Penn State Board Has a Job to Do! NOW


Now is the time for the board of trustees …

To demonstrate leadership and defend our great school.

To practice openness and transparency in deeds as well as words.

To be a body of inclusion rather than one of exclusion.

To recognize that trust is earned in two directions.

To correct Mark Emmert for his many misstatements that have harmed our school.

To invite Louis Freeh to Penn State so that the community can query him regarding his conclusions.

To invite former U.S. Attorney General and Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh and former FBI profiler James Clemente to Penn State so that the community can query them regarding their assessment of the Freeh report.

To respond to former Jerry Sandusky prosecutor Frank Fina’s statement that he “found no evidence” that Joe Paterno covered up Sandusky’s crimes by publicly repudiating the conclusions of the Freeh report.

To put back the statue and wall in their rightful place outside of Beaver Stadium.

To work to ensure that we leave Penn State a better place than we found it.

To join our 600,000 alumni who never lost the “We” in “We are.”

If we are truly interested in real healing, then we should demonstrate the courage and leadership that our roles as trustees require in order to serve the best interests of our great university. And if the Penn State community did not distrust us, then …

To formally honor the 61 years of service that Joe Paterno gave to Penn State.

written by trustee Anthony Lubrano


Joe Paterno, We Are Because You Were–Remembering

The statue wall outside Beaver Stadium used to say the following:

“Joseph Vincent Paterno: Educator, Coach, Humanitarian.” 

And that about sums it up.  People who believe Paterno was just a football coach are kidding themselves.  More than any coach in sports history, Paterno’s impact spread well beyond his greatness leading his team on the field.

He demanded his players have strong academic standing, exemplified by his team’s top graduation rates year in and year out. He cared deeply about how his players performed on the field, but understood that their success after college was the most important thing. He didn’t coach for the money, shown by his modest home and lifestyle and his constant donations to Penn State. And even in his final days, Paterno remained loyal to the university that employed him for 61 years.

“They ask me what I’d like written about me when I’m gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach,” a Paterno quote on the wall outside the statue read. –And Rodney Erickson and the Board of Trustees Removed it.

Oh JoePa, you certainly did. Before Paterno arrived at Penn State as an assistant in 1950, the school and its football program was barely known. In 2012, as Paterno has left this earth, the football team had national power status and a stadium with more than 108,000 seats. And with the help of the millions he donated to the school and the many lives he affected, the university has become a respected academic institution.

In today’s college and professional sports world, winning overrides everything. Class, academics and sportsmanship often seem to be thrown out the window. Most coaches appear to care about their paychecks and the championships they have won more than teaching young people to become better in their lives.

Paterno had a connection with the Penn State community that can’t be compared to any other coach in history. For more than half a century, Paterno was the face of Penn State. To players, students, alumni and fans, JoePa was a father or a grandfather figure. This close relationship was displayed by the strong emotional reaction on Penn State’s campus by students and fans on Sunday January 22, 2012 after news of his death.

There are and will always be great coaches. But none of them will ever be Joe Paterno

Sandusky Prosecutor–Joe Not Involved in Coverup

This time, CBS Sports is getting in the mix with a Penn State feature on “60 Minute Sports” on Showtime at 10 p.m. tonight. The episode focuses on Frank Fina and Joe McGettigan, the two prosecutors who helped put Sandusky behind bars.

CBS released a clip of the interview yesterday and once you get past the “college football’s darkest episode” rhetoric, there is actually some interesting material.

Notably, Fina was asked if he thought Joe Paterno participated in a coverup of Sandusky’s actions as he believes former administrators Graham Spanier, Tim Curley, and Gary Schultz did.

“I do not,” Fina said straight up when asked if Paterno participated in a coverup.

“And I’m viewing this strictly on the evidence, not any kind of fealty to anybody. I did not find that evidence.”

Emails Conflict Testimony of Spanier, Curley, Schultz

Before the grand jury investigating child sexual  abuse by former Penn State coach Jerry  Sandusky, Spanier had denied that he had discussed with former Athletic  Director Tim  Curley and retired Vice President Gary  Schultz turning a 2001 allegation over to authorities.

Email shows otherwise. Confronted in 2001 with the question of how to  respond to another coach’s report of seeing Sandusky naked in a shower with his  arms around a boy’s middle, Spanier had agreed with Curley that the best course  of action was to skirt authorities and confront Sandusky directly.
“The approach you outline is humane and a reasonable way to proceed,” Spanier  wrote, according to the email presented as evidence during the preliminary  hearing on charges the men lied and hid Sandusky’s crimes.

