Monday, October 6, 2014
NCAA: Time to Settle with Paterno and Corman
To: NCAA Executive Committee, Division I
cc: PSU alumni networking
Unlike Penn State Trustees Karen Peetz and Kenneth Frazier when they affirmed the Freeh Report’s findings on Penn State’s behalf without authorization by a vote from the Board of Trustees, I need to say up front that I am speaking as an individual, with NO authority to negotiate on behalf of anybody involved in the two current lawsuits against the NCAA. I am also not an attorney, and cannot give anybody legal advice. Having said that, here is the NCAA’s current situation. If the Paterno family and Senator Corman have to press their lawsuits home, the NCAA could easily be hit with scathing court decisions that reflect on its fitness to regulate college athletics or serve as a role model for college athletes. Nobody has any use for a bully who misuses his authority, or a capricious and arbitrary referee who makes up rules rather than going by the book.
(1) The Commonwealth’s courts have taken a very dim official view of the sanctions in question, and Judge Anne Covey just said that the NCAA and Penn State were trying to usurp her court’s authority by continuing to agree to the sanctions.
· The Commonwealth Court’s opinion of 4/09/2014 (409, as in the number of Coach Paterno’s victories) hinted not only that the sanctions were illegitimate, but also that the Trustees whom Mark Emmert says are supportive of the sanctions were derelict in their fiduciary duty for not challenging them. Allies like that are weaknesses, and not assets.
· State Senator Yudichak added that their recent (August 2014) support of the sanctions proved that personal agendas, and not a Penn State agenda, are driving the Board’s actions.
(2) The NCAA based its sanctions on “Penn State’s” acceptance of the Freeh Report’s findings that Penn State administrators and Coach Paterno covered up for Jerry Sandusky.
· Penn State never accepted the Freeh Report’s findings, as proven by the absence of any vote in the July 2012 Board meeting along with statements from Trustees Joel Myers and Anthony Lubrano. The NCAA knew or should have known that Peetz and Frazier had no authority to speak for the University.
(3) The NCAA’s own recently published guidelines on sexual violence and harassment prove that Coach Paterno did what he was supposed to do, and would have violated the NCAA’s rules by “doing more.” That, ladies and gentlemen, is known as tripping over one’s own feet.
(4) NCAA head Mark Emmert and former Penn State President Rodney Erickson say the NCAA threatened Penn State with the death penalty. NCAA official Ed Ray says the death penalty was never on the table, and Ameen Najjar went even further by saying Erickson sold Penn State down the river.
(5) Louis Freeh is becoming more problematic on a daily basis.
· Freeh just stepped down as head of his law firm, and now his investigative work regarding the BP oil spill is being questioned officially.
· Former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff accused him of acting as a hired gun (unprofessional conduct) in his investigative report for Wynn Resorts.
· A European court for sports regulation found his work for FIFA to be substandard.
· His work for Penn State is riddled with contradictory and dishonest statements.
(6) E-mails obtained per a Freedom of Information request show that Kenneth Frazier, one of the leading Trustees who supports the Consent Decree, sent Freeh a link to an ESPN story very hostile to Coach Paterno and Penn State’s “football culture” while Freeh’s purportedly confidential and independent investigation was still in progress.
The NCAA needs to realize that, if it hasn’t yet figured it out, that it is in this position because of Penn State’s Trustees, and I mean in particular those whom the NCAA says support the sanctions. Those Trustees will drag the NCAA’s credibility down with their own if this controversy continues much longer. I think the NCAA needs to talk to the plaintiffs and their attorneys about a face-saving way to revoke all the sanctions while the NCAA can still maintain the dignified outward appearance of having some control over the outcome, and let the Trustees who are still scrambling to cover up their mismanagement of the Sandusky scandal fend for themselves.