The latest entity to ride the “strike while the iron is hot” investigation bandwagon careening toward Penn State is the NCAA. In a letter to President Rodney Erickson dated November 17, NCAA President Mark Emmert advised Penn State that the NCAA would be investigating its “institutional control” over its intercollegiate athletics program in light of the Sandusky situation.
“I look forward to the complete cooperation of Penn State in our review and any future action that we may take.” —Mark Emmert
Emmert promised that the investigation would not interfere with existing inquiries from the State and Federal governments. In addition, there is a pending internal inquiry directed by the Board of Trustees.
The letter requires the university to provide fully substantiated responses to the following questions:
- How has Penn State and/or its employees complied with the Articles of the Constitution and bylaws that are cited in this letter?
- How has Penn State exercised institutional control over the issues identified in and related to the Grand Jury Report? Were there procedures in place that were or were not followed? What are the institutions expectations and policies to address the conduct that has been alleged in this matter upon discovery by any party?
- Have each of the alleged persons to have been involved or have notice of the issues identified in and related to the Grand Jury Report behaved consistent with principles and requirements governing ethical conduct and honesty? If so, how? If not, how?
- What policies and procedures does Penn State have in place to monitor, prevent and detect the issues identified in and related to the Grand Jury Report or to take disciplinary or corrective action if such behaviors are found?
Obviously, this is not a purely athletic issue, as virtually the entire university was implicated in looking the other way while Sandusky continued his alleged assaults on youngsters. The NCAA should restrict its investigation to the athletic program, however, because to go beyond that would demonstrate yet another time that athletics are getting too big for their britches.
Just what penalties or sanctions the NCAA might impose upon Penn State in the aftermath of this “review” is anybody’s guess.