Mark Emmert Tragically Misses Mark

Deshaun's picture
July 31, 2012 at 1:28a
56 Comments

About a decade ago, one of the biggest scandals to rock this country was just beginning to take shape. It involved an arrogant leader of one of the largest government funded institutions in the country. It is a cautionary tale of what can happen when too much authority is concentrated within a single person.  Someone who has, by way of high performance and longevity in their role, become too powerful to question.

Many (most?) of you have never heard of Darleen Druyun.  At the height of her powers, as the Air Force’s deputy acquisition chief, Druyun was the final authority on billions of dollars in weapons systems acquisitions.  Known as the “Dragon Lady” by both military personnel and contractors alike, Ms. Druyun had a reputation as a tough negotiator with an abrasive personality.  “She has a very difficult disposition," says her former boss, Marvin Sambur, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisitions.  "She believed that no matter what the circumstances, she's in charge.”  This feeling was reinforced by the tenure Ms. Druyun had in the position.  In a world where leaders, bosses, and managers come and go with elections every few years, the reign of Darleen Druyun endured.

In one famous occurrence, Ms. Druyun boarded a jet only to find a three-star general in her preferred seat.  The Dragon Lady’s reaction?  “General, you get the hell out of my seat!”  Guess what happened next.  The General got out of her seat.

All of this went unchallenged until Ms. Druyun took a job as a vice president at Boeing.  It turns out she was negotiating a $23.5M tanker buy while simultaneously interviewing for the new position at Boeing.  An investigation found Ms. Druyun had been manipulating Air Force acquisitions for years.  Nobody knew about it because she was a pentagon star, had led numerous initiatives to improve Air Force acquisition, and would be in her position long after her superiors had moved on.

A similar narrative has been told by the media regarding Joe Paterno and Penn State University.  The all-powerful football coach dominating an entire educational institution is such a stereotype, the media simply assumes it to be the case.  It’s so cliché to say, “They believed they were bigger than the program/school/NCAA/law.”  However, it is a cliché to a stereotype which does not apply here. This was not a case of arrogance run amok, a la Darleen Druyun.  By the accounts of those who knew the situation around State College for the past decade, Joe Paterno was not some all-powerful dictator sitting in front of a dozen monitors to supervise all that went on in his realm. He was actually described as having, “very few allies. He was isolated and he was not nearly as powerful as people imagine him to have been.”

That narrative was advanced this past week by the conclusion and subsequent release of Louis Freeh’s investigation report.  Most Americans did not waste time reading the entire Freeh report. I mean, that thing was really long. And we don’t have time in our busy days to read 267 pages when we need to have an opinion on this now. Besides, we read what some other people wrote about the pieces of the report they read. And we do not approve of the things others have written about the thing Louis Freeh wrote, not one bit sir.

Obviously, this generation (anyone between 15-50) is known as the “now” generation for a reason. We demand to know what is going on in real time, make judgments just as quickly, and lose interest by the time all the facts are out and due process has run its course.  Taking the time to read all 267 pages would make your informed opinion too late to participate while the debate is still ongoing.  Those taking the time to read the full report (specifically the appendices) noticed Appendices 2A and 2B (pages 167-169) describing the 1998 investigation of Jerry Sandusky by the Department of Public Welfare (DPW).  This was also investigated by detective Ronald Shreffler and District Attorney Ray Gricar, who decided not to press charges.  The “reasonable conclusion” on page 75 appears to be a direct misinterpretation of Appendix 5G.  Tim Curley had a conversation with Joe Paterno in which Curley reporting the incident to the DPW was clearly the expectation. In fact, the plan was to “help” Sandusky report it to DPW if he wouldn’t do it on his own.  It does appear Curley and Shultz dropped the ball (tragically and unforgivably) on this one.  I will not defend their actions or pretend everything that happened at Penn State was acceptable.  Clearly it was not.  But this was not a systematic cover-up of Jerry Sandusky’s actions.  Alas, despite these inconsistencies between the evidence in the Freeh Report appendices and the aforementioned “reasonable conclusions,” Mark Emmert had all the ammunition he needed.

People were mortified at what happened to those boys (with good reason), shock turned to disgust followed by anger. People wanted blood. The angry mob that is the American public, fueled by vitriol coming from the media*, took up their collective torches and pitchforks and metaphorically marched on State College. Somebody had to pay. Jerry Sandusky? He’s in jail. Spanier, Curley and Schultz? A nice start but we don’t even know who they are. No, someone needed to PAY! “We want them to weep with anguish and despair for what they’ve done,” the public demanded. “They who?” a reasonable person might ask. “Everyone. I don’t know. Shut the whole thing down!” From Douglas Anderson (Dean of College of Communications) and Daniel Larson (Dean of Eberly College of Science), this was everyone’s fault.

*Is this media company really the beacon we want guiding our moral compass.  Aside of sitting on the Syracuse tapes for a decade, thus enabling a potential serial child rapist, they green-lighted a pretty racist and sexist marketing campaign that actually did happen in real life.

Around this time, Mark Emmert, the leader of an organization consistently derided for incompetence and weakness, saw an opportunity to make a show of his power. He could make a grand statement for the NCAA world (including and especially the fans) to see, with which nobody would dare argue. If you argue against any such penalties for Penn State, you are supporting child rape, right? Or as SB Nation’s Spencer Hall put it, “NCAA Beats Up Corpse, Then Demands Your Applause.”  Except these penalties had nothing to do with either the prevention of or healing for victims of child sexual abuse. This was the equivalent of taking a free shot at a formerly popular kid in school after he was beaten up by the school bully. Emmert levied these punitive punishments, proclaiming to be protecting innocent victims. This is the type of grandstanding typically reserved for District Attorneys with designs on running for political office.  In leveling this misguided castigation at an entire institution rather than the actual criminals, Mr. Emmert has significantly and willfully (criminally?) harmed tens of thousands of innocent victims.

Nobody from Penn State’s national power volleyball, soccer, or wrestling teams had anything to do with these events.  All depend greatly on Penn State football for funding. How does eviscerating their funds boost the mental state of a 23 year old man who was raped by Jerry Sandusky 12 years ago? Mr. Emmert has tragically forgotten the innocent child victims, and instead, in a cowardly act of self-aggrandizement, created thousands more.  In levying this punishment, Mr. Emmert has missed a relatively small mark (the 3-4 people responsible) and he has missed it with a bazooka.

Who spent $6,000,000 to pay for the Freeh Report?  Penn State. Now, do you think Auburn will spend the money to investigate Cecil Newton or coaches paying players? Will LSU investigate Willie Lyles’ shopping Patrick Peterson for $80,000?  Do you see South Carolina investigating players for staying nearly free in hotels for a year?  Penn State did something most Americans would consider honorable in hiring an outside party to investigate itself, assisting the investigation (even received credit from the NCAA for that one), and publicizing the findings. Penn State was then crucified for those findings by the NCAA.  Meanwhile, those with less honor (Auburn, LSU, and South Carolina) have gone largely unpunished. How likely will such schools be to thoroughly investigate themselves in the future if this is the result?  This punishment does nothing to make the child victims whole as adults (still got raped, still trying to function as a member of society, still emotional damage that will never fully heal). It does nothing to punish those responsible (Sandusky is in jail for life. Spanier, Curley, and Shultz left Penn State 9 months ago and could be joining Sandusky. Even Joe Paterno, if you believe Freeh’s opinion, is dead). It does nothing to prevent child sex abuse from happening in the future.

