Thursday, September 11, 2014

Paterno Family: Magdeburgize the NCAA

Noting that the NCAA's own regulations say openly that Paterno did the right thing in 2001,

Sent on 09/09/2014:

To: Penn State Trustees, President Barron
cc: Senators Yudichak, Dinniman, Corman, Wick Sollers (Paterno family attorney), alumni networking

This policy publication ( shows unequivocally that:

·         The NCAA was dishonest when it imposed its sanctions on Penn State, and perhaps to the extent that it is not fit to regulate college athletics.
o   I cannot give legal advice, but I think the NCAA dug its own grave when it released "Addressing Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence." I encourage Senator Corman and the Paterno family to press their lawsuits à outrance to compel the NCAA to return Penn State’s money, Coach Paterno’s victories, and also compensatory and maybe punitive damages—punitive being appropriate for willful dishonesty as opposed to a mere mistake—for lost bowl game revenue and harm to Penn State’s reputation.
o   Add to this evidence the fact that either Rodney Erickson and Mark Emmert, or else NCAA officials Ed Ray and Ameen Najjar, lied about the death penalty threat.* Another alternative is, of course, that other NCAA members lied to Ray and Najjar about the death penalty never being on the table, but the bottom line is that we have two stories whose veracity is mutually exclusive. A court of law will probably take a very dim view of a situation involving $60 million in which somebody has told a falsehood.
o   The NCAA also is on record as lying about Penn State’s acceptance of the Freeh Report’s findings, when it knows fully well that the Trustees never studied, let alone voted to approve, these findings.
·         The 11/9/2011 Board of Trustees was incompetent, and failed to exercise basic diligence, when it fired Coach Paterno (and probably President Spanier, but the NCAA document proves this unequivocally only with respect to Paterno).
·         Kenneth Frazier and Karen Peetz exhibited defective judgment when Frazier falsely accused Paterno of failing to protect children and Peetz said Paterno’s service had been marred, and also caused enormous harm to Penn State by affirming the Freeh Report’s findings in violation of the Board’s Standing Orders. The NCAA used their statements as an excuse to impose the sanctions.
o   This, President Barron, is why you are short at least three years’ worth of the money you said would cover unmet student needs.
o   The Peetz-controlled, and then Masser-controlled, Board was derelict in its fiduciary duty (the opinion expressed by the Commonwealth Court on April 9, 2014) for failing to challenge the NCAA sanctions. The Masser-controlled board continued this dereliction with its vote in August to continue to go along with the sanctions, as described by Senator Yudichak: “Commonwealth Court opinion questions the validity of the NCAA consent decree, so why are the majority trustees embracing a flawed, indefensible verdict against Penn State? Further proof personal agendas, not a Penn State agenda, are driving board decisions.”
·         Louis Freeh was dishonest when he condemned Paterno for not violating the NCAA rules shown below.
·         Governor Corbett was dishonest and/or incompetent when he said Paterno should have done more. Alumni of both parties will take what Kenneth Frazier called “corrective action, employment action” with regard to Mr. Corbett this November.
·         Media personalities like Buzz Bissinger and Dan Bernstein who condemned Paterno should be writing for the newspapers one sees in supermarket checkout lines, or else appearing on very late night talk radio with the likes of Jeff Rense.

From page 4 of "Addressing Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence."

“Cooperate with but not manage, direct, control or interfere with college or university investigations into allegations of sexual violence ensuring that investigations involving student-athletes and athletics department staff are managed in the same manner as all other students and staff on campus.”

Another alumnus directed me to page 13 (numbered page, it’s the 17th page of the NCAA document cited below)

Athletics departments are held to the same federal requirements of all institutional staff and departments when it comes to education and reporting requirements. Athletics staff members are required to report any suspected or alleged sexual violence or harassment immediately to appropriate campus offices for resolution; the athletics department is not the appropriate staff to adjudicate a reported case of sexual assault.

It should be quite clear that the NCAA’s recent conciliatory behavior (removal of a handful of sanctions it never had any right to impose, and giving in to Senator Corman on the issue of the $60 million remaining in the Commonwealth) is the behavior of somebody who grabs food from a pack of hungry lions, and then realizes he cannot run fast enough. Tossing the lions a few scraps of their own property is not going to buy them off, and I do not think Senator Corman or the Paterno family should allow the NCAA to buy them off with a few scraps either.** I think the NCAA is terrified of seeing the inside of a courtroom, having to testify under oath (e.g. regarding the death penalty threat), and having to defend the disparity between its own written policies and its enforcement actions. I and other alumni would enjoy that because it is quite likely that the NCAA might not survive as an organization, but it might be better for the NCAA to put this matter behind it by returning Penn State’s money, Coach Paterno’s victories, compensation for the lost bowl game revenue, and a public apology for actions it had no right to take (again, that’s the Commonwealth Court’s view) in the first place.

* As reported by the Reading Eagle,
Oregon State president Ed Ray, president of the NCAA's executive committee, has told at least two publications that the committee never threatened Penn State with a four-year death penalty.

…Ray, who stood alongside Emmert at the NCAA press conference July 23 in Indianapolis, told ESPN later that day that an "overwhelming" majority of the executive committee, which includes presidents and chancellors from Divisions I, II and III, and the Division I executive board were against imposing a death penalty on Penn State football.

** On Cooling the Mark Out

Some Aspects of Adaptation to Failure
Erving Goffman
Sometimes, however, a mark [victim of criminal fraud] is not quite prepared to accept his loss as a gain in experience and to say and do nothing about his venture. He may feel moved to complain to the police or to chase after the operators. In the terminology of the trade, the mark may squawk, beef, or come through. From the operators' point of view, this kind of behaviour is bad for business. It gives the members of the mob a bad reputation with such police as have not yet been fixed and with marks who have not yet been taken. In order to avoid this adverse publicity, an additional phase is sometimes added at the end of the play. It is called cooling the mark out. After the blowoff has occurred, one of the operators stays with the mark and makes an effort to keep the anger of the mark within manageable and sensible proportions. The operator stays behind his team‑mates in the capacity of what might be called a cooler and exercises upon the mark the art of consolation. An attempt is made to define the situation for the mark in a way that makes it easy for him to accept the inevitable and quietly go home. The mark is given instruction in the philosophy of taking a loss.

There are, in fact, scammers who think people can be pacified in exactly this manner. I recall reading about an identity thief who was pursued by her victim, the latter with a camera-equipped cell phone to call police. The identity thief screamed at the pursuer, “Why won’t you leave me alone?” or something to that effect. If the NCAA is under the same delusion, somebody (e.g. Paterno family and other plaintiffs) needs to come down on it like a ton of bricks to educate it to the contrary, even if the education proves fatal to the NCAA as an organization.

1 comment: