Spanier Gives Thoughts on Recent NCAA Infractions

It seems like every time we turn on SportsCenter, they’re reporting about another school committing some sort of NCAA violation. We’ve seen it with the Connecticut and Kentucky basketball programs as well as Michigan football. USC football has been hit with what may be the stiffest punishment in recent memory with their role in the Reggie Bush incident.

Our very own fearless leader, Graham Spanier, recently sat down with to talk about the atmosphere of college sports today as it deals with athletic oversight. He feels that any school should be able to produce a winning product while still running a clean program. To make sure that Penn State stays one of the cleanest institutions in the nation, Spanier adheres to a zero-tolerance policy.

I meet with coaches, in fact, all of the employees of intercollegiate athletics at the beginning of every year for 15 years in a row. One of the messages that I always give as part of my talk with them is that if they break the rules, they will be fired. There’s nobody in athletics who doesn’t understand that will be the consequence of breaking the rules. I don’t mean some small inadvertent thing. I mean cheating and breaking rules that everyone knows can’t be broken.

Another reason for our clean record is that Athletic Director Tim Curley is actively involved in every Cabinet meeting that the President holds. He truly knows the ins and outs of the university, reaching far past the bounds of athletics, which gives him a unique insight.

The athletic director is a member of the president’s cabinet, and meets with me and all of the vice presidents every Monday for two or three hours. He is in on every major discussion about what is happening at the university and believe it or not, there are a lot of things we talk about you wouldn’t think are connected to athletics, but Tim Curley is always thinking… He also can be a part of discussions understanding what our values are overall. So if we’re having a discussion that’s being led by the vice president for student affairs, about student behavior or excessive consumption of alcohol, the athletic director is there hearing.

For as much flak was we give to G-Span and Curley, there is no doubt they have proven to run a clean program during their time here at Penn State. Sure, players may get themselves into trouble at times, but thankfully, nothing has occurred that would’ve taken a toll on our athletic department as a whole.

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About the Author

Dan Vecellio

Dan is a graduate student in meteorology, hailing from Bradford, Pennsylvania. His interests include sports, Penn State and commons cheesesteaks. Feel free to contact me through my email or follow me on Twitter.


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