Emmert Needs to Resign or Be Fired!!


The NCAA has become a circus, and President Mark Emmert is the clown wearing a big red nose.  An agency designed to regulate and enforce the rules of college sports is now being pointed to and laughed at by the schools under its watch.  What was supposed to be an investigation of University of Miami and former booster Nevin Shapiro involving cash and trips to strip clubs he gave to Hurricane players for almost a decade turned into the NCAA instead reviewing its own enforcement staff.  Shortly after the NCAA launched its detective work into the Shapiro case, it was revealed in January the NCAA paid Shapiro’s lawyer $19,000 for additional information obtained via her subpoena power in the case.

Now the NCAA can’t use any of the information acquired, which is 20 percent of the total evidence it has on Miami.

Emmert then fired his vice president of enforcement, Julie Roe Lach, holding her accountable for the failed plan to collect more information on Shapiro around NCAA bylaws.  The NCAA’s wrongdoing in the Shapiro case is just the tip of the iceberg. Ever since Emmert took over in November 2010, the NCAA has been a colossal mess.

It passed legislation in October making head coaches on college campuses liable for what their assistants do. Apparently, Emmert didn’t get the memo.  North Carolina and Penn State were punished because of former head coaches Butch Davis and Joe Paterno’s ignorance to what was happening around themYet, when the tables turn on the NCAA and it’s brought under scrutiny, Emmert uses unawareness as his defense“I knew nothing,” has been Emmert’s response to the numerous bonehead tactics employed by his own enforcement investigators.

Coaches are held accountable for not maintaining an atmosphere of compliance. So why isn’t Emmert?  There’s no standard set in place when it comes to dealing with NCAA infractions. Take the cases of UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad and University of Texas sophomore Myck Kabongo.  Kabongo was suspended for the first 23 games of the 2012-13 season for accepting airfare to Cleveland, Ohio from former Longhorns teammate Tristan Thompson in October 2012. The grand total of cost for his trip? A whopping $476.  The Longhorns’ best player finally played in his first game on Feb. 13 against Iowa State. By then, Texas’ record was 10-13, which most likely leaves it out of any kind of postseason tournament.

At UCLA, Muhammad was investigated for receiving approximately $1,600 in benefits on visits to North Carolina and Duke paid for by financial adviser Benjamin Lincoln. His family said Lincoln was a family friend and he asked the NCAA for approval before paying for the visits.  So what was Muhammad’s penalty from the NCAA?  Because he had to sit out of UCLA’s first three games of the season, the NCAA reinstated Muhammad on Nov. 11 with no further penalties. The Bruins are currently 19-7 and should find themselves in the Big Dance come March thanks much in part to Muhammad’s 18.5 points per game.

Sounds fair, right?

It turns out the NCAA was trying to save face again with its inquiry into Muhammad’s situation. In December 2012, the NCAA fired the lead investigator of the Muhammad case, Abigail Grantstein, after her boyfriend was overheard on a plane talking loudly about the case.  So was Muhammad actually cleared of wrongdoing, or did Emmert and his goons just want to cover up one of its lead investigators’ boyfriends who told an entire airplane about an ongoing NCAA case?

A review of the external NCAA enforcement had many casualties like Roe Lach, and of course, Emmert escaped unscathed.  Yet another example of how Emmert holds universities to double standards but doesn’t feel the need to impose on himself.

Say one thing, do another, has become Emmert’s bread and butter, which is bad news for the NCAA and its credibility going forward if he doesn’t resign.

Mark Emmert Has No Grasp of Penn State Facts


By John Zieger, www.FramingPaterno.com

Franco asked Emmert how he could find Joe Paterno “guilty” for covering up the 1998 and 2001 instances when Jerry Sandusky himself had been found “not guilty” for the same episodes (in 1998 an investigation brought no charges and Sandusky was acquitted at trial for the Mike McQueary “rape” allegation). Emmert’s ensuing response, or, more accurately, non-response, spoke volumes about the credibility of the NCAA sanctions.

Emmert made some extraordinary statements.

He greatly diminished his own role in the sanctions (which he physically signed). He seemed to indicate that thought that the Freeh Report had somehow “read” 3.5 million documents and that Freeh had far more “authority” than he really did (Freeh didn’t even speak to any of the five people closest to the case). He even seemed to be under the delusion that Franco Harris, who famously played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s, may have been on the 1998 Penn State team which was the first to, illogically, have its wins stripped.

But the most stunning statement Emmert made was that “no one” at Penn State was found “guilty” or even mentioned specifically by the NCAA, and that they did not take away Joe Paterno’s all-time wins record. He really said those things. Just listen to the recording.

If “no one” at Penn State was found “guilty,” then why was the school punished so severely? If Paterno was not specifically referenced, or didn’t have his record taken away, why does page 5 in the “punitive” section of the NCAA consent decree, clearly state, “the career record of Coach Joe Paterno will reflect the vacated records”?  The president of NCAA, who literally signed off on the worst sanctions in college football history against Penn State, didn’t even have a firm grasp on the basic facts of the case. Of all the many indignities that Joe Paterno has suffered in the year since his last birthday on earth, in some ways nothing has been worse than being convicted by people who didn’t even give him basic due process or the simple respect to have all the facts (or, in Emmert’s case, even have the courage to admit he had indeed been found “guilty”)?

 

How the Penn State Trustees Sold Out to the NCAA


excerpted from Dan Van Natta, ESPN

Only Peetz and her executive committee were told about the consent decree or that sanctions were imminent. Those trustees did not tell their colleagues. This was by necessity, university officials say. The NCAA had warned Penn State that if there was a leak about proposed sanctions to the media, the discussions would end and the death penalty would be all but certain.

