For Jim Delany, one of these things is not like the others.

The man has to twist himself into knots dissecting the differences between the programs he oversees that are now on NCAA probation.  It’s almost painful.

“I don’t really care if it’s a precedent. I don’t really care about whether or not they [NCAA] had jurisdiction or whether or not there was an underlying NCAA violation. There’s been a lot of debate by pundits one way or the other.

“The only thing that matters to me is I think the NCAA did have moral authority to act, and I think the Big Ten had moral authority to act …

“I think because the Freeh report has been accepted by the institution, it allowed for the NCAA to take its next steps it felt were appropriate. You can debate them all you want, but in my view they had moral authority and responsibility to act as did the Big Ten …

“This case is unique in the sense that I think it involved people with senior executive and management responsibilities … I think the other issue is that Penn State adopted — not only adopted, but authorized the Freeh report and then adopted it. So that in addition to the moral authority, they had a legal set of findings which the university accepted and embraced and commissioned.

“If this is precedential and — I don’t believe that it is — but if you ever had senior executives and a set of findings that the NCAA could rely on that related to a criminal charge, I think perhaps you would — an institution would have something to worry about, because of the elements or the facts would have some commonality. But absent those kinds of things, where you don’t have a factual set of findings and you don’t have senior involvement in those findings, I think it’s a stretch.”

In a league that prides itself on academic excellence, Delany had to admit that a third of his league is currently on probation — Penn State, Nebraska (books), Michigan (20-hour work week) and Ohio State (Tattoogate).

“The Penn State situation certainly needs to be separated from the discussion of Nebraska’s book-buying policies. I think it’s intellectually and morally difficult to even discuss those things in the same sentence.

“In the case of Ohio State, you had a coach who lost his job for not being honest about answering questions about tattoos. I think that also has to be separated and it’s morally and intellectually a stretch to discuss that in the same sentence.

“Having said that, there are all three NCAA cases. And so when you look at NCAA cases, we — and me in particular — have never claimed that we don’t have teams on probation or that we don’t have teams that make mistakes.”

Clear as mud, that.  Maybe the problem is that college football’s moral authority is the new jumbo shrimp.  But it’s good to know in advance what card Delany or Emmert might play the next time either claims his delicate fee-fees are hurt.

And let’s hear it for Illinois’ new head coach, who is obviously not troubled in the least by where any of this hair-splitting leads.

Illinois coach Tim Beckman acknowledged he is “just following the rules of the NCAA” and has nothing to apologize for, refuting reports Wednesday that members of his staff were on campus. Beckman said Illinois provided Penn State with a list of the names of players it was interested in pursuing.

“We were in State College, but we did not go on campus,” he said. “We went to two establishments outside campus and called some individuals and if they wanted to come by, it was their opportunity to come by.”

Hooker with a heart of gold, that one is.  But Beckman did manage to pull off something that’s hard to do – give Urban Meyer the chance to grab some higher moral ground.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said he “has a problem” with coaches being able to solicit players from Penn State.

Told of Meyer’s comments, O’Brien said, “That’s why he’s got two national championships. That’s why he is the coach he is.”

Ladies and gentlemen, your Big Ten Conference.  They didn’t name those divisions Legends and Leaders for nothing.

38 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, The NCAA

38 responses to “For Jim Delany, one of these things is not like the others.

  1. Lrgk9

    Meyer is what Mike Shula would have been if he would have won the GPOOE lottery. Urban sure ran for the hills when the GPOOE lottery funds expired. Was looking forward to watching him get pounded into the turf in the SEC.

  2. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Some of you lawyers out there please read my detailed post near the end of the “He’s very good” thread below. The NCAA botched the vote giving the President the power to impose sanctions on Penn State. They did it by vote of a committee. Under the NCAA Constitution and Bylaws they should have had a vote of ALL member institutions under the “Special Legislation” section. Emmert did not have the power to impose sanctions on Penn State.

