Joe Paterno is, once again, the winningest coach in college football history. The proposed settlement between two Pennsylvania lawmakers and the NCAA has resulted in the restoration of the 111 previously vacated wins that Paterno accrued with Penn State from 1998 through 2011.
The agreement stems from a lawsuit that questioned the legality of consent decree that the NCAA and Penn State agreed to in 2012. The settlement also includes an order to direct the $60 million penalty, which was paid by the school for the Jerry Sandusky scandal, to programs within Pennsylvania that help prevent child abuse.
The news caused an immediate stir on social media, as “Paterno” and “Sandusky” quickly became trends on Twitter. Many Twitter used the ruling to point out the hypocrisy within the NCAA.
USC's sanctions lasted longer than Penn State's. Let that sink in.
â€” Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 16, 2015
So Penn State gets back its wins, but Ohio State never beat Arkansas and Reggie Bush doesn't have a Heisman......okay.
â€” Lyndsay Lee (@LyndsayALee) January 16, 2015
Tressel’s wins still revoked for covering up players trading memorabilia for tattoos. Paterno’s wins for covering up child rape, reinstated.
â€” Tony (@TweetKnick) January 16, 2015
â€” Reggie Bush (@ReggieBush) January 16, 2015
In late 2011, Ohio State received a one-year postseason ban from the NCAA and offered to vacate wins from the 2010 season, for a scandal involving players who received money and tattoos in exchange for memorabilia. In June 2010, the NCAA ruled that USC would be banned from postseason play for two years and vacate its 2005 national championship victory, as well as wins in the following season, among other penalties. USC’s sanctions were based on several violations from 2004-2009, most notably, cash and benefits from sports marketers to Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush.
Ohio State was never officially stripped of their wins by the NCAA, but head coach Jim Tressel was banned from coaching for five years. USC has yet to see their wins restored, unlike Penn State. Not only did 112 of Penn State’s wins get restored, including one under interim head coach Tom Bradley, but the football program saw its postseason ban lifted after two years. The initial ban was set for four seasons.
Paterno’s 409 wins put him back ahead of Bobby Bowden. The former Florida State head coach officially has 377 career wins because 12 of his victories were vacated.
The September ruling that restored Penn State’s postseason eligibility also awarded the program with the scholarships it had been stripped of for 2015. The Nittany Lions went 7-6 in 2014 with a win in the Pinstripe Bowl.