On Sunday, July 22, workers arrived at the Paterno statue before dawn. By 8:40 a.m., the statue was removed and carted by forklift inside Beaver Stadium. A trustee said hopefully that morning, “Maybe this will help us with the NCAA. It shows that we are moving on.” But minutes later, the NCAA issued a news release that at 9 a.m. the next day in Indianapolis, Emmert and Ray would announce sanctions against Penn State. “Unprecedented” sanctions, the media reported.

“I can’t believe this s—,” said the trustee. “No one told me a damn thing.”

At the news conference, Emmert outlined the sanctions and expressed hope that they would be both punitive and “corrective,” helping Penn State change its “football first” culture, which he said had allowed a sexual predator to run amok for a decade. Copies of the consent decree made public credited Penn State for commissioning the Freeh report and for its reaction to the findings. “Acknowledging these and other factors,” it read, “the NCAA does not deem the so-called ‘death penalty’ to be appropriate.”

It was co-signed by Emmert and Erickson.

So in the end, a negotiation did occur. It just didn’t much involve the university’s stewards, the board of trustees. In the aftermath of the Freeh report, Peetz, vice chairman of The Bank of New York Mellon, says the board is committed to changing its makeup and getting off the sidelines. Erickson will retire inside a year. Public funding for universities is declining. The NCAA has put Penn State’s athletic program, including football, under the watch of an athletics integrity monitor, former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell. It’s hard to argue a more effective board that’s ready to move on wouldn’t benefit everyone.

Yet some trustees see little positive in moving forward with Penn State football so changed. Some trustees argue that the package of sanctions was worse than the death penalty. Some remain furious at Erickson. The Freeh group had criticized the board for knowing little about the Sandusky matter and doing even less. And now, when it came to one of the biggest financial decisions in Penn State’s history, a majority of the trustees had no idea that Erickson and lawyers were hammering out the agreement. At a three-hour discussion on July 25, trustees demanded answers for the lack of communication, and Erickson and Marsh explained the NCAA demands. Marsh repeated his analogy that it was like “a cram-down,” which some trustees later said made sense to them. Afterward, the board released a statement standing by Erickson and saying that if the penalties had not been accepted, the outcome would have been far more Draconian.

Trustees who remain angry are mad at themselves too. Several say the board should  not have tacitly accepted the Freeh report’s findings within hours of its release. The circumstances have a handful of trustees discussing how to overturn the decree in court. (On Aug. 3, the Paterno family formally challenged the consent decree, filing an intent to appeal with the NCAA.)  “This was such overkill,” one trustee says. “It’s like walking around with a dagger in you. Emmert and  the NCAA are basically ruining this university. They are destroying the school.”

Indeed, much of the fury is directed at Emmert, who in the end may actually have kept the football program on the field. “What I have seen of him and heard of him, I just can’t stand the guy,” one trustee says, noting Emmert’s comfort roaming the stage during the July 23 presser and his media availability afterward.

Some trustees complain that the NCAA used sanctions as an opportunity for university presidents to exact revenge: The Penn State Way of piling up victories while graduating players at the highest levels was something their own schools could not do.

Mark Emmert showed himself to be a sanctimonious hypocrite,” says Anthony Lubrano, a trustee who joined the board in July and is an unabashed Paterno supporter. “Joe Paterno had more integrity in his little finger than Emmert has in his whole body.”

For her part, Peetz, the board chair, would not discuss the simmering anger of some trustees. Through a spokesman, she said, “The decision by President Erickson to sign the consent decree was a painful one, but it was clear the alternative was far more painful. The board supports the decisions that have been made, and we are focusing on the future. It is time to move forward

Penn State Letterman’s Club Speaks Out


The Letterman’s Club statement follows:

“On behalf of the Penn State Football  Letterman’s Club, our thoughts and prayers continue for the victims and  their families in the heinous criminal acts of Jerry Sandusky. Their  lives have been negatively impacted forever and it is important that  their stories are not overshadowed by those continuing to define and  sensationalize their narrative.

“The penalties and bans imposed on the Penn State Football program by  the NCAA are severely damaging well beyond the stated time frame. Our  Club endeavors to stand with all Penn Staters in supporting the current  members of the State Football team under the leadership and direction of  Coach Bill O’Brien and his staff. Bill is committed to carrying on the  successful development of student-athletes that has been a model for the  past several decades. There is not a better individual to lead us  through these difficult times than Bill and we are fortunate to have him  directing the future of Penn State Football.

“After listening to Dr. Mark Emmert‘s press conference this  morning, his assertion that a balance between academics and athletics  (specifically Penn State Football) did not exist previously is baseless  and intellectually dishonest.

“It is with great pride that the members of  our Club know that we have done it the “right way” for several decades  and we will not allow Dr. Emmert’s careless remarks to tarnish the  legacy of Penn State Football. The academic standards and the  well-documented historic graduation rates at Penn State far exceed the  standards set forth by his organization. This is simply one illustration  of many over the past several months where the facts do not supersede  those with an agenda.

“The Penn State Football Letterman’s Club stands united with all  current Penn State students, Penn State Alumni, and Penn State fans  throughout the world as we remain proud of our University, our  reputation, and our traditions.  We will defend her honor and the  institutions within that have made Penn State a world-class University.  The world is soon to learn the true meaning and depth of the credo that  defines us ….

“WE ARE….. PENN STATE!!!!!”