University of Iowa President Sally Mason said Monday that she backs the tough sanctions handed down to Penn State University in the wake of a child sexual abuse scandal.
Mason, the current chairperson of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors, said the sanctions “send a very strong message” to colleges and universities across the country.
“We all have sports camps, we all have programs that involve young children coming to our campuses, we all have to look at how we manage those programs, how we manage the people responsible for those programs,” Mason said.
The NCAA announced Monday that Penn State would be fined $60 million and would not be eligible to play in a bowl game in the next four years. In addition, the Big Ten banned the Nittany Lions from competing in the Big Ten championship game during the same period, and also stripped the University of their share of Big Ten bowl earnings, an estimated $13 million.
“In this particular case we saw how harmful to young children what happened at Penn State was, and we want to make sure that never happens again,” Mason said.
Last month former football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of more than 40 counts of sexual abuse. All of Sandusky’s victims were young boys. Top university officials, including head football coach Joe Paterno, were fired after investigators accused them of covering up Sandusky’s actions.
On a conference call with reporters Monday, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany called the case frustrating and concerning.
“I’m hoping out of this that all administrators, executives and coaches take away lessons in the future that help us become much better,” Delany said.