This is a sniper rifle aimed directly at the throat of Penn State University’s (the #45 ranked academic institution in the country) athletic department. This is an AAU member institution spending $753,358,000 on academic research in 2009 alone. Mr Emmert has decided the most prudent way to punish Jerry Sandusky is to harm the innocent freshman bio-chem student who will never experience the euphoria of her school competing nationally in anything. Dressing up in uniformly monochromatic costumes on fall Saturdays is as much a part of the college student experience as staying up late during finals week to finish that Business Law thesis or carrying all your belongings on a lanyard. This punishment robs tens of thousands of students of that experience.

Can we please quit saying “a football culture that fostered…”  We’ll discuss the culture at Penn State further in paragraph 3 of the section on defenses and rebuttals of Mr. Emmert’s punishment, below.  For now, let’s just all admit that same “football culture” exists in Georgia, and Louisiana, both of whom have newspapers demanding harsher penalties for Penn State. Willie Lyles, who?  As Brent Musberger* said in his appearance on PTI last week, the only way you are going to change the culture of big time collegiate athletics is if you take the scoreboard down.  As long as we are keeping score, people are going to want to win and will look for advantages to do so. 

* If you missed it, Musburger also had a lot of other insightful comments regarding keeping the focus on the victims rather than football and the NCAA overstepping its bounds.  Video of this interview is bizarrely unavailable on ESPN’s website.  If you find a video (or even audio) of this interview, please link to it in the comments.

And yet, the reaction from people around the college football-loving nation was, “Ha! That’s what you get! That’s what you get!” while snapping their collective heads back and forth like Loretta Brown lecturing Cleveland about being less than masculine. But, that’s what who gets? There really is very little one can say in defense of Mr. Emmert’s punitive actions.  Numerous coaches and athletic directors have been fired for less egregious errors in judgment.  Let’s analyze four of the most popular defenses of Mr. Emmert’s decision:

1- The main defense of this punishment seems based in the concept that if you disparage said punishment, you effectively argue the rape of a child is trivial or even (offensively) acceptable. 

     a. That is simply not true as the two are, in reality, quite separate issues.  We’ve all learned in elementary school “two wrongs don’t make a right?”  Well, a couple high level Penn State administrators (most specifically, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz) made a ridiculous error in judgment.  Mark Emmert “righted” the wrong by committing one of his own.  The punishment of innocent people, by its very nature, is inherently wrong.  Our entire judicial system is based upon that single principle.

2- Child rape is bad. Anyone having anything to do with anyone who ever heard of anything like this going on anywhere must be punished to the fullest extent possible by every clear-conscienced person everywhere.

     a. Yes, the sexual assault of children is bad enough that words like despicable, horrible, unthinkable, and depraved hardly do it justice.  Very few acts in this world compare to the unspeakable nature of the destruction of a child’s innocence.  The emotional reaction to kill everyone is understandable, albeit an irrational one. 

     b. However, we should all be able to agree it is wrong to harm innocent people.  Logic dictates punishment should be for those culpable in this situation.  The only people with any culpability are either in jail, fired and soon facing trial, or dead.  Neither the director of media relations, student video coordinator, or anyone currently affiliated with this program had any knowledge of the matter at hand.  Let alone the biology professor, volleyball player, or local sports bar owner, all of whom will directly suffer.  Mr. Emmert’s punitive punishment doesn’t just harm innocent people, it only harms innocent people.

3- The culture needed changed.  It was the win-at-all-costs culture of Penn State that allowed this to happen.

     a. The concept here is that the only way to correct the zealot-like focus on football was to make football go away for a while.  Then this cesspool of moral turpitude can focus on growing as an academic institution rather than a football factory.

     b. This was never a football factory with a single-minded infatuation with winning.  Penn State football student-athletes enrolling from 2001-04 graduated at an 87% clip.  Penn State’s 2011 APR score?  971, good for fourth in the Big Ten.  Did people in and around Penn State care about football?  Absolutely.  More than they do in Columbus, Tuscaloosa, Austin, Norman, Gainesville, and every other national caliber college football area?  Absolutely not.  This was not a systematic cover-up perpetrated or allowed by an entire institution.  The real evidence in the Freeh Report (regardless of various interpretations) points to a very bad decision by 3-4 people.  The culture in and around State College, PA was one of academic success and discipline.  Penn State (ranked the #45 ranked academic institution by US News and World Report) recruited players who could survive and graduate in this tough academic environment.  While a few individuals may have needed to go (and they have gone), the culture did not.

4- This punishment will make it less likely a situation involving abuse like this happens in the future.  Mark Emmert’s intent with this punishment was to send a message.  Child abuse in this country will no longer be tolerated.  This will get the attention of every school aiding or sheltering people who skirt moral authority.

     a. It is true this action will get the attention of everybody who interacts with the NCAA, from the school presidents to the fans. 

     b. However, this was neither the venue nor method to go about sending such a message.  Several options were available to Mr. Emmert which did not involve the systematic destruction of that upon which so many innocent people depended.  A fund could be created to pay for the college education of victims of child abuse at any school (Penn State or otherwise) they choose.  A similar fund could cover counseling for the victims.  Penn State could have been ordered to contribute generously (financial, manpower, and other resources) to the often under-funded and under-manned District Attorney’s offices around Pennsylvania to aid prosecution of child sex abusers, open a series of shelters for families of abusive men, and/or lead a series of seminars about the signs of child abuse to help adults detect such atrocities in the future.   Those would have helped prevent future victims while supporting those who have suffered.  Mr. Emmert’s punishment does little to aid the victims of Jerry Sandusky, and even less to prevent child sex abuse in the future.  How much less likely is it something like this could happen in the future?  The type of malfunctioning brain allowing a person to commit the crimes of Sandusky will not be swayed by the prospect of his/her program missing four bowl games.  There is no prospective amount of damage to the football program that would have prevented Jerry Sandusky from doing what he did.

For those of you screaming, “But that doesn’t punish Penn State!  A bunch of requirements to assist victims of child abuse instead of a bowl ban or death penalty lets Penn State off the hook!”  Ask yourself this question: What impact does the punishment of Penn State football have on your life?  It’s true, the suggestions in section 4b above would less profoundly harm Penn State’s football program.  But what is really the goal here?  All along, I thought the goal was to do anything possible to help the victims recover while preventing child abuse in the future.  Jerry Sandusky’s victims (and child sex abuse in general) were supposed to be the point of this whole thing.  The antagonists of this story (Sandusky, Curley, Shultz, and debatably Spanier and Paterno) are 9+ months removed from the program and being punished severely by the legal system.  By focusing solely on damaging the Penn State football program, Mark Emmert has missed the point entirely.

