There is indeed a shitstorm brewing over the NCAA sanctions levied against Penn State. A whole buncha revelations have emerged in the past couple of weeks out of the discovery phase of a lawsuit against the NCAA filed in state court by Pennsylvania state Senator Jake Corman and state treasurer Rob McCord challenging the $60 million fine levied by the overreaching NCAA against the University.
You might recall the series from back in 2012-3 called “Laser Focus.” Those of you new to the Nittany Turkey might not. The term “laser focus” came from yet another denial by then BoT chair Karen Peetz, who stonewalled questions by asserting that we all must keep a laser focus on the future of the University. In other words, shaddup and let us sell out.
I had promised to stop writing about this crap a while back, as it was going nowhere. Splinter groups like PS4RS were gladly promoting divisiveness under the guise of unity and they’re still out there making noise, albeit with far fewer followers. When you shovel off a layer or two, you unearth a couple of purposes: restore St. Joe’s wins (a meaningless gesture) and exact revenge on the BoT members who done us wrong. Although I felt the NCAA’s treatment of Penn State was undeserved and uncalled for and I thought Rod Erickson and the BoT were pusillanimous assholes for rolling over and playing dead, I didn’t want to participate in those high school girlish machinations.
As did many of you, I wanted to move on. But now, like lots of others, I’m jumping on the Corman and McCord bandwagon. They put their money (or the University’s) where their mouth is. They’re directly taking on the NCAA.
I see the facts coming out of the court case, and I get the feeling that we might be going somewhere with all this. (Note that it’s now “we”. LOL) Back before the sanctions were imposed, the NCAA’s top enforcement officer Julie Rowe had sent emails essentially saying that the NCAA didn’t have the authority to do what it proposed to do, but they could bluff Penn State into believing that they would impose the “death penalty.” Of course, we all know that Rod Erickson rolled over in response to an ultimatum along those lines.
Now, details of collusion between the Freeh Commission and the NCAA have begun to emerge, even though the NCAA’s general counsel Donald Remy lied to the court, saying that the investigation was completely independent. Uh huh. About this Corman told ESPN’s Outside the Lines:
Clearly the more we dig into this, the more troubling it gets. There clearly is a significant amount of communication between Freeh and the NCAA that goes way beyond merely providing information. I’d call it coordination. … Clearly, Freeh went way past his mandate. He was the enforcement person for the NCAA. That’s what it looks like. I don’t know how you can look at it any other way. It’s almost like the NCAA hired him to do their enforcement investigation on Penn State.
At a minimum, it is inappropriate. At a maximum, these were two parties working together to get an outcome that was predetermined.
But we knew that all along, didn’t we? Moreover, it is this turkey’s long held opinion that certain members of the Penn State Board of Trustees participated in manufacturing the report along with the NCAA, essentially formalizing its caving in to the NCAA before it was even asked to do so. It would be great if the court could unearth the details of that collusion.
Read Don Van Natta’s story “Docs: NCAA, Freeh worked together” in ESPN Outside the Lines.
Former Trustee Joel Myers of AccuWeather fame had some juicy comments in a statement released on Tuesday. Of course, with Corman and McCord doing all the heavy lifting and things going their way, now it is time for others, including Myers, this turkey, and Tom Corbett to jump on the bandwagon. Outgoing Governor Corbett recently issued a statement that he believed that St. Joe shouldn’t have been fired. Curious timing, right after he lost the election! Hell, he was an ex-officio member of the damn BoT that fired Paterno, wasn’t he? Jeez! But I digress.
Myers’ statement condemning the NCAA for abusing the explosive nature of the Sandusky scandal to force PSU to pay the unjust and uncalled for $60 million fine. He even asks for the return of St. Joe’s 111 wins.
Here’s his statement:
Trustees and Emeritus Trustees:
I have had a consistent record while I have been a Penn State Trustee of condemning the NCAA actions. Rod Erickson had previously asserted that the NCAA threatened the student football program with the” death penalty” and he had to take the best of the bad choices. The Penn State lawyer said “it was crammed down”.
Now it has come out that NCAA officials may have acted in deceptive ways, using not only extortionate-like threats, but what seems to be bullying, bluster, and bluffing and outright lies to exact an agreement from a new Penn State president reeling from being thrust into the middle of the Sandusky crisis.
The NCAA apparently acted in this unprofessional and perhaps illegal way because they did not have a basis under their own charter and rules to do what they did.
It seems to me that it was essentially similar to an elaborate swindle or “protection money racket,” placing at risk the careers of Penn State student athletes who were at the University from 2011 and to this day, kids who had nothing to do with the situation in any way, for the purpose of extracting millions of dollars from the University and significantly damaging our reputation for their own purposes. These are students who were children when the Sandusky actions took place. Students who were subsequently cheated out of being a truly competitive team in order to possibly have a team at all. Student athletes who were potentially cheated out of pro football careers to satiate the NCAA appetite for money and power.
This is the basest form of improper behavior by an organization that holds itself up as the very guardian of morality, student welfare, fair play, and best practice.
- Universities by their very existence are supposed to stand for the search for truth and justice and new knowledge.
- The NCAA was set up to be the moral arbitrator of intercollegiate sports.
- When they told Rod Erickson that the NCAA board wanted the death penalty, he had every reason to believe his colleagues.
- It would not have crossed his mind, nor should it have, that they were using deception to trick Penn State. Since the NCAA represents all universities, by doing so they undermined the integrity of all of higher education.
- It concerns me that there has not yet been an outpouring of condemnation from the very universities that are members of the NCAA.
- Professors, students, administrators, and alumni from all universities should be indignant about this apparent abuse of power by the moral oracle of higher education in their name and under their authority.
- The NCAA has turned into an organization that deserves the “death penalty.”
- It needs to be reconstituted with new people and new practices and procedures.
I urge the Board to ask both the State Attorney General of Pennsylvania and the appropriate federal authorities to look into their actions to assess whether any criminal laws were broken.
I also intend to consider, along with other Penn State students, alumna [sic], faculty and financial supporters of the University whether civil legal action is a desirable course based on these recent revelations and the likelihood of more to come. Legal action is the only path that can bring to light, through documents and testimony under oath, what really was done, by whom, and why.
We now need to stand for the following propositions:
With the consent decree having been improperly acquired, all penalties embodied in it become unenforceable.
Accordingly the $60 MM “fine” be restored to Penn State.
The 111 victories be restored to Penn State.
Determine the damages to Penn State’s brand and reputation, as well as actual financial losses caused by the NCAA actions and demand payment from the NCAA for these damages. I recommend that we hire an expert now to begin working on estimating the likely amount of these damages, but I believe the value of these damages will be quite substantial.
Whether the board chooses to reject the consent decree or not, it certainly has a fiduciary duty to consider damages against the NCAA, even if no new revelations come out.
Further, we need to call on the Big 10 to refund all money withheld from Penn State, as this was based on the NCAA action.
These are not options for Penn State, I believe they are imperatives.
Wasn’t that fun?
So, this is going to be heating up as the court findings progress, as if it isn’t already hot enough. Stay tuned — the shitstorm has only begun to blow!