! And to think these Penn State faithful fans just don't get it.

      August 31, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. Paul B

    Their season opener is this Saturday. I hope they will be crushed. Maybe they won't score a point. By the players, students, and alumni still supporting Penn State, they are indirectly supporting the criminal acts of Sandusky.

    August 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • t. kampia

      I hope you get the help you need

      August 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      How is supporting your fellow class mates supporting criminal activity? Did those atheletes molest any boys? Probably not.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • jnpa

      Your comment is without merit and basically ridiculous!

      August 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Must be horrible to be so stupid.

      August 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sue

    This makes absolutely NO sense! These trophies were won by student atheletes of the school, under the guidance of coaches and trainers. The atheletes did nothing wrong. Why are they being punished? Deal with fools who committed the crimes.

    August 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      I agree.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Summer

      completely agree.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • jnpa

      The NCAA is wrong. They based their sanctions on the Freeh report which was a ridulous investigation. No one was allowed to question any of their findings and then the NCAA would not accept any appeals after handing out the sanctions.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • jftorres

      What else can be done. The NCAA vacated those wins so Penn State should not have the trophies. The same thing happened to Michigan State men's basketball in the early 2000s. Every game for 5 seasons entirely vacated (Big 10, NIT & NCAA appearances). .

      Whenever a team is sanction, the entire team is hurt because of a few. The sanctions are meant to send a message. Does it hurt a lot of people? Yes it does.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ruby

      I totally agree. I live in Alabama .The students and football players had nothing to do with this but yet they are being punished. I'm sure they played hard to win just like any team does. I was abused when I was a child but I don't blame enybody but the person that abused me. So I agree with Sue.

      August 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. coalminer

    This is BULL. I am not a football fan but to punish those players for the action of some perv is wrong. It is just like Pete Rose ( who I cant stand) can not get into the Hall of Fame but junkies, drug pushers and other criminals get in. Sports suck

    August 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dude here

    Meh, I think this stinks of overkill or beating a dead horse at this point. (And I personally could care less of PSU football) What's next, lining up each player who played in the last 14 years and have them individually say "I'm sorry" in front of the class?

    August 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joy A

      I agree with you, Dude. I don't even like sports, but sympathize with Penn State students who are being wrongly punished. Stripping kids of their scholarships? Where is the sense in this? This is just wrong, it's overkill - and I think it's mainly just a big PR ploy, so these guys can strut around preening themselves and sanctimoniously pointing fingers at Penn State. Enough is enough, guys! What's next? Publicly flogging the students? How about flogging the PARENTS of the students? That makes just as much sense - NOT.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. derrickg70

    Leave the wins, that is wrong for the NCAA to strip them of their wins. Give the school the penalty, but let them keep what all those students worked for, be fair. Get the money, because thats what they want, but leave the wins and championships.

    August 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      Exactly! Sandusky did not win those games or those trophies. NCAA is punishing the students that worked so hard, and now have nothing to show for it.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      leaving the wins and trophies won't destroy the football first culture at PSU that allowed Paterno to have so much power that he could protect a child molester for 14 years of actively raping little boys....

      August 30, 2012 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jackie

    The Sandusky scandal did nit involve the NCAA and they had no business getting involved. Those trophies were won by athletes who worked hard for them.

    August 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. pinkfloyd43

    The players had NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS! It was a group of MANAGEMENT! Punish management and not the team, the college and the players! Start putting the individuals responsible for this in jail and leave the rest alone.

    August 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • rich j

      It was the first reaction to jopa being fired that lead to this !
      REMEMBER ??????/

      August 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. J

    I completely agree with this. Why?

    The university decided to put the blame on Joe Pa, rather than take responsibility because let us not forget that Joe Pa DID in fact report Sandusky to his superior. So, they decided to strip Joe Pa of everything he spent his whole life for (the university). As such, if you are going to throw away the bath water, you might as well throw away the baby because it is all intermixed. Penn State is lucky that is all they lost.

