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Penn State fined by Rose Bowl


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Penn State has been fined by the Rose Bowl for not opening the locker room to media following the Jan. 1 game against Southern California.

Coach Joe Paterno was found to be in violation of the game contract between the school and the Tournament of Roses committee. A dollar amount has not been decided. The issue is expected to be further discussed this week during the BCS meetings in Pasadena, Calif.

Coaches must open their locker room to media following all BCS bowl games. The practice has been in effect for the past few years. The Rose Bowl has a separate contract with its teams and requires its participating coaches to do the same.

This is believed to be the first time a coach has violated the open locker room policy since it was instituted.

After the 38-24 USC victory, coach Pete Carroll opened his locker room in a timely manner. However, Penn State sports information director Jeff Nelson was busy hustling players out of the locker room into a hallway so they could speak to the media. At the time, Nelson acknowledged that the decision had been Paterno's to close the locker room.

The BCS meetings begin Monday and conclude Wednesday. The commissioners are expected to discuss the current challenges to the system from legislators. The Mountain West still has not signed the new TV deal with ESPN that begins with the 2011 BCS bowls.

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson will discuss further with his peers an eight-team playoff as a way of providing more equitable access. The proposal has been roundly criticized by BCS officials but Thompson says this is just the first step in the process.

In February, Thompson and some league presidents were in Washington, D.C. to speak to senior staffers of legislators critical of the BCS. The league has hired a D.C. law firm in a lobbying effort.

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