STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State said Tuesday it will respond within days to the NCAA’s demand for information as the governing body of college athletics decides whether the university should face penalties, including a possible shutdown of its storied football program, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson said he doesn’t want to “jump to conclusions” about possible sanctions after the head of the NCAA said that the so-called death penalty has not been ruled out.
The NCAA is investigating whether Penn State lost “institutional control” over its athletic program and violated ethics rules. The probe had been on hold for eight months while former FBI Director Louis Freeh conducted an investigation on behalf of the school’s board of trustees.
Freeh’s report, released last week, asserted that late football coach Joe Paterno and three top officials buried allegations against Sandusky, his retired defensive coordinator, more than a decade ago to protect the university’s image.
Sandusky was convicted last month of sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period. He awaits sentencing.
Penn State now can turn its attention to the NCAA, Erickson said. “The NCAA has indicated that they’d like me to respond ... as quickly as possible now that we have the Freeh report,” he said. “So we’ve already started the process of starting to compose that response.”