It’s hard to argue with Charlie Pierce’s assessment of what Mark Emmert laid on Penn State yesterday.
This is not “reform” because the NCAA, the most corrupt entity in a corrupt business, is still in place, and so are its rules. This is not “reform” because, all over America, there are still multimillion sports enterprises wagging the dog at universities, and coaches with enough power to cover up even the most heinous crimes. This is not “reform” because nothing was, well, reformed.
Even Emmert himself ultimately seems to admit that.
In punishing the Penn State football program with an unprecedented series of sanctions, President Mark Emmert said he hopes the NCAA has served notice that a win-at-all-costs mentality in major college football won’t be tolerated.
This has been a theme for the former University of Washington president since he got the job in October 2010 and scandal after scandal hit the headlines, from Auburn to Miami and State College, Pa.
Yet the NCAA does not plan to overhaul its procedures for handling potential infractions. Emmert made it clear that the $60 million fine, four-year bowl ban, scholarship reductions and more were put together largely by himself and a handful of NCAA leaders because Penn State and serial child molester Jerry Sandusky presented a unique situation.
In other words, few can imagine anything like this happening again.
“This is a statement about this case,” Emmert said.
It’s kinda like the NCAA’s Bush v. Gore moment. (Remember “Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances, for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities.”?) Which is why Mark Fox’ question is a purely rhetorical one.
Dogs basketball coach Mark Fox on the NCAA’s decision: “We’re talking about crimes against children. Let’s just hope – and there’s no comparison here, because the offenses are different – but will the NCAA be as stiff with people who cheat to get a competitive advantage? For them to get involved in this, it’s groundbreaking.”
The only precedent that’s been set is that if there’s enough public outrage about a situation, the NCAA will stretch its bylaws and guidelines as far as need be to mollify the outraged. I’m sure we won’t ever again have to worry about serial child molesters being enabled by major college athletic departments. As for the business as usual stuff, I’ll believe things have changed for the better when I see it.