    • GaskillDawg

      I read it, and I am not bothered by the deal since it was a consent decree. If PSU was willing to agree to the sanctions then why do you fight a battle for them that they do not wish to fight? Here is a analogy to the law. The Georgia Code requires that before a person can be tried for a serious felony, such as murder grand jury must return an indictment against the defendant. However, if a defendant wishes to enter a guilty plea before the case goes to grand jury the defendant is free to waive presentment to a grand jury and plea guilty. That does not happen often, but it is permissible.

      Not many folks would read about that defendant waiving presentment to a grand jury and pleaing guilty, then jump up off of the coach and write an editorial saying, “OUTRAGE!!! A JUDGE LET A DEFENDANT PLEA GUILTY WITHOUT REQUIRING A GRAND JURY!!!!”

      Penn State acknowledging its wrongdoings sure has made civil libertarians out of a lot of folk.

      • GaskillDawg

        That should be, “jump up off the couch.” Sorry.

        • AlphaDawg

          No lawyer here, but I made a similar argument with a friend a few days ago. These sanctions are essentially self imposed. PSU hired Freeh, gave him free reign to investigate, made no efforts to hide his findings, gave those findings to the NCAA and said ‘Here is the proof of our wrong doings, punish us and make it severe so it doesn’t look like thereis any favoritism. We will accpt whateer yo feel isit merits”

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Except that is not what happened. Emmert went to the Executive Committee and the D-I Board of Directors of the NCAA to get the power to act which that Committee and Board did not have the authority to give. He should have gone to the NCAA membership as a whole (180 institutions in D-I alone) and all member institutions should have voted on this under the “Special Legislation” section of the NCAA Constitution. If he had gone that route he may very well have lost that vote–we’ll never know. Then, pretending to have authority which he did not have Emmert threatened Penn State with a 4 year death penalty in order to get the President of Penn State to go along with Emmert’s proposed sanctions. As another poster stated yesterday, if a robber sticks a gun in your ribs and says:”Your money or your life” and you give him your money did you do it “voluntarily?” This was no more a voluntary plea of guilty by Penn State than those “guilty” pleas that the old Soviet Union used to get by torture in the prison beneath the Kremlin, to a “judge” that didn’t have the legal authority to render a sentence.

            • Always Someone Else's Fault

              Except that IS what happened. PSU could not self-impose ANY sanctions because the Paterno Loyalists would not allow it. They would have turned the pre-meeting dedication into a 4 hour argument because it didn’t specifically reference St. Joe. You really think that group can have a substantive discussion about penalties when normally intelligent guys like Todd Blackledge can’t even bring themselves to admit what Paterno did?

              If you step back and look at this with some measure of objectivity, PSU compressed a 24 month NCAA procedural Chinese Drip Torture into one 24 hours. Neat work, that. And if, as PSU President, you would rather today be sitting in your office today wondering how your football program is going to survive a two-year procedural pissing match between the NCAA COI and the extended Clan Paterno, followed by sanctions, then more power to you. I wouldn’t.

            • GaskillDawg

              Mayor, where is the end point of your argument? Are you saying PSU should not have gotten the sanctions it agreed to? If so, why are you carrying PSU’s water?

              PSU commissioned the damned Freeh Report. PSU made the Freeh Report public. PSU vouched for the accuracy of the Freeh Report. Surely you do not contend that PSU did not do what PSU said it did.

              Your analogy, then , about a innocent person forced to plea guilty by the KGB does not hold. PSU isn’t “pleaing guility” to something it did not do; PSU “pled guilty” to something it announced to the world, in advance, that it did do. When a guilty person pleas guilty to something he did in fact do, Barnhart’s attitude is that we should “let the process play itself out” and convene a trial anyway.

              PSU has a lot of really good lawyers, better lawyers than me. The president of PSU has access to the best advice it can buy; it isn’t an illiterate sharecropper facing the High Sheriff. I’ll bet that PSU also considered how fighting the penalty phase would have played out in the court of public opinion and, indirectly, in jury rooms of the civil trials. It decided that it would have a better posture going forward in the civil claims by taking harsh medicine. If PSU believed that the sanctions it agreed to were the best it could do then why would I disagree?.

              I guess you think that the NCAA should throw out the deal and cut a better deal for PSU. We agree to disagree, I guess.

