How the Penn State-NCAA consent decree, repeal unfolded

Developments in the NCAA sanctioning of Penn State University for its role in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case, and the challenges that lead to the repeal of the 2012 agreement between the school and the NCAA:


DEC. 28, 2010: State prosecutors contact Penn State about an investigation into retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.


NOV. 5: Attorney general’s office announces child molestation charges against Sandusky, and accuses two former university administrators of a criminal cover-up.

NOV. 9: University fires Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno, winningest coach in major college football history, with 409 victories.


JAN. 22: Paterno dies at age 85.

JUNE 22: Sandusky is convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. He later gets 30 to 60 years in prison.

JULY 12: Former FBI director Louis Freeh releases a Penn State-commissioned report into how the school handled complaints about Sandusky, concluding that university President Graham Spanier, Vice President Gary Schultz, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Paterno concealed key information to avoid bad publicity.

JULY 22: Paterno statue removed from in front of football stadium, placed in storage, after President Rodney Erickson says it had become “a source of division and obstacle to healing.”

JULY 23: Erickson and NCAA president Mark Emmert sign a consent decree that calls for a four-year bowl ban, a $60 million fine to fund anti-child abuse efforts, the elimination of 112 wins, erasing Paterno’s status as winningest coach, and a temporary reduction in football scholarships.

NOV. 1: Spanier is charged, and more counts are added against Schultz and Curley, in the cover-up case. All three still await trial.


FEB. 20: Gov. Tom Corbett signs into law a bill that requires the $60 million fine be spent within Pennsylvania. The NCAA sues in federal court to overturn the law. Two state officials, Sen. Jake Corman and Treasurer Rob McCord, ask a state judge to enforce the new law, known as the Endowment Act.

SEPT. 24: The NCAA says Penn State will gradually get back football scholarships earlier than expected, citing its progress in adopting changes in the wake of the Sandusky scandal.


SEPT 5: The NCAA says in court filing that it is willing to let Pennsylvania control the $60 million fine, seeks dismissal of Corman and McCord lawsuit.

SEPT. 8: The NCAA says Penn State can compete in postseason and that all football scholarships will return in 2015.

OCT. 31: Commonwealth Court rules the Endowment Act is constitutional.

NOV. 5: State Supreme Court rules against the NCAA’s bid to prevent the Commonwealth Court trial in the case by McCord and Corman, which morphed into a challenge of the legality of the consent decree.

DEC. 18: Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey sets trial in the lawsuit for Feb. 17, 2015.


JAN. 12: Two Penn State trustees go public with a claim a settlement is in the works between the school and the NCAA. The board’s president says any proposed settlement would be brought to the board for its approval.

JAN. 13: A federal judge declines to throw out the Endowment Act, deferring to the ongoing case in state court.

JAN. 16: NCAA, Penn State trustees approve deal to scrap consent decree, enter into new agreement. The new pact restores 112 wins to Penn State football and Paterno’s status as winningest coach in major college football history, keeps $60 million in penalties intact, with money to be spent in Pennsylvania.