Adam Rittenberg reports "Ex-PSU players, coach appealing sanctions"

NC_Buckeye's picture
August 7, 2012 at 9:57p

The group on Tuesday filed an appeal of the consent decree imposed upon Penn State, challenging the manner in which the consent decree was reached and accusing the NCAA of violating its own bylaws in handing down the punitive penalties against the football program. The former players, part of Penn State's Letterman's Club, all competed between 1998-2011, the period where all Penn State wins were vacated as part of the NCAA's sanctions.


The eight ex-players are: Michael Robinson (2001-05); Anwar Phillips (2001-05); Josh Gaines (2004-08); Shamar Finney (1998-2002); Richard Gardner (1999-2003); Gerald Cadogan (2004-08); Anthony Adams (1998-2002) and Justin Kurpeikis (1996-2000). Former Penn State assistant Bill Kenney, who worked on the staff full-time from 1988-2011, also signed the appeal.

The appeal challenges the validity of the Freeh Report and the NCAA's use of it in place of a standard investigation into Penn State. Much of the focus seems to be on the vacated wins.


From the appeal:
"... despite an express finding in the consent decree that 'no student-athlete is responsible for these [Sandusky-related] events," the NCAA decided nonetheless to 'vacate all wins of the Penn State football team from 1998 to 2011.' This sanction is unreasonable, excessive, unprecedented, and constitutes an indignity to the men who honorably fulfilled their responsibilities as student-athletes and coaches at Penn State under Coach Joe Paterno during this time period. If a primary intended purpose of the sanctions is to attempt to change the culture at Penn State and 'realign it in a sustainable fashion with expected norms and values of intercollegiate athletics,' these sanctions not only miss the mark, but they inflict permanent damage to an entire generation of student-athletes ..."


You know what? I think I'm going to appeal the decree as well. On account that the sanctions weren't crazy enough. I want NCAA to force Penn State to wash that tattered pillowcase they call a mascot.

Anyone else want to appeal this sucker?

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Foss's picture

If I ever had a #2 team to root for, it was Penn State and Joe Pa.  A part of college football has been forever tainted due to this.  I originally felt for the school, the fans, the students, Bill O'Brien even.
Now, as each day passes I find myself more apathetic.  They keep crying about being punished for nothing...but I think the school needs to be nuked by the NCAA, just to snuff out this cult.  This whole "who cares what happened to children, we just want our football team to be fine" mentality is just disgusting.  That's why there should be a cleansing.

Bucks43201's picture

I saw that, too. Here is a link from the Centre Daily Times, (the best part is the zombie comments below):

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

The Vest-er's picture


Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.

flipbuckeye's picture

In fairness, Marie really needs to shut up.

The Vest-er's picture

Totally agree.

Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless.

Poison nuts's picture

And she did finally shut least for a minute anyway.

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

LouGroza's picture

Ok. Go back to the original 4 year death penalty and forget it. Kick them out of the B1G and be done with it. Then they can appeal the 4 year death penalty AND getting booted. It will give them something to do without football for those years. Damn idiots.

Doc's picture

NC, the comment about the mascot being washed is funny shit right there.  Thanks for the chuckle this a.m..
I agree with you.  Let's appeal this thing stating it wasn't harsh enough and that they need to be nuked into the next decade.  Then file an appeal with Emperor Delaney insisiting their removal from the conference.  That at least makes more sense than PSU's side of things. 

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

BukFan's picture

yea, what do they want "Due process"?  Where do they think they are?  The United States of America?  I mean, the NCAA got all they needed from ESPN, SI, and the Freeh Report...who needs to hear their defense?  
Lesson to all schools...Don't EVER investigate yourself!!  The country will beat you with your own bat.  Ask Montana....or Penn..ok.. bad example.

hodge's picture

No, Penn State's defense was the Freeh Report--something that Erickson bartered with Emmert to prevent him from conducting a full-scale investigation  once the initial grand-jury report dropped.  This situation required timely action, something the NCAA is not good at doing, so they agreed to not pursue any kind of investigation until Penn State finished their own internal probe--provided they shared their findings with the NCAA.  Well, the NCAA saw that the report was far more thorough than they could have ever come close to accomplishing, and decided to use its findings to base its sanctions from.  Funny, I don't see people flipping out that the DOE is going to use these same findings to nail PSU for not complying with federal crime-disclosure requirements.  Regardless of the conspiring four's intentions, they so unfathomably failed in their ethical responsibilites to the NCAA that the institution merited drastic corrective action for allowing said individuals to act unilaterally: damaging the NCAA and college athletics as a whole.
And due process?  Where does the NCAA necessitate that?  Penn State already told the NCAA that they could use the Freeh Report's findings, and now memebers of the BOT are upset that it found serious fault with their institution?  The NCAA has as much business giving institutions due process as private businesses do giving their employees freedom of speech.  Just because the Constitution mandates our government uphold said rights of its citizens, it does not mean that those rights trickle down into every facet of American life.  My government may allow me to be exeptionally profane by not throwing me in jail, but I'll still be fired from my job for it.