Fans of other programs should be very careful before claiming the moral high ground.  Schools like Alabama (Bear’s Angels), Oregon (Teamwork program), Tennessee (hostesses), and Texas (Angels), have long used attractive coeds with cute nicknames to make an impression on athletes during visits.  These events have led to some pretty rough consequences for these girls. Baylor had a horrific scenario unfold involving the murder of a teammate, widespread drug use, and a cover-up of NCAA violations.  The NCAA banned them from non-conference play in 2005-06 and they recovered to make the NCAA tournament by the 2007-08 season.  Notre Dame’s football program accidentally killed a videographer and a series of sexual abuse and intimidation led to another student’s suicide.  Both tragic events took place in the fall of 2010, when Mark Emmert was named NCAA President.  Total NCAA “punitive and corrective measures” for Notre Dame? None.

For those who read all four arguments above and still want to replace Penn State University with an empty crater, I go back to the last sentence in paragraph 2b: Mr. Emmert’s punitive punishment doesn’t just harm innocent people, it only harms innocent people.  There are people who must be held accountable for criminal actions.  They have been or will soon be.  Members of the Penn State community at large (from current players to local sports bar owners) are not among them.  By using football penalties as the currency by which Penn State must repay Jerry Sandusky’s victims, Mark Emmert has callously ignored the very victims he claims to be standing up for, and refocused the issue on football.  How many lost scholarships does it cost to unrape a child?  Like a future politician laying the foundation for a mayoral or congressional campaign, Mr. Emmert has conveniently and selectively named himself the moral compass by which all collegiate employees will be measured.  The Penn State community (and reasonable college sports fans nationwide) needs to inundate the NCAA with contacts, calls, and emails about every conceivable violation at every other school around the country.  Luckily, it seems as though a few former players have just such an idea.

Penn State did not have a Darleen Druyun type situation.  The NCAA, on the other hand, does appear to.  Mark Emmert’s disregard for the victims of Jerry Sandusky, willingness to damage tens of thousands of innocent people, and the grandstanding nature in which he has done so are quite telling of the man in charge of the NCAA.  He is no hero defending that which is good and right in this world.  There were myriad options at his disposal (outlined in 4b above) to help Sandusky’s victims, prevent future child sex abuse, and enact change around the NCAA without harming any innocent people.  Mark Emmert went another direction and decided to sacrifice the entire State College, PA community, essentially for a photo-op.  As shows of moral leadership go, this truly was an abject failure.

I understand the emotional nature of this subject and realize this article will receive hate messages. In reading this article, it should be clear the criminals in this case are not being defended.  Rather, another is being identified.  Please provide comments that advance the conversation citing specific articles, documents, and supporting materials.  Please do not make sweeping comments such as, “Clearly you’ve never seen/heard/experienced/had a loved one/child…”  Nobody knows what each and every reader and/or commenter of this site has experienced in their lives.  I have told friends of mine who support programs other than Ohio State of the 11W site and bragged about its intelligent members and responsible writers/posters.  That respect for 11W has been repeatedly confirmed (even by SEC fans!).  I look forward to your comments and all I ask is to keep it civil.

Comments

buck-I.8's picture

I'm not sure if this borders on politics or not, but interesting as hell, nonetheless. Good work

Bucknut-in-the-South's picture

Though it is patently unfair to Sandusky's victims to compare the two, this is remarkably similar to what OSU went through.  The NCAA seems hell-bent on punishing those most willing to cooperate with their draconian investigations, all the while refusing to look over or around the stone walls erected by schools with a less-developed sense of mea culpa.  The Penn State situation is a tragedy for all concerned, and self-righteous posturing by the emperor of college sports does not bode well for the future.

Shari C's picture

So where are all of you people out there who said, "I would have done more than Joe Paterno did."? At least Joe reported it to 2 people and followed up 2 times. How many of you have shared this information as loudly as you condemn all Penn Staters for the actions of a creepy pedophile?  This is a coverup bigger than you can EVER imagine.  Greg is tweeting about this as well; and it's extremely disturbing to hear that Freeh had knowledge of Sandusky's actions as far back as the 1970's and 1980's.  It certainly does explain a lot, though.   Whether this was a coverup by PSU officials or powerful members of a pedophile ring blaming PSU so they can carry on, this needs to be stopped.  I care about the victims and I've been begging for an investigation about this for nine months.  I never believed for a second that a man can earn a 61 year impeccable reputation of honsty and integrity "by accident".  My beliefs, though, are irrelevent.  Please share this information so these monsters are removed from our streets and our kids can finally be safe.  This is disgusting and if you don't have a strong stomach, don't read it.  It makes me ill.   http://www.crossingbroad.com/2012/08/this-guy-says-he-was-offered-200-to-have-sex-with-jerry-sandusky-in-1979-and-1980.html   CBS has covered this, and continues to cover it, but none of the other major networks have done so because ESPN hasn't reported it yet.

Did you say, "I would have done more." or "Joe should have screamed from the rooftops."?  Are you NOW screaming from the rooftops about the pedophile sex ring?  If not, you're the coward, not Joe Paterno.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

A thoughtful, passionate contrarian take on the PSU situation. I'm impressed that you read the entire 270-odd page Freeh report. I do think you "come on strong" rhetorically at times, while neglecting a few of the stronger arguments/points supporting your case.
Too strong rhetorically? I know it's a blog post (hence a permanent "rough draft"), but you veer into rant territory. The logic of your arguments doesn't support the proposition that Emmert is a "criminal." And I say that as someone who regularly refers to the "corrupt NCAA clowncar posse."
Leaving out stronger arguments? For example, you won't persuade many by pointing out that the NCAA sanctions will diminish the opportunity of PSU undergrad to enjoy "the full euphoria of her school competing nationally in anything" and the Saturday experience, etc. IMO, a better argument is that Emmert/NCAA imposed what were effectively very significant public policy measures that might have major ramifications to socioeconomic variables, impacting PSU, central PA, the entire state of PA, and beyond. And Emmert/NCAA did this with little to no public input, public deliberation, legal/legislative due process, etc.    

Pam's picture

"And Emmert/NCAA did this with little to no public input, public deliberation, legal/legislative due process, etc. "
 
But he did do it with the Presidents of the Universities input and approval.  
 

Run_Fido_Run's picture

It was reported, though, that the NCAA was threatening a four year death penalty - which is virtually a gun to the head.
Besides, the powers of PSU execs are probably legally constrained in certain ways (although I'm not familiar with how that works). For example, hypothetically, let's say E. Gordon Gee and the OSU Board of Trustees decided that Ohio State would donate $100 million to the Boys and Girls Club of America - Can they do that without going through the Ohio legislature?  

rdubs's picture

But they couldn't have threatened that without the presidents' approval.  The threat was to obtain PSU's acquiescence and to destroy any bargaining position they might have had.  But it was a threat that had the approval of the other college presidents.