Prosecutors detailed allegations that the men agreed not to report a 2001  allegation Sandusky sexually assaulted a boy in a shower even though they knew  he had previously been investigated for similar conduct.

Their “conspiracy of silence” allowed Sandusky to abuse at least three more  children on campus between 2001 and 2009, Beemer said in his closing  argument.

“By their own admission they had thousands of children on their campus for  all types of camps and activities and they take the position in 2001 to allow  Jerry Sandusky to have access to the campus,” Beemer said.

Beemer said evidence, including correspondence beyond emails, contradicts the  men’s grand jury testimony that they had limited knowledge of the 2001  allegation and a 1998 criminal investigation of Sandusky, and shows they worked  to deceive even as investigators closed in.

Bob Costas Doubts Paterno Involved in Cover Up

Emmy Award-winning NBC sportscaster Bob Costas said Wednesday concerning the  ongoing investigation of the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State sex scandal, “I don’t buy  the idea that [late head coach Joe Paterno] was actively involved in a  cover-up.”

“There’s a grand jury proceeding that just said there’s enough evidence to  take it to trial, which was no surprise to anybody,” Costas replied. “Spanier,  Curley, and Schultz, the administrators, who will go on trial.”

“But the main figure to the average person,” he continued, “the main figure  is still, other than Sandusky himself, Joe Paterno, who has since passed away.  And I really think that there is now some legitimate doubt.”

“I don’t know where the truth is,” Costas added, “but there’s some  legitimate doubt about the extent of Paterno’s involvement. The pat storyline  became, everybody, Paterno included, knew pretty much what Sandusky was up to.  And they all kind of conspired to cover it up to protect the image of the  football program at Penn State.”

“And you don’t think that’s true?” Leno asked.

“I  think that Paterno was negligent,” answered Costas. “I think he should have  recognized what was going on because the warning signals were there. But, having  read the Freeh report, and then having read some of what’s been put out to  refute it, I don’t buy the idea that he was actively involved in a  cover-up.”



What Did Spanier Know and When?

Penn State’s leadership kept the university’s public information director out of the loop about Jerry Sandusky between a media inquiry in 2010 until “all hell broke loose” in November 2011 with the release of the grand jury presentment, the employee testified Tuesday.

“Our office had no idea,” said Lisa Powers, the university’s top spokeswoman whose duty is to promote its positive image.

“We did not anticipate the presentment, we did not anticipate the fallout, and we were inundated with media from everywhere,” Powers said. “I didn’t answer my phone, and I couldn’t answer my email. There were just too many of them.”

Powers testified that she was one of several people who got an email in September 2010 from a Harrisburg Patriot-News reporter asking if anyone knew of any investigation into Sandusky. The email was sent by blind carbon copy, or bcc, to Spanier, Powers and another spokesman, Bill Mahon.

Spanier responded about an hour after receiving the email: “I haven’t heard this. Can you tell me more?” The reporter never responded, Powers said.

Powers testified she spoke with another employee who had found something about Sandusky touching boys that was posted on an online message board on a bodybuilder’s website. Powers said she and the employee noted the title of Sandusky’s autobiography, “Touched,” but when Powers went to find the message board, the comment had been removed.

Powers said she learned of another potential Sandusky-related issue when she was told that the reporter had camped outside the home of former Penn State police chief Thomas Harmon, who retired in 2005.

Powers said she was told by Al Horvath –— then the university’s senior vice president for finance and business — there was an investigation into Sandusky, but it had been closed.

The prosecution presented an email by Spanier to Horvath that Powers was only given enough information so she could field media inquiries without “exacerbating the situation.”

Powers testified she received another media inquiry in March 2011 about Sandusky, to which Powers responded the university didn’t know about any investigation and that Sandusky was a former Penn State employee who retired 10 years earlier.

Then, in late March 2011, when a grand jury investigation into Sandusky was revealed in a news report, Powers learned that senior leadership had gone to testify to the grand jury.

Caught off-guard, Powers sought information about the grand jury process from Cynthia Baldwin, who was then the university’s general counsel.

According to Powers’ testimony, Baldwin made the news report out to be a non-issue. Powers said Baldwin told her the grand jury investigation was a “fishing expedition” and had convened three times before and found nothing.

