At least four Penn State Board of Trustees members intend to file an appeal Monday afternoon with the NCAA over sanctions levied against the university after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal because they say the NCAA did not give the school due process in meting out its punishment.
Trustees and a person with first-hand knowledge of the discussions said the move is a precursor to a federal lawsuit asking a federal judge to invalidate the sanctions, because trustees expect the NCAA to reject the appeal.
The trustees are also trying to determine whether university president Rodney Erickson had legal authority to sign a consent decree agreeing to the package of sanctions -- a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, scholarship losses and the vacating of wins from 1998 through 2011.
Ryan J. McCombie, a retired Navy SEAL who joined the board in June, spearheaded the challenges on Monday, writing to fellow board members in a letter obtained by ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that he has hired Boston attorney Paul Kelly to file the appeal and that trustees should join him in his effort against the NCAA and in trying to determine whether Erickson had authority to act alone.
Kelly declined comment but said the appeal would be sent to the NCAA around 4:30 p.m. ET.
McCombie, one of three new trustees elected by alumni to the 32-member board, was one of the most outspoken trustees at a July 25 board session about Erickson not consulting a majority of trustees before signing the consent decree, trustees said.
- I feel sorry for Erickson. What a thankless position he is in. The only reason he didn't run this by the BoT is because of McCombie and the other new pro-Paterno board members. They almost certainly would have leaked the negotiations.
- Anyone else wondering if Emmert regrets talking the NCAA Board of Directors out of the death penalty. Some other commentor on 11W said this last week. A civil suit would allow the NCAA to use subpoena power in an investigation. This could get very interesting.
- The Paterno cult has obviously forgotten that the Dept of Education investigation is ongoing. All of these actions they are taking are going to have repercussions. Very, very bad repercussions.
- By the time the cult is finished, there will only be a giant crater left in Happy Valley.