Shari C's picture

...or it was a threat designed to make this all go away before the whole truth is revealed. 

Did you say, "I would have done more." or "Joe should have screamed from the rooftops."?  Are you NOW screaming from the rooftops about the pedophile sex ring?  If not, you're the coward, not Joe Paterno.

spqr2008's picture

I actually approved of this penalty for one reason alone.  I realize that Penn State cooperated in a way most institutions would not have, and that the NCAA's punishment for them is excessive, I also realize that the moral authority of the NCAA took a huge hit with this decision, as Penn State fans realize what Ohio State fans know:  the NCAA cares only for power and money, not right or wrong, and will do anything to either maintain the status quo, or expand its reach.  Emmert really over reached with this decision, and will face the consequences.  Next NCAA scandal that hits, I'm going to personally call up the compliance officers and state that I have information for them, then stonewall them and waste their time, because I have no respect for the NCAA's moral authority.  They are a private organization that I never signed up to be a part of, and I'll be damned if I help to perpetuate their illegal and monopolistic tatics.

Pam's picture

The NCAA will not make one dime from the penalties they levied on PSU. Yes, they are a private organization however, membership is voluntary and every school did sign up to be part of. Any power they have was given to them by their members. The PSU case as Emmert pointed out, is unprecedented and called for unprecedented punishment. The presidents agreed and gave him the power to sanction PSU as heavily as he did. He had a lot of support.

Shari C's picture

No, but someone who's a friend of Emmert will be appointed to manage those funds...at most likely a very generous compensation package.   The NCAA willl get something out of this, rest assured.

Did you say, "I would have done more." or "Joe should have screamed from the rooftops."?  Are you NOW screaming from the rooftops about the pedophile sex ring?  If not, you're the coward, not Joe Paterno.

Pam's picture

OMG you are nuts. Please Please go away

Shari C's picture

Ask why the NCAA hasn't acted against Syracuse, the Citadel, etc., etc.  Emmert was TOLD to act against PSU by very powerful people involved in the coverup of a pedophile sex ring that is currently being relocated to Texas.  Pennsylvania has become too intensive for them with all the federal investigations right now.  Anyone remember The Catholic Church relocations????  This will not go away unless all are exposed.  Jerry Sandusky was not operating alone.  Joe Paterno was not a part of this.  I'm not sure about Curley, Schultz and Spanier, but as far as Joe goes, I'm not buying the media garbage.  There is not one shred of evidence against Joe Paterno and until I see some, he gets the benefit of the doubt from me.  At least he said, "with the benefit of hindsight, I wish I'd done more" which is far more than any other single individual has said since this story broke.  Even with that being said, he should NOT have done more than he did.  There are trained professionals who are supposed to handle investigations and to deal with questioning victims and suspects.  Joe didn't have the proper training and I surely wouldn't have wanted him to question my child without proper training.  Greg Bucceroni is the number one enemy of some very powerful politicians and peophiles.

Did you say, "I would have done more." or "Joe should have screamed from the rooftops."?  Are you NOW screaming from the rooftops about the pedophile sex ring?  If not, you're the coward, not Joe Paterno.

buck-I.8's picture

You made an account solely to defend JoePa? Please stay at BSD

Pam's picture

Seriously. smh

hodge's picture

Good read.  I can tell you're very passionate on the subject, but I have a few comments to make:

  • Penn State's "unprecedented" $60 Million fine is going to go towards a new charity that the NCAA is creating for sexual abuse victims.
  • You're right that this case does focus on four individuals who collectively committed one heinous act.  Though it is worth also mentioning that the Freeh Report's findings also indicate that said individuals perjured  themselves before a grand jury.  They all mentioned that they had no knowledge of Sandusky being investigated in '98.  
  • Emmert is not punishing the institution for a mere "photo op".  You are correct to assert that it was probably somewhat fueled by public support; but you also equate the institution's penalties to be the result of child rape on campus--which is not accurate.  Penn State's institutional punishment is being levied because of the fact that four men were able to act completely autonimously in committing a federal crime of not reporting suspected child abuse.
  • It's also worth noting that for every article proclaiming Paterno's lack of allies and influence in State College, I can find 20 proclaiming the opposite.

Penn State's being punished because of the fact that these four men--of which two were directly linked to the Athletic Department--were not held accountable to the Board of Trustees, compliance, or any other institutional branch: that is the very definition of a "cultural problem".  For example, imagine what would have happened if Gene Smith and Gordon Gee were found to have also known about TatGate; we'd have been publicly eviscerated.  I know it's not fair (and I, for one, feel for their fans--they did nothing wrong here), but the unfortunate reality is that program sanctions are the NCAA's only weapon towards making a real statement.  That statement is clear: never can an institutional failure like this ever be tolerated: in the end the NCAA will take away the very root of the department's power.  In this case, it meant Penn State football.
It's not going to stop child rape, but the NCAA's wrath is being felt nationwide, and I can bet you that athletic departments and BOTs all over the country are going to get the message that this cannot be allowed to happen again.

NW Buckeye's picture

Hodge,  Nice comment.  I was going to do a little write up, but you summed up most of my feelings.  The only thing I would add is that we could also find at least 20 notable persons supporting the NCAA's penalties for every notable person cited in disagreement with them.  This includes some on the PSU faculty, including Malcom Moran - noted sports columnist holding a chair in journalism at PSU. 
Also, along the lines of NCAA sanctions - what institutional sanctions has the NCAA ever levied that have not hurt the innocents?  Deshaun points out that the PSU sanctions will affect many who had nothing to do with the actual crime.  That may be so, but what about the sanctions at tOSU?  The same can be said.  The reduction of scholarships will hurt PSU more than the athletes who would receive those scholarships as they will most probably just accept scholarships at other schools.  I'm sure you could make the case that most recruits at a prestigious program like Penn State would be welcomed at any number of other schools.  Same thing can be said of tOSU's reduction in scholarships. 
In short, I really don't get where Deshaun is coming from.  This was not the NCAA piling on PSU.  It was the NCAA doing what the NCAA does.  They needed to take action on this.  To sit by and do nothing would be as bad as the original "do nothing" by the main four men involved. 

Shari C's picture

That's why the Freeh Report findings should not be believed.  The men who "perjured themselves" don't even go to trial until January of 2013.  How could Freeh find as a fact that anyone perjured himself when there hasn't been a trial on that issue to date?  As for Sandusky, he will burn in hell, as well he should.  Here's to hoping he starts singing about the other pedophiles...  As for the perjury charges, only 2 men have been charged.  Joe Paterno was "commended for his handling of the entire situation" by Linda Kelly.  She didn't change her position until Corbutt and Noonan started blaming Joe for not doing enough "morally".  Noonan is the Commissioner of the PA State Police.  Doesn't it seem strange to anyone that a state police commissioner would condemn someone for obeying the written law and instead call for people to act on their own "morals"?

