The Big Ten Conference followed the NCAA and handed down its own sanctions against the Penn State football program. The Nittany Lions will be banned from the conference championsip game for four years and must surrender all conference bowl revenue during that time.
University of Iowa president Sally Mason who is chair of the council of Big Ten presidents and chancellors said, “This is an historically unprecendented situation. And it’s one that goes against the values system, not only of N-C-double-A institutions, but also of the Big Ten Conference. We cannot disregard intergrity and ethical conduct as the foundation for all that we do, or we risk undermining the our primary mission as educational institutions.”
Mason says the sanctions will include a four-year ban on post-season play and the school will be ineligible to receive its share of any conference bowl revenue in those four years.
The sanctions will hurt the Penn State program for several years but Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney says there is no plan to realign divisions. Penn State and Ohio State are part of the Leaders Division and neither one is eligible for the conference title game next season.
“Our structure is set for decades and not years, it’s based on decades of data and decades of competitiveness,” he explains. “Institution’s competitiveness ebbs and flows. Obviously the sanctions will undermine competitiveness in the short term and perhaps the midterm, but I don’t think that will lead to a serious discussion of realignment of the divisions.”
Delaney says while the situation will hurt the competitive balance of the two divisions for the next few years they will deal with it. He says when two teams in a division are ineligible it means only four teams are competing for the title and “that’s a very significant competitive affect.” But he doesn’t see them making any changes to offset that affect.
The NCAA fined Penn State 60 million dollars, imposed a four-year ban on bowl games, cut the number of scholarships and forced the program to vacate all wins from 1998-2011.