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                See my post below in response to Scorpio. I’m more worried about the NCAA and Emmert exponentially expanding their power to the point where next time we have a dictator who tries to impose his will summarily on some school that is quite possibly innocent. “Hard facts make bad law.”

    • DawgPhan

      It’s still tldr. lol.

  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    Sounds like Corch missed out on the good Penn State players, so he’s doing his usual spin job.

    • I think Corch realizes there aren’t any players on Penn State that he wants. He has no problem poaching “committed” players from other teams before signing day. The Penn State players at this point are nothing more than “committed” players who reside on the PSU campus.

  4. Go Dawgs!

    Urban Meyer only has “a problem” with coaches being able to solicit Penn State’s players because he’s worried about coaches being able to do the same thing at Ohio State if his boosters ever get caught again.

    • Nate Dawg

      +1. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I was absolutely baffled by Meyer saying that. Just couldn’t figure it out while wiping the coffee off my monitor after reading it. I think you’re exactly right.

  5. wnc dawg

    I enjoyed the two concluding sentences of this post more than I should admit in polite company.

    One thing I keep thinking about that I have not seen as much discussion on as some of the other aspects of the PSU nightmare is the long-term implications of the use of the Freeh Report. No university will ever go the 3rd party investigation route again. That is a shame because this could have been one of the silver lining precedents from the whole affair. Now we’ll no doubt get the 1/2 ass internal investigation to discover the “rouge” individual (always an individual), followed by sitting out a crappy bowl game and taking a few hits on scholarships, and then all is well. I mean, take UNC- they had an agent/runner ON STAFF, university supervised tutors busted for doing all of player’s work, and an entire university department dedicated to handing out academic credit to athletes for little or no work. And this year they can’t go to the Belk Bowl. El Presidente Emmert sure ain’t rushing full speed ahead to hold a press conference to hand out penalties and discuss that case.

    • I agree with most of that, except I can see a school or conference wanting to go the independent investigation route if it thinks there’s an advantage to controlling the outcome of the investigation.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I haven’t studied the Freeh report but it supposedly blames everything on people who are no longer there. wnc dawg is dead-on. Freeh identified less than half a dozen “rogue” individuals and put all the blame on them. That was still enough for the NCAA and others to conclude “loss of institutional control” had occurred, however.

        • Always Someone Else's Fault

          I like your posts MoD. I hope you see this as a discussion. I do.

          Freeh report: I’ve read it. The only people complaining about its findings are the Paterno family, and those are limited to JoePa’s involvement.

          The part I found most interesting, mainly because it was new information to me, was PSU’s compliance department. Spanier keeps talking about how “big” PSU was on compliance, “much more than other universities” – but Freeh found their compliance office was “significantly understaffed” (shades of USC here). Another example: PSU’s outside legal advisers kept pointing towards the lack of a clear Cleary Act compliance protocol as a significant legal risk – and yet the university, for more than three years, never bothered acting on those recommendations. I could go on. And on.

          The picture I get is pretty clear – PSU liked the attention it received for being a “compliance poster child” (shades of OSU), but they didn’t want to actually do the work.

          Do 6 individuals define a university? No. But when those 6 are the president, vice president, AD, and head coach, they do define a football program, IMO.

          If making a known child predator the public face of your program’s child charity program isn’t an LOI, then I don’t what it is or ever could be.

    • Always Someone Else's Fault

      UNC initiated an independent investigation and is authorizing a second one.

      They called in the State Bureau of Investigation through the Department of State to subpoena Blake and Wichard. Otherwise, none of the factual dirt on Blake gets exposed — all of that comes from records that UNC and the NCAA otherwise would never have been able to review. They self-reported all of the academic shenanigans, and I read yesterday that they are going to authorize an independent review of the athletic department’s academic advising for the last decade or something like that.

      No one got raped. Everyone got fired. Every player even suspected of being involved sat out at least 4 games, and most never played again. Between suspensions and scholarship losses, UNC in effect lost 30 scholarships.

      • Cojones

        If they had the right to review AJ’s bank account, what rights did they not have in reviewing the UNC shenanigans?