Powers said she was concerned that senior administrators had testified, but Baldwin never mentioned her role in accompanying Curley, Schultz or Spanier to the grand jury.

Seven months later, on Oct. 28, 2011, Powers was called into a meeting with Spanier, Baldwin, Mahon and the trustees chairman at the time, Steve Garban.

She testified she was told that a presentment was coming, and that Curley and Schultz may be indicted on perjury charges.

More Than 300 Former Penn State Players, Coaches Support Challenge to NCAA

More than 325 former Penn State football players have joined in support of a recent lawsuit filed against the NCAA.

The Paterno family, members of Penn State’s board of trustees and faculty and former players and coaches filed their suit last month alleging unlawful conduct by the NCAA in sanctioning the athletic department.

The suit seeks to overturn last July’s sanctions, calling the NCAA’s actions an “improper interference in and gross mishandling of a criminal matter that falls far outside the scope of their authority.”

Joe Paterno and the entire Penn State football program have been used as scapegoats in this horrible tragedy,” Masella said in a statement. “When the NCAA neglected to conduct their own investigation, and used the flawed Freeh Report as the judge and jury, they further prevented an opportunity to get to the real truth, and in turn, punished a generation ofPenn State players, students, and supporters who had nothing whatsoever to do with Jerry Sandusky.”

The following players and coaches support the May 30 lawsuit challenging the NCAA sanctions against Penn State.

