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Thursday, July 26, 2012 - Page updated at 06:30 p.m.
'Death penalty' threat frightened Penn State
By Seattle Times news services
Penn State faced the threat of a four-year ban on playing football before the NCAA issued its punishment this week for how it handled the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, a university spokesman said Wednesday.
David La Torre said the potential for the multiyear "death penalty" was floated during discussions between Penn State president Rodney Erickson and NCAA officials before Monday, when Penn State was issued a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl game ban, reduced football scholarships and the forfeiture of 112 wins.
The school trustees met Wednesday and afterward issued a statement calling the NCAA punishment "unfortunate" but better than the alternatives.
The NCAA is allowing players to transfer to another school and get on the field right away. But a group of about 30 players announced to reporters: "We're going to see this thing through."
At least 13 players listed as first-stringers on the depth chart affirmed their commitment, including senior quarterback Matt McGloin.
The biggest name considering his options is running back Silas Redd, who rushed for 1,241 yards as a sophomore. ESPN.com reported Redd is seriously considering transferring to USC.
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien disclosed that the imposition of sanctions added four years to the contract he signed last January. The pact won't expire until after the 2020 season.
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