The university agreed to treat the Freeh report as fact while in discussions with the NCAA, Emmert said today. The university also signed their agreement to the NCAA's sanctions prior to today's announcement.
The NCAA announcement also comes on the heels of another blow to the football program's legacy. The statue of Paterno outside of Beaver Stadium was permanently removed Sunday by the university's new president, Rodney Erickson.
Following Sandusky's arrest in November 2011, the NCAA sent a letter to university officials accusing the university of what seemed to be a lack of "ethical conduct" by coaches and "institutional control" by the school president, two main tenets of the NCAA's rule book. The organization's code of conduct notes, however, that the most egregious punishment is reserved for offenses that give team's a significant recruiting or competitive edge over opposing teams.
Only handed down five times in the NCAA's history, the so-called death penalty effectively dismantles the offending sports program for at least one academic year. Coaches cannot recruit or spend any time planning for the following season during the ban, and the program cannot collect any revenues.
Beth Loyd contributed to this report from State College, Pa.