Did you say, "I would have done more." or "Joe should have screamed from the rooftops."?  Are you NOW screaming from the rooftops about the pedophile sex ring?  If not, you're the coward, not Joe Paterno.

johnblairgobucks's picture

you should probably be e-mailing your beliefs to law enforcement, john walsh or michael moore.  until facts of such things come out in the press, you'll have a hard time finding a supporting audience here.

Poison nuts's picture

Good read - misses mark IMHO - see comments above...still this is an impressive written argument!

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

rdubs's picture

I think what most people have missed and what Emmert did a poor job of explaining is why the culture needed changing.  I agree that it wasn't a win at all costs football program.  But the football program still held a higher place than it warranted and the lack of internal controls and checks and balances led to a misplaced balance of power.  When Joe can convince his superiors that he shouldn't be fired or that they should treat a pedophile "humanely" without regard to the victims, he has too much influence at the university.  
Was this cover up perpetrated to win more games?  NO!  Was it perpetrated to protect the image of the football program at the expense of the overall university community?  ABSOLUTELY!
That is the culture that needed changing.

hodge's picture

This is what I said, as well.  Though, it is worth mentioning that we have no "Smoking Gun" that proves that Paterno did it for the football program, all we have is conjecture.  In my opinion, that's the biggest argument against Emmert's involvement: we don't really know why they did it, aside from Paterno calling it more "humane".
I'm still in agreement with you, though, that the fact that Paterno could make that call--and that there existed no checks on those four men's authority--is symbolic of a systemic organizational culture run amok.  

rdubs's picture

I guess I choose to think that he covered stuff up to protect the football program as a way of giving him the benefit of the doubt since you are right there isn't a "smoking gun".  The only other option is that he covered it up to protect his friend who was shown multiple times to have pedophilic tendencies.  That would be much more damning to me.

jamesmonfort's picture

We will never know why Paterno did what he did.  If he squashed this to protect his program and his boys then God have mercy on his soul.  If he was an old man out of touch with what should be done in a real world, God love him and forgive his ignorance.  Unfortunately many have the sense that if you ignore the situation it just might go away.  Now for those that were in higher places, Curley and Schultz, they were administrators that should have known the correct way to handle the situation.  You can't tell me that Sandusky's were the only claims of inappropriate sexual behavior by members of the Penn State Faculty in their tenure.  I would imagine those were handled appropriately.  It just so happened this was male on male and the victim'd were children.  Makes people feel uncomfortable.  Get rid of Jerry and it might go away.  The Catholic Church did that for years.  Now they are reaping the fruits of that thought process and have paid out millions in settlements and some of those that fostered that mentality are now in jail.
At first I was ok with the sanctions but now have to rethink and believe the NCAA overstepped its bounds and is now on a slippery slope.  What do you do with Miami?  If we think the NCAA has been a kangaroo court before you better hang on to you backsides.
Should have been handled in the criminal and civil courts.      

Shari C's picture

Your comments are largely the reason why I always cheer for OSU...when you're not playing PSU that is.  Everyone should stop and think about this.  Something smells very fishy about this whole story.  Sandusky is scum, absolutely no doubt.  Curley and Schultz, I'm just not sure.  I'll wait for the trial to see the evidence on them.  Spanier, again, I'm just not sure.  I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach about this whole thing.  The only thing you said that I question is "why Joe Paterno did what he did".  Joe reported this to Curley and Schultz.  He followed up with them a few weeks later.  He followed up with McQueary a few months later.  Would someone who was covering something have reported it to the head of the police?  That just doesn't make sense and yet there is zero doubt that Joe DID report it and DID follow up.  That evidence is out, although not discussed much on ESPN and its copycat media networks, it was briefly mentoned, sort of in passing.  Now, of course, Greg Bucceroni has come forward and the only network covering his story is CBS, at least to my knowledge.  Of course I no longer watch ESPN and never will again until it apologizes for the horrific mistruths reported about this horrible sequence of events.  I am not a PSU graduate, but I fully support all Penn Staters right now.  My heart breaks for those who have been assaulted at Walmarts in Florida for having a PSU bumper sticker on their cars, for those who have had their doors smached in and permanent black marker obscenities about PSU written all over their cars, and for those who have been called pedophile enablers because they do not support the firing of a 61-year employee of PSU without one shred of evidence that he did anything wrong...and in fact much evidence that he did everything he should have done.  Something definitely smells funny and I'm betting if Greg Bucceroni doesn't disappear like Ray Gricar did or doesn't end up dead, execution style, like a US Attorney did.....we may soon know the ugly and horrific truth about some very well-known and very powerful people.

Did you say, "I would have done more." or "Joe should have screamed from the rooftops."?  Are you NOW screaming from the rooftops about the pedophile sex ring?  If not, you're the coward, not Joe Paterno.

Maestro's picture

Not much to add to the comments except that I am now going to be haunted by that picture of Dragon Lady forever.  Yikes !!!!!!

vacuuming sucks

schooey's picture

This whole "culture" thing bothers me, way too vague. It is used as a catch-all in this whole debate. "The penalties were fair because the whole football culture there needs to change." They had a very powerful coach. They have a fanatic fan base. They have a small isolated population. Etc. Etc. People keep grasping for the all encompassing "CULTURE" that explains why this could only happen at PSU. 
The NCAA did not make the culture case and no one here has either, in my opinion. The NCAA overstepped its authority in using the Freeh report and not doing their own investigation, and not laying out sanctions in terms of NCAA violations. It looks like they are more interested in appeasing the mobs than upholding their own standards. 
In short: The NCAA was and still is a joke. 

rdubs's picture

Emmert did admit that the Freeh report was much more comprehensive than anything the NCAA could have afforded to do.

Shari C's picture

I think you got it!  I still think Freeh is behind Emmert's sanctions and ironcally, according to Greg Buccieroni, Freeh knew about Sandusky back in 1970's and 1980's when he was working for the FBI.  If he sat on the information, maybe that's why his report only went back to 1998, when DA Gricar refused to bring charges after Children & Youth turned the allegations over to Department of Public Welfare.  I guess he wouldn't have wanted to expose himself....

Did you say, "I would have done more." or "Joe should have screamed from the rooftops."?  Are you NOW screaming from the rooftops about the pedophile sex ring?  If not, you're the coward, not Joe Paterno.

Pam's picture

Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here.

buck-I.8's picture

I just gagged. Can I impose the vigilante banhammer, or is that not a thing?

Pam's picture

If there isn't there should be. This kind of crazy is definetly banhammer worthy

Shari C's picture

Greg Bucceroni is a police officer and a victim's advocate.  I doubt he's crazy, but we already know Sandusky is just a bit "off" shall we say?