•  Robert Belus
•  Frank Della Penna
•  Charles Chick King
•  Ron Markiewicz
•  Fran “Bucky” Paolone
•  Don Ryan
•  John Jack Urban
•  Dick Anderson
•  Steve Bezna
•  Bob Capretto
•  Jack Curry
•  Alan Delmonaco
•  Gerry Farkas
•  Chuck Franzetta
•  Ed Gabirel
•  Tony Gebicki
•  James Graham
•  Warren Hartenstine
•  Michael Irwin
•  Robert Kline
•  George Kulka
•  John Kulka
•  Jon Lang
•  Ed Lenda
•  Linc Lincoln Lippincott
•  Jim Litterelle
•  Thomas Mairs
•  James McCormick
•  Thomas McGrath
•  Dave McNaughton
•  Donald Miller
•  Hank Oppermann
•  Bill Rettig
•  Dave Rowe
•  Ted Sebastianelli
•  Gary Shaffer
•  Steve Smear
•  Dave Truitt
•  Frank Waresak
•  Chris Weber
•  Walt Addie
•  Russell Albert
•  Kurt Allerman
•  Ferris Atty
•  Jeff Behm
•  David Bland
•  Jeff H. Bleamer
•  Jim Bradley
•  Tom Bradley
•  Richard M. Brown
•  Chuck Burkhart
•  John W. Bush
•  Greg Buttle
•  Robert Campbell
•  Michael Cappelletti
•  Richard F. Caravella
•  Joseph V. Carlozo
•  Charles Chiampi
•  Thomas Greg Christian
•  Craig Coder
•  Ron Coder
•  Mike Conforto
•  F. Len Consalvo
•  Bill Crummy
•  Steven A. Davis
•  Chris Devlin
•  Joe Diange
•  Thomas F. Donchez
•  Rocco English
•  Scott Fitzkee
•  Chuck Fusina
•  Paul Gabel
•  Steve Geise
•  Doneal Gersh
•  Bill Glennon
•  Tony Gordon
•  David F. Graf
•  Mike Guman
•  Brian Hand
•  Franco Harris
•  Scott Hettinger
•  Ron Hileman
•  Ron Hostetler
•  Thomas M. Hull
•  Neil Hutton
•  David W. Klock
•  Bob Knechtel
•  Richard A. Knechtel
•  Joe Lally
•  Philip F. LaPorta
•  John R. Lewchenko
•  Larry J. Ludwig
•  Mark J. Markovich
•  Brian Masella
•  Rich Mauti
•  Richard McClure
•  Lance Mehl
•  D. Scott Mitchell
•  Guy Montecalvo
•  Robert Nagle
•  Daniel F. Natale
•  Richard N. Nichols
•  Thomas Odell
•  Michael A. Orsini M.D.
•  Woody Petchel, Jr.
•  Carlos Quirch
•  Tom Rafferty
•  Joel Ramich
•  John M. Reihner
•  Paul Renaud
•  Robert Rickenbach
•  James E. Rosecrans
•  George SanFilippo
•  Carl Schaukowitch
•  Bernard Shalvey
•  Tom L. Shoemaker
•  Micky Shuler Sr
•  Tom Shuman
•  John Skorupan
•  Steven E. Stilley
•  Donald P. Tarosky
•  Raymond Tesner
•  Gary R. Tyler
•  Alberto Vitiello
•  Marshall Wagner
•  Dan Wallace
•  Alex Wasilov
•  Franklin Frog Williams
•  John Williams
•  Thomas J. Williams
•  Charles Wilson
•  Roger Alexander
•  Michael Arnold
•  Walker Lee Ashley
•  Mark Battaglia
•  Trey Bauer
•  Jeff Bergstrom
•  Todd Blackledge
•  Scott Bouslough
•  Kirk Bowman
•  Don Brinsky
•  Tim Bronish
•  Keith Brown
•  Jeff Brunie
•  Jeff Butya
•  Drew Bycoskie
•  Mark Cherewka
•  Chris Clauss
•  Joel Coles
•  Bill Contz
•  Tom Couch
•  Troy Cromwell
•  Peter Curkendall
•  Rich D’Amico
•  John DePasqua
•  Dwayne Downing
•  Michael Dunlay
•  Thomas Durant
•  Eric Etze
•  Craig Fiedler
•  Tim Freeman
•  Mark Fruehan
•  Brennan Gaertner
•  Mark Galimberti
•  Mike Garrett
•  Gene Gladys
•  Scott Gob
•  Nick Haden
•  Lance Hamilton
•  Albert Harris
•  Greg Hay
•  Stu Helgeson
•  Joseph Hines
•  John Hornyak
•  Randy Huttenberger
•  Timothy Janocko
•  Joe Johns
•  Eddie Johnson
•  Greg Jones
•  Keith Karpinski
•  Ken Kelley
•  Matt Knizner
•  Rich Kuzy
•  Massimo Manca
•  Kirk Martin
•  Carmen Masciantonio
•  Brian McCann
•  Matt McCartin
•  Donald Jay McCormick
•  Shawn McNamara
•  Mike Meade
•  Rob Mikulski
•  Dan Morgan
•  Bob Ontko
•  Aoatoa Polamalu
•  Bobby Polito
•  Ed Pryts
•  Scott Radecic
•  Terry Rakowski
•  Kevin Romango
•  Dwayne Rush
•  Michael Russo
•  Rich Schonewolf
•  John Shaffer
•  Brian Siverling
•  Patrick Slater
•  Rob Smith
•  Pete Speros
•  Joseph Strycharz
•  Mike Suter
•  Tim Sweeney
•  John Walsh
•  Darryl Washington
•  Steve Wisniewski
•  Jeff Woofter
•  Jeff Anderson
•  John Andress
•  Steve Babinchak
•  Michael Barninger
•  Tom Bill
•  Dave Brzenchek
•  Mike Carroll
•  Robert Ceh
•  Kerry Collins
•  Brett Conway
•  Bob Daman
•  Maurice Daniels
•  Daniel Drogan
•  Adam Fahrer
•  Douglas Farren
•  Gerald Filardi
•  Derek Fox
•  Reggie Givens
•  Rudolph Glocker
•  Ryan Grube
•  Shelly Hammonds
•  Jeff Hartings
•  Leonard Humphries
•  Greg Huntington
•  Chad Linnon
•  Rob Luedeke
•  Mike Malinoski
•  Joe Markiewicz
•  Christian Marrone
•  Tony Matesic
•  OJ McDuffie
•  Tom Molnar
•  Joe Nastasi
•  Kevin O’Keefe
•  Brian O’Neal
•  Brandon Palmer
•  Ryan Seese
•  Brandon Short
•  Dave Smith
•  Terry Smith
•  Vincent Stewart
•  Lance Antolick
•  Jason Bisson
•  Mike Blosser
•  Jeremy Boone
•  James Boyd
•  Brian Brozeski
•  Dorian Burton
•  Gino Capone
•  Daryll Clark
•  Brennan Coakley
•  Dan Corrado
•  Jeremiah Davis
•  Steven Delich
•  Larry Federoff
•  Gus Felder
•  Shamar Finney
•  Eric Flohr
•  Joshua Gaines
•  Phil Gardill
•  Nathan Glunt
•  Ryan Gmerek
•  Tom Golarz
•  Andrew Guman
•  Benjamin Gummo
•  Joe Hartings
•  Erik Holt
•  Tom Humphrey
•  Justin Ingram
•  Joe Iorio
•  Cedric Jeffries
•  Bryant Johnson
•  Michael Johnson
•  Bobby Jones
•  Jim Kanuch
•  Brad Karson
•  Ben Lago
•  Kevion Latham
•  Tyler Lenda
•  Mike Lukac
•  Jordan Lyons
•  Nick Marmo
•  Shawn Mayer
•  Anthony Morelli
•  Jordan Norwood
•  Anwar Phillips
•  Andrew Pitz
•  Paul Posluszny
•  Curt Reese
•  Matthew Rice
•  David Royer
•  Bryan Scott
•  Ryan Scott
•  AQ Shipley
•  Mickey Shuler
•  Jonathan Stewart
•  Nick Sukay
•  Tyler Valoczki
•  Casey Williams
•  Thomas Williams
•  Michael Yancich
•  Alan Zemaitis
Coaches and staff
•  Dick Anderson
•  John Bove
•  Booker Brooks
•  Craig Cirbus
•  Don Carlino
•  Raymond J. Horan
•  George Salvaterra

