Penn State-NCAA settlement sparks strong reaction across sports world

There was a wide range of reactions to Friday’s news that Penn State and the NCAA agreed to replace a 2012 consent decree in the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal with a new agreement that restores 112 wins to the football program, makes the late Joe Paterno the winningest coach in major college football and clears the way for $60 million in penalties to be spent on child abuse prevention and treatment in the state of Pennsylvania.

Naturally, the school cheered:

As did Penn State’s supporters:

Some noted the ramifications … big and small:

While others felt the most important thing was being forgotten:

Here are some longer thoughts and opinions:


"The repeal of the consent decree and the return of the wins to the university and Joe Paterno confirm that the NCAA and the board of trustees acted prematurely and irresponsibly in the unprecedented sanctions the NCAA imposed on the university, the players, coaches and the community.

"This case should always have been about the pursuit of the truth, not the unjust vilification of the culture of a great institution and the scapegoating of coaches, players and administrators who were never given a chance to defend themselves.

"For nearly three years, everyone associated with Penn State has had to bear the mark of shame placed upon the institution by the NCAA. It was a grievously wrong action, precipitated by panic, rather than a thoughtful and careful examination of the facts." — Statement issued on behalf of Paterno family.

"I think it’s the good ol’ boys giving special treatment and deference to the good ol’ boys. I am always sad but never shocked when I see it happen. … It feels like nothing really changed at Penn State." — Jeff Anderson, the St. Paul (Minn.) lawyer who filed the first civil case against Penn State on behalf of a Sandusky accuser

"The NCAA has surrendered. The agreement we reached represents a complete victory for the issue at hand. … I’m not here to exonerate anyone, but to say, `due process matters.’" — Pennsylvania state Sen. Jake Corman, whose lawsuit challenged the validity of the Penn State-NCAA consent decree

"That’s OK. I’m glad for him. I was self-conscious about that anyway.

"Every time I would speak they would say, ‘He’s the winningest coach in I-A history.’ I’d say, ‘Yeah, after they took 100 away from Joe.’" — Bobby Bowden on being No. 2 on the list of all-time wins

"Continuing this litigation would further delay the distribution of funds to child sexual abuse survivors for years, undermining the very intent of the fine. While others will focus on the return of wins, our top priority is on protecting, educating and nurturing young people." — Harris Pastides, University of South Carolina president and member of NCAA board

"We acted in good faith in addressing the failures and subsequent improvements on Penn State’s campus. We must acknowledge the continued progress of the university while also maintaining our commitment to supporting the survivors of child sexual abuse." — Kirk Schulz, Kansas State University president and member of NCAA board

"I think it’s a step in the right direction for that (vindicating Paterno). Is it complete vindication for that? No, but a step in the right direction." — Former Penn State running back Mike Guman

"We’ll never know what happened with JoePa’s passing, but they probably went a little too harsh, especially with (NCAA president Mark) Emmert being judge, jury and executioner in the whole case. Getting the wins back is more of a gesture. It’s not like all of a sudden, `Oh, yeah, the wins are back. We’re fine now.’ It’s more of, `The damage has been done. The way you guys handled it hurt us as a community. We came through it, and it’s nice, I guess, for you guys to be able to do this for us.’" — Student and season ticketholder Jason Rohrer, of Philadelphia

The Associated Press contributed to this report.