Did you say, "I would have done more." or "Joe should have screamed from the rooftops."?  Are you NOW screaming from the rooftops about the pedophile sex ring?  If not, you're the coward, not Joe Paterno.

buck-I.8's picture

Can you please get a bit "off" our board? Thanks

Crimson's picture

I was going to post a comment that I disagree.  Honestly though, I was fine reading the Freeh report, but I just couldn't make it through your article.  I think I hit 10%, including reading your concluding paragraph.  Therefore, I'll skip disagreeing with references to the Freeh report about the things Paterno, Spanier, Curley, and Shultz did wrong.

Colby3333's picture

Great read!  You hit the nail on the head.  So many want to rely on what they hear from a media story/circus and take it as The Gospel.  Read the report and fact check for yourself before being influenced by another's opinion.  We must all become conspiracy theorists.....why?  Because when money is involved, everyone has an agenda.  How does everyone feel about setting around and watching reports on this stuff for hours and hours while at the same time feeding the belly of the beast.......ESPN, ABC, etc.  They (the networks) are all making money through this 24 hour none stop coverage because people are fascinated by it and they know it.  That is why it is political and that is why I will ONLY watch Buckeye games this year.  I refuse to set around and watch game after game like I used to enjoy.  College football has turned into NASCAR on astroturf.  WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!.  The networks and the powers that be run the show and they take it laughing all of the way to the bank.  Why support this crap?  That is the real issue here.  The narrative is being portrayed and dictated by the media and the overwhelming majority takes the bait everytime.  Don't become an innocent victim.......because on the largest of scales......that is what this article really is about.  Not just Penn State University, community and locals being hurt in this punishment, we are all being hurt in this punishment. 

Maestro's picture

My opinion hasn't been changed much by the Freeh report to be honest.  As soon as I heard Paterno claim that he had done all he needed to do by passing the buck to his bosses I knew he was slime.  Then the Freeh Report/Paterno's contract renegotiations came to light.  Confirmed yet again...Paterno=slime.

vacuuming sucks

Colby3333's picture

Totally agree....

Shari C's picture

If you attended OSU, then you didn't read the Freeh Report.  You did what most people did, you just read his summary.  If you read the whole report, you'd find that his summary is not supported by the evidence.  OSU puts out more intelligent people than that, so I'm pretty sure you didn't take the time or effort to read it all.  They banked on those just like you.  People who don't have a personal connection tend to not investigate the facts.  The pedophiles are still out there though.  I guess I could ignore that too since they're relocating to Texas and won't be in my backyard anymore.  When I consider doing that, I feel like heaving.  They need to be stopped and the only way to stop them is for people to talk about this ad share the facts....not the media spin....the facts.  Search Greg Bucceroni and read his tweets and read his story.

Did you say, "I would have done more." or "Joe should have screamed from the rooftops."?  Are you NOW screaming from the rooftops about the pedophile sex ring?  If not, you're the coward, not Joe Paterno.

Pam's picture

I graduated from OSU and read the Freeh Report, every stomach churning word of it.  My question is: Did you?

Shari C's picture

Not only did I read it, but I also read all of the reports analyzing it.  I guarantee you, there is nothing about this story you will tell me that I haven't read.  Reporting something does not make it fact, and I'm pretty sure you already know that.  Jumping the gun to makea story go away is not the right way to get to the bottom of things.  Someone, a whole bunch of someones, wants this story to go away.  We want the truth and if the truth proves Joe Paterno covered up for Sandusky, then I'll admit I was wrong.  I just won't condemn anyone without evidence.

Did you say, "I would have done more." or "Joe should have screamed from the rooftops."?  Are you NOW screaming from the rooftops about the pedophile sex ring?  If not, you're the coward, not Joe Paterno.

NC_Buckeye's picture

I'm very suspicious of Deshaun, the author of this post. Member since: 6/28/2012. Hasn't posted anything since this submission. And repeats every lame argument that I've seen on BSD (which are infinitely superior to the downright offensive arguments I've seen there).
Initially I didn't read this because of its length. But since it's still listed under Recent Blog Posts and Mike Jones (Iowa writer on OTE) linked to it on OTE's 8/1 Ten at Ten, I went ahead and read this monster. To quote Mike "Eleven Warriors has an excellent piece on how Mark Emmert missed the mark with the Penn State sanctions." My problem with that assessment is that I suspect Deshaun is a Penn State fan who created an account to specifically post this defense of his school. Whatever.
Many of the commentors above do an adequate job of addressing why this post is full of shite.  The only thing I will add is this. The more that comes out of State College and the Paterno family, the more I feel that this punishment was appropriate and fair. Deshaun, people are outraged that this COVER-UP occurred by people who continually preached about doing the right thing. People who continuously threw their sanctimony in the face of everyone outside of State College as if we didn't measure up to their standards. Obviously we didn't. Ours are higher.
And as far as the victims. Shame on you Deshaun. You and the BSDers use them as a debate tool to deflect peoples attention from the role that PSU culture played in their victimization. I hope they find peace someday. I also hope they drain Penn State's endowment of every last penny (and the Paterno estate as well).

buck-I.8's picture

You might be on to something here, his only other post was a broad comment about the B1G

Deshaun's picture

NC Buckeye, I understand your skepticism based on the length of my 11W membership.  I’ve been an avid reader of this site for about 2 years now, and have generally felt this was the best location for Buckeye coverage in the country.  Only recently have I felt the need to become an active participant of this site.  I have, however, commented a number of times on the Columbus Dispatch site.  While I am a fan of all things OSU (watched everything from OSU lacrosse to the NCAA fencing championships at French Field House and St John Arena), my primary interest lies in the business of college athletics.  My all-time favorite 11W article is The Smartest Guys in the Room.
I agree the article was long.  I apologize ahead of time as any future blog posts will likely be of similar length.  My intent is not to bore, but to share ideas and opinions with informed fans.  I find this to be one of the best such venues in the country.  I haven’t been let down by the largely reasoned and civil discussion in the comments.
Regarding this specific article, the arguments made have been supported by articles and statistics.  Which argument(s) do you find “lame” and/or “full of shite (sic)?”  By obliterating Penn State football, Mark Emmert has ignored the real criminals (Sandusky, Curley, Shultz, debatably Spanier and Paterno), taken the focus off Sandusky’s victims, and only punished the innocent (local business owners who depend on fall Saturdays in a down economy, members of the PSU academic community who will see lower alumni donations, every PSU student, every athlete in any other sport depending on football funds for sustenance, current players, coaches, and support staff).  Again, how many lost scholarships does it cost to unrape a child?  There was a way to render a ruling which would both assist the victims and prevent future child abuse, as outlined in 4b.  Mr. Emmert’s actions did neither. (I know, $60M to some unnamed outside charity. We’ll see if that helps.)  If there is an argument for Mr. Emmert’s actions other than the four addressed, I’m listening.
I’m not a “BSDer,” a Penn Stater, or even a Joe Paterno worshiper.  I’m just someone who thought a person who had actually read the evidence in the Freeh Report needed to say something.  So far it seems we’d only heard from media with an obvious financial incentive for bias or those who didn’t read it but simply accepted the aforementioned biased story as “news.”