Pam's picture

I saw a tweet from Rittenberg that says the NCAA considers the Freeh report  a "self report" PSU requested it and paid for it.  Now deal with it

hodge's picture

What really kills me is that if the Freeh report had been soft on Paterno et. al., and the NCAA investigated and dropped similar sanctions, all these delusional Penn Staters would be the first to uphold the Freeh Report's sanctity. 

Pam's picture

Absolutely. Who would dare question the credibility of the ex-FBI director? His words would have been gospel had it gone the other way

Poison nuts's picture

This is the first thing I thought when all this bs about "the Freeh Report is just an opininion" started up....they would have embraced it fully had Joe Pa been vindicated by it.

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

NC_Buckeye's picture

Good god. Give it an effing break. There's no "due process" with the NCAA. There's no precept of "guilty beyond reasonable doubt" or "rules of evidence" or any other standards that are in play in the legal system. All the NCAA has to do is look at the info that was gathered from an investigation and render a judgement according to their by-laws. That was done here. If you think the verdict would have gone differently based on a COI hearing... well, guess what. It wouldn't have. And PSU most likely would have gotten the death penalty that Erickson was able to negotiate off-the-table. BECAUSE THERE IS NO NEGOTIATION IN A COI HEARING. PERIOD. NONE. There is only the appeal process. And those are 99% unsuccessful.
Had this gone the traditional route with a NOA, NCAA investigation, COI hearing, and verdict, all that the PSU community would have bought was time. Time to play without scholarship reductions, time to avoid bowl bans, and TIME TO TRY TO BURY AS MUCH EVIDENCE AS POSSIBLE. And I say the latter because I absolutley do NOT trust the PSU community to act in an honorable manner at this point.
So just give it an effing break. PSU totally deserves the sanctions they received. And based on all the bs from the last two weeks (Paterno appeals, trustee appeals, and now player appeals), this cult-of-Paterno PSU community should have gotten the death penalty.

Crimson's picture

You're right.  In the Freeh report, they stated that Curley/Schultz (I forget which) had his secretary hide files relating to Sandusky until sometime this year.  Oops!

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I hope the NCAA re-investigates them.  You never know - there could be more skeletons.  One could say that if Penn State leaders were willing to cover up child sex abuse, imagine all of the smaller issues they would cover up.  Then again, they also could have been much more careful with the little things, because they knew if the NCAA came to town to investigate, they were screwed. 
I'm not sure what they expect the NCAA to find that will disprove the Freeh report, and it's not likely that they're going to have second thoughts and say "Oh, OK, yeah, that was too harsh."  If anything, I'd be more worried about what other bad the NCAA could discover.  Imagine how they'll feel if they appeal, the NCAA finds more skeletons, and then they decide to give them the death penalty after all.  They're better off taking their medicine and moving on.

Class of 2010.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Awww man. Anthony Adams was my dude. Loved that guy when he was on the Bears....

tennbuckeye19's picture

One item I am still unclear about involves whether or not former players and Paterno's family actually have the "ability" or "authority" to appeal the NCAA's decision. On behalf of the school, Erickson already accepted the sanctions placed on it in lieu of them being given a 4 year death penalty. From where I stand it looks like the door has been shut on any sort of appeals process. 

NC_Buckeye's picture

They don't unless individual sanctions were issued. They weren't. The players are trying to argue that the vacation of wins constitute an individual sanction on the players. Talk about setting a new precedent. Some players from Alabama, USC, Ohio State, etc would also like to file a retroactive appeal.
As much as I can tell these appeals are basically due diligence in preparation for civil suits against the NCAA. So now we have 3 groups that are going to file suit. BTW, the NCAA hasn't officially responded to any of these except to restate that PSU sanctions were accepted by the consent of PSU President Erickson and cannot be appealed.
The thing that is going thru my mind is whether this is all being coordinated or whether they are all co-incidentally popping up as a result of the procedural deadline period. Because if it is being coordinated then the ultimate goal of this batshit crazy community might be the dissolution of the NCAA.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Keep poking the bear.....

Oakland Buckeye's picture

I really think it nothing more than window dressing to stop the bleeding of recruits that they are beginning to hemmorage. this "I'm not ganna take it" attitude is a pantomime for the troops they hope will stay.  A "We're fighting for you" posturing that may trick some into staying & more into coming. Every day another Dorion Johnson leaves they panic a little more.

smith5568's picture

I continue to die a little bit more inside with each and every appeal or penn stater trying to claim that this is unfair for some random idiotic reason. Life is unfair, get over it. I made the terrible mistake of perusing through PSU sites and I am in disbelief that there is this type of idiocy among an "educated" group of people. I cannot really describe the frustration, disappointment, disgust, other adjective. 
I try not to let it bother me but then I realize that these people can vote and have offspring and it makes me sad for the human race.