The Penn State Board of Trustees says the harsh sanctions levied against its football program were not as bad as a multiyear "death penalty" the NCAA had considered.

The board met Wednesday night along with President Rodney Erickson. A spokesman for Erickson had earlier said the powerhouse program faced a potential four-year ban on playing football. The trustees say Erickson confirmed that.

The school had come under scrutiny for how it handled the child molestation suspicions against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

College sports' governing body on Monday handed down a $60 million fine, imposed a four-year bowl game ban, reduced football scholarships and negated 111 wins under former coach Joe Paterno.

The potential four-year ban was first reported by ESPN.


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