Editorial Comment–”We are Penn State, and we want the truth.  We are standing behind our traditions, values, and motto of Success with Honor–Joe Paterno’s “Grand Experiement”  that now graduates more Division 1 Football players than any other University!”–Myke Triebold

Tom Harmon: Person of Interest

By Ray Blehar

Most of the documents that have been confirmed as missing from the Freeh Report involve correspondence and/or communications between Schultz and Harmon. First the only thing missing from the 2001 case is a communication about the 1998 case. 
End Note 304:  Schultz confidential file note (5-1-12).  Schultz contacts Harmon to inquire about the 1998 file on 2/12/2001.

Tom Harmon and the 1998 Sandusky Case

There is much more to the story of Tom Harmon than the Freeh investigation and report revealed – especially when it’s viewed in the following context.
1.  He lived on the same street as Jerry Sandusky back in the late 70s (Norle Street).
2.  He attended the same church as Sandusky (St. Paul’s United Methodist Church).
3.  He made the decision to file the 1998 police investigation as administrative information to avoid discovery of the investigation by the press.
4.  On May 8, Harmon informed Schultz that DPW was bringing in a psychologist.
And this is the first clue about something off track about 1998.
The police file, below, shows  the date that Schreffler requested the evaluation be delayed was changed from May 8 to May 5.  However, it was not possible for Schreffler to make this call at 11:20AM on May 5, 1998 because Lauro didn’t become a party to the investigation until 1:55PM on May 5, 1998 (see page 8 of the police report).   This is a definite alteration. Two other times regarding the interview are changed (note the canting of the numbers), making absolutely no sense from a chronological standpoint.  Finally, the last date on the page is out of order. However, the latter aligns properly and was likely just an oversight by Schreffler in not adding it chronologically.   Regardless, more investigation is needed to determine who made the alterations and why.
5.  At Exhibit 2B, Harmon informed Schultz that a psychologist had interviewed the child.  Note: Exhibit 2B also shows signs of alterations - the time date stamps are out of order.
6.  Harmon, at the preliminary perjury hearing in December 2011, denied knowledge of any psychologists interviewing the children (page 127).
7.  Within two hours of Schreffler’s June 1, 1998 interview with Sandusky, Harmon e-mailed Schultz to inform him there would be no charges (Freeh Report, Exhibit 2B).
8.  Harmon, at the preliminary perjury hearing stated he never personally discussed the 1998 case with District Attorney, Ray Gricar or Assistant District Attorney J. Karen Arnold.
9.  Harmon, at the preliminary perjury hearing, stated he was informed by Schreffler that DA Gricar closed the case (page 120).

Who Really Closed the 1998 Case?

