These days it seems like not too many positive news stories and message are coming from the front offices of the NCAA and especially President Mark Emmert’s office. The more reporters dig and publish stories about the ineptitude, hipocracy and mismanagement of the NCAA, it’s hard to believe Emmert and many of his colleagues still remain at their current positions. But for some reason, they do.
Recent revelations about the close working relationship the NCAA and investigators from a firm hired by Penn State University to conduct an independent investigation of the PSU’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal are disturbing to say the least. The firm, led by former FBI chief Louis Freeh, published what is known as the “Freeh Report.” They provided statements and findings incriminating Penn State for a “lack of institutional control.” Due to the serious nature of the horrific and legal situation PSU found itself in, that was, of course, a realistic picture. The NCAA used the “lack of control” angle as the basis for its unprecedented sanctions against Penn State back in the summer of 2012.
But we’re finding out now there was coercion, a fine line for blackmail and essentially conspiracy between Freeh and the NCAA to nail Penn State to the wall. These people weren’t simply trying to do a good job in the name of academic integrity. They wanted blood and unleashed a wave of pain for many. The uglier side of the NCAA continues to show us its head.
The Pennsylvania State Senator, Jake Corman, who represents the district where Penn State is geographically located and Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord filed a lawsuit that is challenging the NCAA’s $60 million fine against PSU. Recently, Corman said the following to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines”:
“Clearly the more we dig into this, the more troubling it gets. There clearly is a significant amount of communication between Freeh and the NCAA that goes way beyond merely providing information. I’d call it coordination. Clearly, Freeh went way past his mandate. He was the enforcement person for the NCAA. That’s what it looks like. I don’t know how you can look at it any other way. It’s almost like the NCAA hired him to do their enforcement investigation on Penn State. At a minimum, it is inappropriate. At a maximum, these were two parties working together to get an outcome that was predetermined.”
As we know, Emmert used the “Freeh Report” to force then-Penn State president Rodney Erickson to accept the unprecedented sanctions that affected countless student athletes, Penn State staff, alumni, and a community who had nothing to do with the scandal.
What the hell is going on at the NCAA? And why are they simply picking and choosing which higher education institutions to impose colossal and stiff penalties on? After the Sandusky tragedy, there have been a plethora of appalling and inexcusable abuses and scandals at countless other institutions. Where has the NCAA been in terms of the scandals that have been persistent at the University of North Carolina, Florida State and even Oklahoma State University? The repulsive situation that occurred at Oklahoma State warrants some kind of action, doesn’t it? But overall, why doesn’t the NCAA want to talk about the infractions and dreadful violations that happened at these colleges?
Of course, they’ve said they’re investigating and looking into the matters. Perhaps they need to tread so very lightly considering the debacle they seemed to have placed on themselves handling the Penn State matter. And perhaps, they’re just a bunch of out-of-touch and power hungry fools that shouldn’t have the opportunity to operations at the NCAA anymore.
What Jerry Sandusky did was horrendous and beyond the realm of awful. He’s now spending his final days on Earth in a prison cell where he belongs thanks to our judicial system. Sandusky has been held accountable and Penn State’s administrators at the time will be facing their own trials.
It’s now time that the NCAA and its president, Mark Emmert, are held accountable for their egregious mismanagement and administrative practices. This is a storm that needs calming for the good of college academics and the young, impressionable kids who attend these institutions.