Pam's picture

Emmert didn't obliterate PSU football.  Football will be played on Saturdays in the fall. It could have been much worse.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I think Deshaun meant that Emmert figuratively obliterated PSU football, not that Emmert literally did so.
We won't know whether - or to what extent - Emmert figuratively obliterated PSU football for years to come. As the NCAA explicitly stated, the penalties were "unprecedented," so no precedents (or "case studies") by which to gauge potential impacts on the program.
If PSU goes from being one of the most valuable, most competitive football programs in 1A to being Rutgers, that would be a heavy decline. If PSU becomes something akin to Minnesota or even Youngstown State - even if only for 5-10 years or so - that is, figuratively speaking, obliteration.

Deshaun's picture

Thank you, run-fido-run, for more accurately explaining what I was trying to say.

NC_Buckeye's picture

Deshaun, I've got some deadlines due so won't have time to respond today. Hopefully tonight though.

Crimson's picture

Sandusky deserves anything he gets.  Curley and Schultz were active in the coverup.  Spanier was active in the coverup, but if you want to argue about this, it could be for two reasons; he could be just like Curley and Schultz, or he could be incompetent in doing his job; he revealed nothing to the trustees, which is his job; he is making his case that he was incompetent, so if you're giving him the benefit of the doubt, this is it.  Finally, while there is no evidence that JoePa was active in the coverup from the emails, it is an entirely reasonable conclusion that he knew, or should have known, that Sandusky was a child predator.
These are my conclusions from the Freeh report.  You can say what you want about reporters and the general public.

NW Buckeye's picture

DeShaun, Your attack of the process has more to do with the way the NCAA deals with any institutional fiasco than a systematic targeting of Penn State.  Please name one other school that has received NCAA sanctions where most of the burden is not on the innocents (remaining coaches, players, vendors, etc.).  This is the way the NCAA works.  It is not perfect, but it is the only recourse they have as an association to control it's members.  The real intent of the sanctions is as a deterrent - keep all the other members in line to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. 
I am aware that there are many who believe our criminal justice system does little to deter crime.  It is set up to protect the victims and punish the perpetrators, not so much deter future crimes from other individuals.  However, there definitely is a deterrent factor to the enforcement of laws and the administration of punishment.  You can prove that simply by asking people about speeding tickets - do people observe speed limits because they think they are a good idea (some will say yes) or do they do so because they don't want a huge fine and subsequent bump on their insurance? (more will say yes)  It is my belief that there really is some validity to the deterrence of enforcing laws and doling out punishments. 
The NCAA does not have the luxury of using penalties against individuals as deterrents.  Coaches simply jump to another venue (league) to continue their careers.  Administrators grab jobs in the private sector or some with a government agency.  Players get hurt the worst, but they can continue playing in some capacity.  Had the NCAA not issued sanctions against tOSU and merely punished the individuals involved in tatgate the Buckeyes would be right back on top of things with Urban, and the school would feel very little in the way of repercussions.  However, with the sanctions they imposed against tOSU the hurt for the institution is very real and will hopefully act as a deterrent for not only tOSU, but for every other member institution. 
Your rant (sorry, but that long of a post gets that label, just as this reply does!) could very easily be about any school that has ever received NCAA sanctions.  And, for what it is worth, I did read the Freeh report, and there was plenty of information there for the NCAA to act upon.  Read some of the other posts concerning this whole mess.  The NCAA does not operate like our legal system.  The due process you speak of is more in line with how our courts operate.  There's nothing like "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" or other legal concepts needed by the NCAA to levy a verdict. 
Most people who think this oversteps the NCAA's authority are claiming that Mr. Paterno really did not know what was going on with Mr. Sandusky and had nothing to do the the cover up.  Therefore it was not a football matter.  Well, the AD knew of it, the VP knew of it, and the Pres. knew of it.  And, I can not imagine this magnitude of a cover up (or any cover up for that matter) for an employee of any other department at PSU raping little boys.  So, in my mind, and the minds of a vast majority of people across this country, this most definitely was about FOOTBALL at PSU.  And, even without Mr. Paterno's involvement there is enough damning evidence for the NCAA to issue institutional sanctions against the football team.  
It really is my feeling that Mr Emmert did not tragically miss the mark.  However you, DeShaun, and many other PSU extremists do tragically miss the mark.   
I would really like you to respond to my one question - "What institutional sanctions has the NCAA ever issued that have not hurt the innocents more than the perpetrators?" 

NC_Buckeye's picture

Well thought out, well written response NW.

