The NCAA is still conducting its own investigation and is waiting for Penn State's response to a report released last week summarizing the findings of a school-commissioned investigation by former FBI director Louis B. Freeh that scolded the university for not responding to reports that Sandusky sexually abused several young boys.
Only one other football program has been given the death penalty: Southern Methodist in the 1986, as a result of recruiting violations. The school was barred from competing during the 1987 season, all home games in 1988 were canceled, it was banned from bowl games and TV through 1989, it lost 55 scholarship positions over four years, the team was allowed to hire only five full-time assistant coaches instead of the typical nine and no off-campus recruiting was permitted until August 1988.
Emmert, however, put what Penn State did into a different category.
"This is completely different than an impermissible-benefits scandal like happened at SMU, or anything else we've dealt with," he said. "This was more than a football scandal, much more than a football scandal. It was that but much more. And we'll have to figure out exactly what the right penalties are. I don't know that past precedent makes particularly good sense in this case, because it's really an unprecedented problem .... And I don't want to take anything off the table."