Something quite odd appeared (or didn’t) on the NCAA’s website, spotted Monday by Onward State alumnus Bill DiFilippo:
Strange: Penn State does not appear in the NCAA’s database of football teams that have committed major infractions. https://t.co/KIqe8QHLFO
— Bill (@bflip33) May 19, 2014
Indeed, a check of the site’s database shows that it’s very thorough in its list of major infractions, but none were listed for Penn State:
For a school saddled with the strongest sanctions in the history of college athletics, something seemed amiss. So, we called and e-mailed the NCAA about it. A spokeswoman, Emily James, had this to say:
I received your message about finding the Penn State report in LSDBi. As you might know, the Penn State situation is separate from a traditional enforcement case, so you will not find the sanctions in our major infractions database because it did not use that process. The sanctions are an action by the NCAA Executive Committee, which is the NCAA’s highest governance body and is composed of university and college presidents that oversee Association-wide issues.
Further, she wrote that NCAA President Mark Emmert explained why Penn State’s situation is not traditional during a press conference on the day the sanctions were levied, and also included a link to the NCAA’s explanation about how and why it sanctioned Penn State. In both places, the NCAA says that Penn State did not need to be investigated before sanctioning because it had accepted the Freeh Report, which Penn State itself commissioned.
There you have it, I guess. Regardless of the case’s uniqueness, I think it certainly seems strange to so heavily sanction something not classified as a major infraction.