Deshaun's picture

Is the argument that any disciplinary action on the part of the NCAA (in any case, not just Penn State) must be damaging to the athletic program in question?  If so, I flatly reject that premise. So many people fall into the trap of thinking of these situations in linear fashion. The spectrum of potential penalties ranges from simple admonishment to some combination of fines, scholarship reductions, postseason bans, and/or regular season restrictions. In reality, there is often a third (more effective) option people are not considering.
Severe punishment with the intent to prevent future violators has never worked in the history of the NCAA, regardless of the severity of penalties. It didn’t work when a major college basketball point-shaving scandal cancelled Kentucky basketball for the 1952-53 season. The same program received a two year postseason ban, one year TV ban, scholarship restrictions, and a fine in 1989 for academic fraud and payment of recruits. As recently as this past decade, an extensive point-shaving scandal involved both Toledo football and basketball. One of the most severe penalties in NCAA history failed to change the culture of Kentucky basketball or eradicate point shaving from collegiate athletics.
In 1992, Auburn got in trouble for boosters and coaches illegally paying football players such as Eric Ramsey. Sound familiar? It should. Despite the TV ban and 2 year postseason ban, Auburn was back to old habits a decade later. (Plus, where did Cecil Newton’s church renovation funds come from?) Not to mention this was a mere five years after the NCAA felt compelled to “eliminate a program that was built on a legacy of wrongdoing, deceit and rule violations” in SMU. The list goes on and on. In the interest of expediency, let’s just say these are ten of the worst offenders.
The NCAA is routinely taking the wrong approach and it isn’t working. The Hammurabi approach of using brutal punishments as a deterrent to future violators is overly simplistic and has not accomplished the desired results. Name one illegal practice that has been eradicated by severe punishment to another program. Pop Warner knowingly used ineligible players (Jim Thorpe and others) at Carlisle in 1912. Georgia Tech knowingly played an ineligible player in 2009. Some programs rebound (Kentucky basketball), others die (CCNY basketball), but the culture of trying to gain an advantage in college athletics always remains.
The NCAA thought process seems to be as follows: “School X violated our rules. Let’s make an example of them. Okay, those penalties didn’t deter anyone because School Y just violated the same rule. Let’s hit them harder!” However, so long as they keep score, people have always and will always want to win. Regardless of the severity of penalties, those affiliated with athletic programs (from athletic directors to rogue boosters) will look for an advantage. We know this because it keeps happening, despite NCAA punishments to programs too numerous to mention.
Is anyone suggesting the NCAA simply let rules violators go? Of course not. But perhaps the time has come to use productive and constructive measures rather than punitive and destructive ones. In this case, the NCAA has an opportunity to positively impact a campus, state, and a major social issue. Does anyone really think any of Sandusky’s victims awoke the 24th of July feeling emotionally recovered because Mark Emmert whacked Bill O’Brien’s program and Penn State the day before? As the article said, "By using football penalties as the currency by which Penn State must repay Jerry Sandusky’s victims, Mark Emmert has callously ignored the very victims he claims to be standing up for, and refocused the issue on football. How many lost scholarships does it cost to unrape a child?" Mark Emmert had an opportunity to make a difference for those victims and child sex abuse in general. He whiffed.
In a typical NCAA violation case, a logical system would include appropriate penalties for those responsible (show cause penalties for coaches/administrators, suspensions for players, banishment for boosters from any contact with any NCAA program or events, etc), and corrective actions for institutions with failing cultures (funneling of resources to situationally appropriate philanthropic enterprises, a series of in-depth compliance reports filed with the NCAA, etc) would make more sense. Assistant coaches looking at multi-year show-cause penalties and players facing the prospect of multi-game suspensions/ineligibility are already maximally motivated not to violate NCAA rules. Does anyone really think they would be more deterred from committing a violation by a potential postseason ban to the school they will no longer be working/playing for? Logic dictates they would not.
Was if fair for Jim Tressel to receive a 5 year show-cause penalty and be fired forced to resign forced to retire for his role in the cover-up? As much as I hate to admit it, yes it probably was. Does it make sense that we (I understand I am a fan and not an actual member of the team. It still feels like “we” are being punished.) are serving a postseason ban in 2012 when anyone remotely affiliated with the violations in question has either graduated, transferred, taken jobs elsewhere, or are otherwise no longer with the program? Absolutely not. If a missed postseason experience is the required remuneration for the violations in question, a more appropriate course of action would be to suspend the applicable players for a number of regular season games (happened) in addition to the 2011 bowl game (did not happen). Does the 2012 bowl ban make it less likely the Urban Meyer regime will commit a major NCAA violation? Will a random school like Mississippi State be less likely? It is highly unlikely this ban will have any impact on this coaching staff’s decision making process with regard to NCAA rules adherence.
With regard to the Penn State case specifically, this is quite an abnormal circumstance. First of all, it has been well documented no NCAA bylaws were broken by Penn State. Mark Emmert has reached on bylaw 10, Ethical Conduct, to claim jurisdiction. Bylaw 10 covers such items as wagering, sportsmanship, and banned drugs. However, the crimes of Jerry Sandusky were so abhorrent Mr. Emmert felt compelled (pressured by the media and subsequent public outrage) to act. Mark Emmert could have put a lifetime show-cause penalty on Tim Curley and sanctioned the athletic department of any NCAA institution who hired any of these men. This would make sense and would not trivialize the real victims by reducing their pain to football penalties. He could have implemented significant corrective measures that would both burden Penn State (tens of millions of dollars plus significant man-hours donated to victims of child sex abuse) and have a positive impact on victims of child abuse everywhere. That would have grabbed the attention of potential violators while creating a net-positive rather than a double-negative. Think of all the good the corrective measures in 4b could do.
NW Buckeye, you make a compelling argument regarding severe punishment as a deterrent and I respect your opinion. Thank you for taking the time to formulate your thoughts on this matter. While I understand where you are coming from, I respectfully disagree on a few points.
I believe this case is tailor-made for constructive corrective measures and penalties against individuals (who, by the way, are currently facing criminal charges) without harming innocents more than the perpetrators. I don’t care how the NCAA has handled discipline in the past because the logic is flawed and it doesn’t seem to be working. How many student-athletes received impermissible benefits last year alone? How much sleep is Gary Shultz losing over Penn State’s bowl ban in the face of his upcoming criminal trial? The target the NCAA should have been aiming for was to do anything possible to help Sandusky’s victims recover while preventing child sex abuse in the future. Mark Emmert decided to disregard the victims and instead focused on punishing Penn State football. In my opinion, he missed the mark.
{On a semi-related note, people do not obey speed limits. Driving five minutes on any section of 270 (or any other road) reveals the existence of multiple speeders. Some get caught. Most don’t. Regardless of how high fines get, people keep speeding. At least speeding tickets are issued to the violators themselves rather than all auto owners.}

Crimson's picture

You cannot drive with an open container or with pot in your car.  Even if it isn't yours, you get in trouble as the driver (see Dunn, Bri'onte).  If you get punished because of what someone in your car does, then this is a case of punishing the innocent.  Same thing goes with people not buckling up.  Are these laws ill advised too?  They aren't made by the NCAA, but by the government.
For a more ludacris example, a man kills someone and goes to prison.  His wife and children starve.  They are innocent, so why are they being punished?  I really think the "We Are, Innocent" thing is getting old.
(again, I did not read most of your post.  Seriously, it's twice as long as what you replied to, and over a page long!)

NW Buckeye's picture

DeShaun,  You and I will continue to disagree on this.  The more that I see the vicious compliance coming out of HV, the more I think they should have been given 2 full years off.  This is the most disgusting scandal ever in all of college sports.  You will never convince me that if it were not for PSU football that there would have been a cover up of this magnitude. 
I bleed scarlet and gray, but if these same events had happened at tOSU, I would not be surprised by these same sanctions handed down by the NCAA.  And, most certainly, I would not be seeking support for appealing the sanctions or bringing suit against the NCAA.  If anything I would be doing everything I could to insure that these things never happen again. 
You point out that NCAA violations continue to occur despite sanctions handed down by the NCAA.  Well, gee, people continue to breath as well.  Yes, violations will occur, but I will guarantee you that more time is spent on complying with NCAA rules than trying to break them.  Every University has a compliance office, and for the most part they bend over backwards to try to follow the rules.  Why?  Because they don't want institutional sanctions.  If there were no consequences because of sanctions, the violations would far outnumber the examples you point out in your post.  Don't tell me sanctions / legal penalties don't work as a deterrent.  You will never convince me of that. 
I have Varsity O season tickets.  As stated above, I bleed scarlet and gray.  Every year I must sign a compliance letter to let the University know that I voluntarily comply with NCAA rules.  And, I make sure that I do actually comply.  Sure I would love to be able to influence great HS players to attend tOSU.  But, I don't.  I would love to congratulate current Buckeyes on a great game played and maybe buy them a drink or pay for a meal, but I don't.  And, although I pride myself on being ethical, the biggest reason that I make sure there is absolutely nothing questionable about my conduct is because of the consequences of inappropriate behavior.  Should I do anything connected with tOSU athletics that is even remotely unethical or against NCAA regs and get caught, I know that I will never be allowed into another tOSU sporting event again, and it could negatively impact the University that I admire.  And, I know many other fans who feel the same way I do.  That, my friend, is deterrence.  But, I guess it must not work that way for you.