There are just some people you’d rather not vouch for you.
In an interview with CBS Sports focused on Penn State, NCAA president Mark Emmert had high praise for new head coach James Franklin.
“I just met Coach Franklin at the BCS [national championship]and chatted with him,” Emmert said. “He seemed like a delightful guy. He had a great run of success at Vanderbilt. I’m sure he’ll do well there.”
In any case, the focus of the interview was not on Franklin, but on the possibility of further mitigation of the NCAA sanctions. In September, Emmert and co. restored many of the scholarships Penn State lost and left the door open to further reductions. Many people assume, with another positive review from Athletic Integrity Monitor George Mitchell, the four-year bowl ban could be reduced once again. For now, though, there have been no further discussions on the matter.
“What the Executive Committee did this last go round, they looked at the [Mitchell] report and made a decision based on that,” Emmert told CBS. “I know they’re anxious to see the next report. There’s been no discussions since that last meeting.”
Truth be told, Emmert and his organization recently suffered a big loss at Penn State — although not because of the university. A judge ruled that some parts of the Paterno family lawsuit against the NCAA had standing, including defamation and conspiracy. Rather than be thrown out, as the NCAA had hoped, it’s now the likely beginning of a legal battle between the organization and Paterno’s lawyers.
Independent of the Paterno legal maneuvering, Mitchell will release his next report in September and decide whether or not to recommend future sanction reductions at that time.
“At the time of my annual report next year, I will determine if I will recommend further [NCAA] relief,” Mitchell said at the time. “I think it’s premature to speculate on the precise nature on future modifications that must be possible.”