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NCAA Restores 112 Penn State Wins

A lawsuit claiming the NCAA acted beyond its authority was settled on Friday. With 111 wins restored in his name, Joe Paterno is once again the winningest college football coach in history.

Posted on January 16, 2015, at 1:05 p.m. ET

On Friday, Pennsylvania State Sen. Jake Corman announced that a lawsuit against the NCAA had been settled, restoring 112 Penn State football wins, 111 of them under longtime head coach Joe Paterno, immediately.

In 2012, Penn State and the NCAA agreed on a set of sanctions under a consent decree. That decree has now been rendered invalidated and the new deal with the parties will include the following:
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

In 2012, Penn State and the NCAA agreed on a set of sanctions under a consent decree. That decree has now been rendered invalidated and the new deal with the parties will include the following:


• Penn State agrees to commit a total of $60 million to activities and programs for the prevention of child sexual abuse and the treatment of victims of child sexual abuse.

• Penn State acknowledges the NCAA's legitimate and good faith interest and concern regarding the Jerry Sandusky matter.

• Penn State and the NCAA will enter into a new Athletics Integrity Agreement that (with concurrence of the Big Ten) includes best practices with which the university is committed to comply and that provides for the university to continue to retain the services of Sen. George Mitchell and his firm to support the university's activities under the Athletics Integrity Agreement and in the areas of compliance, ethics and integrity.

In the lawsuit, Corman and State Treasurer Rob McCord alleged that the NCAA violated its own bylaws by stripping Penn State of its 112 wins and imposing a $60 million fine in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse revelations.

The NCAA has said that in 2012, at the time when sanctions against Penn State were being weighed by the Division I, the school was told that they could accept the fine, vacated wins, and loss of bowl eligibility for four (later reduced to two) seasons, or face the "death penalty." The NCAA death penalty is the league's harshest sanction, in which a school is disallowed entirely from running a program for the offending sport.

As a result of the alleged threat of the death penalty, Penn State accepted the lesser sanctions. A consent decree of the findings and agreed upon sanctions was published, but Corman and McCord called into question the validity of that decree.

Now, under this settlement, Penn State's 112 wins under Joe Paterno will be restored, making him once again the winningest college football coach in history. Paterno passed away in 2012.

The lawsuit was set to go to trial next month. With this early resolution, the $60 million that will go to programs to help prevent and support child sexual abuse will not be tied up during litigation.

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