The closure of this case is interesting for a number of reasons.  First, the Freeh Report equivocates on when Harmon was informed of Gricar closing the case, stating it happened between May 27 and June 1, 1998.  Freeh’s reference for the date is the Preliminary Perjury Hearing, at which Harmon made no reference to the May 27th date.
Why is that date included?  Well, let’s keep peeling back the onion….
Clearly, Schreffler was still investigating the case on June 1st and the police file indicates he closed the case AFTER he interviewed Sandusky.  Thus, if there is debate about when the case was closed, it should be about was it closed June 1 or was it closed later?
Exhibit 2D is proof (as much as we can trust Freeh’s evidence) that Harmon e-mailed Schultz on June 1st to say the case was closed – but did he really get that message from Schreffler, who was relaying it from Gricar?
I ask that question because DA Ray Gricar was notorious at reviewing all of the evidence before deciding to charge or not charge a case.
Based on the police report, Schreffler interviewed Sandusky at 11AM on June 1st.  Allowing a half hour for the interview, that leaves 1.5 hours for Schreffler to immediately go to his desk, type out his report, get it approved by Wayne Weaver, fax it or drive it over to the DA’s office, have Gricar review it, and then call or tell Harmon that Gricar wasn’t going to press charges.
Uh, yeah.  That didn’t happen.  The police report was 94 pages long and had to be completed, then reviewed by two people.
Of course, Gricar also would have also wanted to review the DPW report as well, given his penchant for wanting to know the details of the cases (even summary offenses).
So, this timeline of events, involving the closure of the 1998 investigation – and particularly the timing of the phone call from Harmon to Schultz closing the 1998 case – doesn’t add up.
However, in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Schreffler stated the order to close the case came from the DA and that Gricar gave no explanation.  But the story continues…
At the time, Mr. Gricar spoke to Mr. Schreffler’s police chief, Tom Harmon, and that was it.
Harmon testified under oath that Schreffler informed him that Gricar closed the case.
Schreffler told the Post-Gazette that Harmon talked to Gricar.
Harmon testified under oath that he never personally discussed the case with Gricar.  And he also testified that he didn’t know of psychologists being consulted during the investigation.
Based on everything written above -as well as the altered police report – we need some straight answers from Tom Harmon.
And the answer I want to know the most is….
….did the call to close the 1998 case come from Bellefonte or did it come from Harrisburg?

Under Emmert, NCAA enforcement division has gone from bad to worse

 NCAA insiders cite meddling from president Mark  Emmert as a major reason the enforcement division is in disarray.

In a comprehensive story in this week’s Sports Illustrated, senior  writers Pete Thamel and Alexander Wolff go inside the Nevin Shapiro case at  Miami and explore how the NCAA mishandled it. Here is some additional  information that doesn’t appear in the story. For the complete magazine story  and to buy a digital version of the issue, go here.

On May 11, 2011, all NCAA employees were required to attend a day-long  meeting that began at the ballroom of the J.W. Marriott near NCAA headquarters  in Indianapolis.

When the employees returned to the NCAA’s offices that day, they found  banners featuring corporate buzzwords like communication, accountability and inclusion had replaced banners of famous  athletes and inspirational quotes. The sidewalks and bridge near NCAA  headquarters featured similar messages.

The day marked the grand rollout of One Team One Future, one of NCAA  president Mark Emmert’s internal initiatives to improve the work culture at the  NCAA.

What unfolded epitomizes Emmert’s two-and-a-half-year NCAA tenure — plenty  of flash with little tangible results. When NCAA employees arrived at their  desks that day, their computer screen savers and phone backdrops were adorned  with One Team One Future logos. But they weren’t quite prepared for the  grand rollout, with Emmert’s introduction coming by a voice-of-God narrator amid  a backdrop of music, strobe lights and video.

“It’s the Jim Carrey movie Yes Man, where he goes to that big  inspirational thing,” says former NCAA investigator Abby Grantstein. “The  culture of the NCAA wasn’t like that before, and you can’t change it in one  day.”

She added that the message was clear: “It was like, ‘Get on the bus or go  home.’”

WOLFF: Nevin Shapiro is still talking from jail

SI spoke with more than 20 current or former NCAA employees about the  troubles of the NCAA enforcement staff for a lengthy story in this week’s Sports Illustrated. A portrait emerged of a department battered by  turnover, afraid of lawsuits and overwhelmed by scandal. One ex-enforcement  official told SI, “The time is ripe to cheat. There’s no policing going on.”

In many interviews with NCAA officials about enforcement, the topic quickly  shifted back to the leadership of Emmert, who is known internally at the NCAA as  the “King Of The Press Conference.” That’s not a compliment.

