Mark Emmert “Pleased” with Penn State’s Response to Sanctions
Sleep easy Penn State fans — reports are coming in that NCAA President Mark Emmert is happy with Penn State’s response to the sanctions so far.
”What’s not getting attention is the athletic-integrity agreement that Penn State signed and is taking very seriously,” Emmert said in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club. ”We have Sen. George Mitchell involved in overseeing it, and there is no question of his credentials. That’s the part that is going to create serious change in the Penn State culture.”
Where would we be without Senator Mitchell helping us fix our cultural problems? After all, our football graduation rate is only 80 percent and Penn Staters continue to raise money for sexual abuse awareness.
Emmert went on to justify the Penn State sanctions using a vague analogy.
“It is always a problem in an organization when one group becomes so revered and so powerful that you not only can’t control them, you aren’t even allowed to question them. It is much the same thing that happened in many of the financial-sector problems, and it is what happened at Penn State,” Emmert said. “You ended up with a group inside the athletic program that was not under the control of the administration, nor did it even answer to them.”
Some people say that the Penn State situation is entirely a criminal issue, and not an issue a sports regulatory body should be meddling with. Ignoring the fact that the 1998 incident was reported to and investigated by university police, Emmert continued with his blather.
”As a criminal investigation, it was none of our business,” he said. ”And if, back in 1998, Penn State had heard about it and put a stop to it, it would have never been any of our business. When they didn’t do that, it became our concern.”
His ignorance not to be trumped, Emmert continued by lauding the Freeh Report, even claiming that it had virtual subpoena power — a claim that is nowhere near accurate, considering the Freeh group never spoke to Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, Mike McQueary, and a number of other central figures in the story.
”Because of the Freeh Report, which was much more extensive than anything the NCAA would have ever done, we felt that we could proceed without our own investigation,” Emmert said. ”They had more power than we have – we don’t have subpoena power, which was more or less granted to them by the Penn State Board of Trustees.”
Emmert also confirmed President Erickson’s claims that a death penalty was on the table, saying that Penn State took the ”the least worst option” in accepting the package of sanctions — an action that President Erickson has been vilified for.
If you think Emmert might be pleased with Penn State’s lukewarm 2-2 start — think again.
”I don’t think I should comment on how the team is doing on the field, because I’m not a football expert,” Emmert said. ”I hope they do well, and I think it is good for college sports if they can succeed under their current circumstances.”
Not a football expert, indeed, Dr. Emmert. Not an expert in many things, really.