For those of you who don’t see the can of worms Mark Emmert opened with the decision to bypass the usual NCAA enforcement process in the wake of the PSU scandal, maybe a couple of points raised in this Pat Forde column will help illustrate what I’ve argued.
First, from Emmert’s own lips:
“One of the grave dangers stemming from our love of sports is the sports themselves can become too big to fail and too big to even challenge. The result can be an erosion of academic values that are replaced by hero worship and winning at all costs.” [Emphasis added.]
As Forde notes, how can you play the academic card and then remain inactive in the face of the North Carolina scandal?
But here’s the real issue that Emmert has created:
And now that a “Damn the Rulebook, Do What’s Right” precedent has been established, is North Carolina’s sad academic sandal a logical second act for the Emmert Posse?
If not, I’d say the NCAA has some explaining to do. So does Josephine Potuto.
Potuto is a former NCAA Committee on Infractions member and chairwoman, and currently is the NCAA faculty athletic representative at Nebraska. She told Yahoo! Sports last month that she’s concerned about the precedent the Penn State ruling sets for the NCAA to jump outside its standard operating procedures. Now, Potuto said, the NCAA will have to explain itself every time it chooses not to get involved in an athletic issue on campus that is not directly related to NCAA bylaws.
Whether the NCAA decides to act or not in North Carolina’s case, it’s going to have to rationalize the call publicly either way or risk further erosion to its credibility – assuming Emmert cares about that, of course.