(CBS/AP) -- The NCAA imposed a harsh set of sanctions on Penn State Monday, less than two weeks after the university's internal investigation found that football coach Joe Paterno and other senior school leaders failed to stop former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky from sexually abusing children on campus.
NCAA President Mark Emmert announced that the association was banning the football team from all post-season play and bowl games for four years, reducing the program's scholarships from 25 to 15 and fining the program $60 million. The association also vacated all of the program's bowl wins between 1998 and 2011.
Sandusky was convicted on 45 criminal counts last month at a trial that included gut-wrenching testimony from eight young men who said he abused them as boys during the course of a decade.
After an eight-month inquiry, a firm led by former federal judge and FBI director Louis Freeh produced a 267-page report finding that Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley, university vice president Gary Schultz, who oversaw the campus police department, and university president Graham Spanier "never demonstrated, through actions or words, any concern for the safety and well-being of Sandusky's victims until after Sandusky's arrest."
Sexual abuse might have been prevented if university officials had banned Sandusky from bringing children onto campus after a 1998 inquiry, the report said. Despite their knowledge of the police probe into Sandusky showering with a boy in a football locker room, Spanier, Paterno, Curley and Schultz took no action to limit his access to campus, the investigation found.
The May 1998 complaint by a woman whose son came home with wet hair after showering with Sandusky didn't result in charges at the time. The report says Schultz was worried the matter could be opening "Pandora's box."
Officials later did bar him from bringing children to campus.
Six months to the day after Paterno's death, the iconic statue of him was removed from the front of Penn State's football stadium Sunday. In addition to the statue being hauled away from Beaver Stadium, the Paterno memorial was covered up.
Everything is gone: every plaque, every word, every reminder of six decades at Penn State - erased memorials to a man who, in the end, said he wished he had done more.
New Penn State coach Bill O'Brien says he's committed to the school despite the harsh sanctions imposed Monday by the NCAA, including a four-year postseason ban and a big loss in scholarships.
In a statement released by the school, O'Brien said, "I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes."
School President Rodney Erickson says Penn State accepts the penalties. He says the NCAA sanctions will help the school "define our course."
It remains to be seen how some current Penn State players and recruits will respond to the sanctions. NCAA president Mark Emmert said that they would immediately be allowed to transfer without sitting out a year. One coach told CBSSports.com last week that Penn State recruits were already calling him trying to gauge interest in their talents.
Some current players took to social media to voice support for the beleaguered program.
Senior cornerback Stephon Morris tweeted: "I'm not going anywhere We Are Penn State forever. That's final!! Love this University, more important I bleed Blue & White!!"
After the sanctions were announced, tackle Nate Cadogan tweeted: "Psu vs the world!!! Day 1."
Former Penn State defensive lineman Tom Golarz had this to say: "So I went 0-53 in college? My big ten championship rings say different."
Senior linebacker Kyle Lucas summed up his feelings on Twitter with one word: "Wow."