Penn State Could Have Faced 4-Year Death Penalty

There was much speculation as to what could have happened to Penn State had they not accepted the sanctions levied by the NCAA on Monday morning.

Wednesday, we learned that the school's alternative would have been a four-year death penalty, which would have ostensibly eviscerated Penn State football from Saturday afternoons until 2016.

University president Rodney Erickson told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that NCAA president Mark Emmert told Erickson if he did not accept the penalties as a result of the Freeh Report, that the NCAA would have launched their own formal investigation that would have likely resulted in far more damaging penalties for the university and its football program.

Basically, the message from Emmert to Erickson was accept your fate now or wait a few months and face something far more crippling.

The decision to accept the penalties announced Monday came following "intense" internal discussions following a July 17 phone call between the school and the NCAA.

The "death penalty" would have been something that could have had a far greater economic impact to the university and community that what the school is currently facing, and that was the determining factor in Erickson's decision.

For more on Nittany Lions football, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries, plus Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, SB Nation Pittsburgh and SB Nation Philly.

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