One of the biggest criticisms of Emmert is his desire to be in the spotlight.  (Emmert declined multiple requests to speak with SI for this story. Spokesman  Bob Williams says Emmert’s increased public profile has been at the request of  the NCAA’s Executive Committee.)

Even one of Emmert’s supporters could come up with few positives for One  Team One Future, calling the rollout “mechanical.” The NCAA employee  compared it to an Apple shareholder meeting. “Some of that may have rubbed  people the wrong way,” the person said. “I think it reflects the approach and  style that Emmert brought to the position, whether that’s good or bad, it’s the  reality of it.”

The reality is that NCAA culture needs to change, as it’s entering a time of  great transition. The enforcement staff is fighting the perception that it’s  meek, and many of its most talented investigators have left the association.

When talking to a dozen college officials to get a pulse on Emmert, many  struggled to answer the question, “What has he actually accomplished so far in  his tenure?” Even the harsh sanctions against Penn State in the wake of the  Jerry Sandusky scandal ($60 million fine, four-year bowl ban and the loss of 40  scholarships over four years) has painted Emmert in a bad light  after he went on a television tour, which some perceived as a victory lap, to  talk about the unprecedented action by the NCAA.

The NCAA has failed to pass most of the initiatives Emmert has trumpeted.  Many agreed with the ideals behind Emmert’s ambitious agenda, including trying  to give scholarship athletes a small amount of money to cover the full cost of  school, and paring down the rulebook. But the lack of results have highlighted  the growing schism between haves and have nots in Division I and further  polarized the athletic directors who feel largely ignored and highlighted how  out-of-touch Emmert is with his constituents. There’s been tremendous turnover  in top-level NCAA jobs under Emmert, to the point where many administrators  complain that they don’t even know who to call at the NCAA anymore. And therein  lies the irony of Emmert’s One Team One Future attempt — ideals like  communication, collaboration and inclusion sound great, but they’re missing  among the membership.

“I’m really concerned,” said one high-ranking college administrator. “There’s  a need for a healthy NCAA. It’s not healthy right now.”

Morale is at an all-time low among the enforcement staff as several respected  veterans — Dave Didion (Auburn), Marcus Wilson (Maryland) and Chance Miller  (South Carolina) — have left for college compliance positions since April. On  Tuesday the department received another huge blow when Rachel Newman-Baker, the  managing director for enforcement, development and investigators, left for a  compliance job at Kentucky. Newman-Baker is the highest ranking member of the  department to leave since enforcement vice president Julie Roe Lach was fired in  February in the wake of missteps in the Miami investigation.

“With Rachel gone,” another ex-NCAA staffer said, “there’s really only two  investigators (Angie Cretors and LuAnn Humphrey) left with experience in major  football and basketball cases.”

Last week, interim director of enforcement Jonathan Duncan told SI: “It’s  been a tough time for the enforcement staff.”

One of the driving forces of the enforcement exodus came from seeing how  Emmert’s office handled the Miami debacle. The NCAA knew about the issues  regarding the financial arrangement between Nevin Shapiro’s lawyer and  investigator Ameen Najjar for months, but Emmert’s remarks to the press — “a  shocking affair” — came off as if he’d just been informed that morning and  needed to express his outrage publicly.

Many staffers felt like Lach was the scapegoat, as the 52-page external report shows she directed Najjar’s request  through the proper channels. Jim Isch, the No. 2 behind Emmert at the NCAA, also  knew of the arrangement and offered financial support, but he faced no  repercussions. No logical explanation of that disconnect was provided.

How the NCAA handled Tom Hosty didn’t help either; weeks after Hosty was  demoted from managing director to director of enforcement, Isch informed the  staff of the demotion at a meeting and walked out as jaws dropped to the floor.

“They know if the s— hits the fan, they’re not going to be backed up by  anyone,” said one ex-investigator.

As the NCAA moves forward, the reality of Emmert’s future is tricky. “When  you get to the position Mark is in right now,” said another college  administrator, “it’s how and when you are leaving, not if.”

That’s easy to say, but that pace of change in both academia and in the NCAA  is unbearably slow. As one former staffer said of NCAA business: “You realize  that it takes 100 internal emails for you to get the one e-mail that says  nothing.”

Academia is arguably worse, as the average search for a college president  takes a year. There are few groups of powerful people more collectively risk  averse than college presidents, who when deciding on whether to blow their nose  insist on forming a sub-committee to dissect proper tissue texture. In other  words, getting a group of college presidents together to make a bold move like  firing Emmert is highly unlikely. Emmert could realize he’s in an untenable  position and jump to another job, but that isn’t likely either (he reportedly  makes $1.6 million per year).

