The Centre Daily Times happened into some emails between former NCAA Chief Investigator Ameen Najjar and Nevin Shapiro, the jailed booster of University of Miami scandal fame, in which Najjar blasted Penn State University President Rod Erickson for handing Mark Emmert the dagger to do what he would.
“The Penn State deal is a travesty. The NCAA did not impose anything. Penn State agreed to and self-imposed the penalties, waived all due process and waived any right to appeal. The NCAA has/had NO authority to impose any penalties in that situation and PSU’s president sold the school down the river.”
Of course, we all know the story of how Erickson claims to have been threatened with the death penalty before he rolled over for Emmert. He said his hands were tied and it was either agree to the draconian sanctions or lose the football program completely for a long time.
But was it really that cut-and-dried a negotiation?
Najjar’s email might be the rant of a guy who had sour grapes for the NCAA, having been fired as the anointed scapegoat in the Shapiro case; however, what does he have to gain by demeaning Penn State’s president? By the same token, one has to question what Najjar really knows about the Penn State situation, as he was not involved in the (non-) investigation.
Nevertheless, if he is right, who knows how far back the deal goes? The Freeh Report led to the NCAA sanctions. Perhaps the whole course of affairs was a pre-ordained deal to hang Curley, Paterno, Schultz, and Spanier while saving the hides of the Board of Trustees and diverting attention from the sordid workings of Pennsylvania government and from the Second Mile. If anyone was following the money, they were headed off at the pass.
Meanwhile, Erickson saves his own ass by saying he had no choice.
So, our friends at PS4RS have requested transcripts of communications between the NCAA and PSU. As you might recall, Ed Ray, president of NCAA’s executive committee, claimed that PSU was never threatened with the death penalty. Later, he recanted somewhat, but this is enough to cast doubt on exactly who did what to whom.
Saith PS4RS spokesbabe Maribeth Schmidt:
“If the deal indeed went down the way Rodney Erickson has explained, then there should be nothing to hide. However, we now have two different representatives of the NCAA asserting that there was no such coercion as Dr. Erickson has described.
“Should we ultimately find that Penn State was complicit in the imposition of the sanctions, or that President Erickson misrepresented the events that led to the execution of the consent decree, then it is reasonable to conclude that the Board of Trustees and administration have been dishonest with the Penn State community and have failed wholly and completely in their fiduciary responsibility to the University.”
None of know what really happened behind those closed doors and secured telephone lines. It’s about time we did.