Mark Emmert ‘Pleased To See Penn State Playing Very Good Football’
Mark Emmert, the NCAA president who extorted Penn State into accepting sanctions based on a “bluff,” said he’s “pleased to see Penn State playing very good football.”
Emmert spoke at the Learfield Sports Intercollegiate Athletics Forum today, according to ESPN. He called the Nittany Lions’ 11-2 season “spectacular,” and added the Big Ten Championship win was “great for those young men and that fan base.”
Emmert also discussed the sanctions he imposed and their subsequent reduction. “Because the campus addressed all of their issues so aggressively, that allowed the [NCAA] board of governors to back down from the scholarship sanctions and the postseason sanctions.”
When Penn State’s annual review was submitted to the NCAA, Emmert said “the board looked at it and said, ‘Wow, that’s great progress. That’s way ahead of schedule. It was very, very helpful in allowing the team to get back on track, and that’s great.”
“I’ve always said and always believed Penn State is, first and foremost, a great university, because it is” Emmert said. “Secondly, it’s got wonderful sports traditions. How can you not be pleased they’re playing very good football?”
Emmert claimed the sanctions were never meant to “cripple the university.” He did, however, bank on Penn State being “so embarrassed they will do anything” when he extorted the university into agreeing to the sanctions in July 2012, according to internal NCAA emails.