    August 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norma

      Joe Pa is just as much to blame because even though he reportedd it to his superior, he still influenced them in NOT reporting it further, in turning a blnd eye to Sandusky's crimes in order to save HIS reputation, HIS team, and the MONEY. Please don't try to whitewash Paterno in this. HE IS TO BLAME!!! To excuse him, defend him makes you just as guilty by association as he is. Makes you less of a human being as well. This from a mom who's own son suffered from a pedophile.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • coalminer


      August 29, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • CSI

      joe pa reported it to his superiors and when his superiors were asking what to do JOE PA SAID DO NOTHING. You might want to get up to date on the case since the internal emails have been made public. Paterno was the ring leader in making sure Sandusky wasnt reported, THE RING LEADER.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. steve

    I feel bad for the students but these trophies were won during a time when terrible crimes against children were being committed by a former football coach and these acts were known by school officials but ignored apparently to protect the person, the school, and the football program. The common theme in this case was Sandusky, Penn State, football leaders, and school leaders. I think it is very appropriate to void anything that was acheived in any of the areas.

    August 29, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jen

    Although PSU is a huge rival of ours in the Big 10, I'm with most of you – the students who worked their butts off to win these trophies are being unfairly punished. *They* won the trophies – with the guidance of staff – but it's that staff that did the wrong, not those students. What's next? Make the NFL fire any PSU players they may have drafted from that timeframe? Yeah, that'll show 'em!

    August 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norma

      One falls, they all fall. It's part of the team ethics. The NCAAF did not say that this effects the PLAYER's stats only the SCHOOL.

      August 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Norma

    The NCAAF HAD to address this. There was a massive call for them to act. I was one of those leading the charge. Why? Because my son was a victim of a pedophile and justice had to be served. Penn State, because of the administration AND Joe Paterno, the team's HEAD COACH, were rightfully punished by the NCAAF. Sports is more than just trophies, more than just stats; it's also about ETHICS, qualities of leadership, loyalty, team spirit, cooperation, dedication, etc. I would think you all would see that. Penn State ignored that, destroyed it. Even the students and alumni actions and words show that they still don't get it, that the TEAM is more important than the lessons - both collegiate and non - they are supposed to be there to learn. Common sense: vacate the wins, turn back the trophies. Harsh? Perhaps but it IS a lesson for these players to learn, for all of us to learn - that the needs of the ONE DO outweigh the needs of the many. In this case Penn State chose TEAM over the victims, chose the Penn State's reputation (and all that money) over justice for the innocents assaulted by Sandusky. Paterno, the Head Coach, let these players down. When one falls, they all fall. So it is. Accept it.

    August 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      There are no words that can portray how sorry I am for what happened to your son, but please read the Freeh report, there is nothing in there, other than a subjective opinion that proves Paterno hid anything or in any way interfered with it being investigated. There are others who are truly to blame for their inactions but he was not one of them.

      August 30, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • emmertdusky

      Prove the claim, Norma. How did you "lead the charge"? Either way, no one can turn back the clock and erase history, no matter how much one wants to or feels guilty about contributing ti what happened. You're also wrong on needs. Humanity and society is founded on the needs of the many outweighing the needs of one. Otherwise Sxhthole Sandusky "needs" would have to factor in as well. Can't have that argument only one way.

      August 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. coalminer

    I can only imagine what the NCAA would have done to the catholic church

    August 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. lorri

    i think the athletes should not be punished for their incredible athleticism. Sending a message by taking away their wins should not play into it. It is the coaches, athletic directors and staff who need to be accountable. Jerry sandusky and all his minions are to blame. The athletes had nothing to do with it.

    August 29, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. scamtannehill

    Thats it ! Punish the players and fans for something the coach and adminitrations did. Lets see some real prosicution for some real criminals. Anyone who was in the loop should go down.

    August 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Publikwerks

      Stop pretending the atmosphere that the fans, students and players created isn't a big part of the problem. Most programs wouldn't have this issue because more programs aren't worshipped the way Penn state worships it's football program. The program was given a pass, and therefore everyone must bear some of the responsibility for allowing it to happen. But it appears that lesson is falling on def ears, as people are still more concerned with trophies and statues than the victims

      August 29, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
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