Well it could have been worse. Much worse...
If Penn State had not accepted the package of NCAA sanctions announced Monday, the Nittany Lions faced a historic death penalty of four years, university president Rodney Erickson told "Outside the Lines" on Wednesday afternoon.
In a separate interview, NCAA president Mark Emmert confirmed that a core group of NCAA school presidents had agreed early last week that an appropriate punishment was no Penn State football for four years.
Erickson said if Penn State did not agree to the sanctions, a formal investigation would have begun and the university could have faced a multiyear death penalty, as well as "other sanctions," including a financial penalty far greater than $60 million.
Also, there may be some strife b/w the board of trustee members and the president....this could get uglier
Erickson's comments were made Wednesday afternoon, shortly before he was scheduled to meet with Penn State's Board of Trustees about the terms of the consent decree he signed with the NCAA. Several trustees said they are furious the board was not given a chance to vote on the agreement, which they say is bad for Penn State.
Erickson said his insistence that Penn State must avoid the death penalty was driven in large part with worry over the devastating economic impact of no Saturday afternoon football in central Pennsylvania and the words of newly hired coach Bill O'Brien.
O'Brien said in an interview Wednesday that he told Erickson, "I want to play football and I want to play football on television."
Some trustees said they are considering a bid to overturn the consent decree in court because they don't believe Erickson had the authority to sign it. Erickson consulted with board chairwoman Karen Peetz, acting AD Dave Joyner and several other unnamed members of the board's executive committee, he said Wednesday.