It should be noted that Emmert does have supporters, particularly among  Pac-12 presidents, as he came to office from Washington. He helped hire Pac-12  commissioner Larry Scott and counts Oregon State’s Ed Ray among his closest  confidants.

But elsewhere, Emmert’s support is tepid at best. He proved helpless during  realignment, has been overwhelmed by constant scandal and has been unable to get  his reform measures through the muddled NCAA governance structure.

Even worse, public perception of the NCAA under Emmert is at an all-time low.  (This stinging USA Today story that exposed Emmert’s  messy handling of a large-scale construction project while at UConn didn’t help  Emmert’s reputation.) The mass exodus of talented employees speak much louder  than his corporate buzzwords. And that’s something that can’t be changed with  flashy lights or new screen

Bob Costas Interview with Thornburg, Soller, MGinn

By Matt Morgan —

                                    Representatives of the family of the late Joe Paterno said the family will sue the NCAA over sanctions against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse trial.

Paterno family lawyer Wick Sollers, Paterno family spokesman Dan McGinn and former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh announced the lawsuit late Wednesday on the NBC Sports Network program “Costas Tonight.”

The suit, to be filed Thursday in Centre County court, will challenge the NCAA, President Mark Emmert and the former chairman of the executive committee, Edward Ray, concerning the consent decree that led to heavy penalties against the university last summer. An exclusive interview aired close to midnight Wednesday.

The suit seeks to overturn the sanctions, provide compensatory and punitive damages from the NCAA for improper conduct and breach of contract and reimbursement for legal costs, according to a news release from the family. The family will donate any net monetary gains to charity.

The six counts against the NCAA include breach of contract, civil conspiracy, defamation and commercial disparagement.

Sollers said on the show that the complete adoption of the Louis Freeh report and the binding nature of the consent decree needs to be challenged. The consent decree bound the university to sanctions including a $60 million fine, scholarship reductions, a four-year bowl ban and the loss of more than 100 wins for the football program.

“The reality is that consent decree was imposed through coercion and threats behind the scenes and there was no ability for anyone to get redress,” Sollers said. “There was no board approval, there was no transparency, and there was no consideration of this consent decree.”

Host Bob Costas also re-examined the Freeh report as it relates to Paterno.

The family challenged the Freeh report in February, with individual reports from Sollers, Thornburgh, former FBI profiler Jim Clemente and Fred Berlin, an expert on sexual disorders.

The suit will also include Penn State trustees Ryan McCombie, Anthony Lubrano, Alvin Clemens, Peter Khoury and Adam Taliaferro, faculty members Peter Bordi, Terry Engelder, Spencer Niles and John O’Donnell former players Anthony Adams, Gerald Cadogan, Shamar Finney, Justin Kurpeikis, Richard Gardner, Josh Gaines, Patrick Mauti, Anwar Phillips and Michael Robinson and former coaches William Kenney and Jay Paterno, according to the release.

Penn State as a whole will not take part, spokesman Dave LaTorre wrote in an email Wednesday afternoon.

“The university is not a party to any lawsuit against the NCAA that may be filed by the Paterno family,” he said.

LaTorre said Penn State remains committed to complying with the consent decree regarding the NCAA sanctions against the school and working with athletics integrity monitor George Mitchell to move the university forward.

McGinn said the suit will help to “correct the record.”

“When I speak of the damage, it’s not just to the Paterno family, the Paterno name; it is to Penn State, a great institution that has a great history and tradition in sports,” he says on the show. “It’s to the alums there, the students, the faculty, and the community. The NCAA wreaked enormous damage to this community, and this is just one way to get the record right.”

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs are Wick Sollers, managing partner of King & Spalding’s Washington, D.C., office and Paul Kelly, a partner in the Boston office of the Jackson Lewis firm.

The NCAA declined comment Wednesday, Chief Legal Officer Donald Remy said in a statement. He said the organization will continue to work with Penn State toward successful completion of the agreement.

Editorial Note:  NCAA and Mark Emmert were invited to show and declined to appear.  Bob Costas invited them again to participate in a discussion.  Bob Costas also appeared this morning on Joe in the Morning on MSNBC to discuss the interview.