        Good discussion.

        • Always Someone Else's Fault

          Players have to show the records. Coaches don’t. Blake was under no obligation to show his private records until the state SBI issued their subpoena.

      • wnc dawg

        Agreed, good discussion.
        UNC did not request the DoS or SBI, they have come in b/c of the altered grades/academic fraud stuff being on the State’s dime. Blake was busted not by the legal authorities, but by the media. UNC did have an investigation, but it was not a 3rd party independent type deal. Recall, UNC in their thorough self-reporting, found no academic fraud. NC State fans used the released docs to prove an athletes paper was plagiarized, and UNC didn’t find the issues in the African/Afro American Studies Dept during their investigation. Again, it was the media that dropped that bomb on them. Only in the last month or so has the head of the BoT started saying things about reopening the investigation and rooting out all the issues. Prior to him all the head honchos have been talking about a rouge coach, rogue player, rouge former player (who was an agent runner working out with current players on campus), rouge department head, rouge tutor, etc. I hope, as a NC taxpayer, that the Trustees are now acting. But it looks like their hand has been forced b/c of the State investigations, etc.
        The point being- it’s all just part of the game. You don’t have to actually DO anything about this stuff. You just have to appear to do something to keep the story from lingering and keep saying the right things at the press conferences (see: G. Smith, tOSU). Oh, and that “this individual acted alone.”

        • Always Someone Else's Fault

          The NC SBI was called by the Sec. State for possible violations of the state’s sports agent law, which fell under her jurisdiction. They did not address the academic fraud stuff at all – just reviewing Blake’s and Wichard’s financial connections. No Sec. State sends the state SBI to investigate stuff potentially damaging to the state’s major flagship U without the blessing of said U. It would be political suicide, which is why I cannot recall any SBI investigating an agent/eligibility/runner case, ever.

          All of the academic fraud primary source material has been self-generated by UNC. NC State vetted the one academic paper after the student whose eligibility had been revoked filed suit and included the paper as part of that public record. Note that dependent clause: “whose eligibility had been revoked.” Based on material generated by UNC.

          All of the material being printed by the Raleigh paper is coming from FOIA requests to the university. The university presented all of this information to the NCAA during the NCAA review. It’s “new” to the news cycle, but it’s not new to the NCAA. They knew all of this when they issued sanctions – or at least that is what the new AD is claiming, and the NCAA hasn’t contradicted him, simply saying the matter is closed.

          Remember when Davis got fired right before last season? That was when UNC discovered the AF-AM professor was still setting up his summer classes and football players were still the primary enrollment. Right after that, more NCAA investigators headed to campus, and the COI schedule got pushed back a couple of months – for reasons at the time that no one understood. I’m guessing this was being added to the mix.

          My understanding is that UNC will bring in an independent investigation in order to satisfy UNC faculty members who have (good) questions about the academic advising. My guess is that they are going to find the academic advisers, who are supposed to work for Arts and Sciences, were getting their marching orders instead from people within the athletic department. That’s not the way their system is supposed to run, and it will be embarrassing.

          And my next guess is that the NCAA will not issue any further sanctions as a result, but it’s certainly possible.

  6. Scorpio Jones, III

    ““The only thing that matters to me is I think the NCAA did have moral authority to act, and I think the Big Ten had moral authority to act …”

    If makes me very nervous I agree with Jim Delany about anything.

    • Now you’re getting it. ;)

    • Macallanlover

      Me too, Brother. I feel very dirty but have to admit Delany is spot on with his comments about the NCAA’s handling of the PSU mess. The Senator was right when he said those of us who applaud the actions may be guilty of “ends justify the means” rationale, I know I am. Sometimes you just have to get it right, they did. If you run your whole life, business, government, etc. with that philosophy you may end up in a bad place but there are situations where you have to correct things and keep them in the road…this was one of those things.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Mac, here’s the deal, Delany probly read some of our posts on GTP and was swayed by the impeccable logic.

        And Senator…getting what? That even arrogant assholes like Delany can see clearly now and then?

        I don’t really have any problem agreeing with Delany….when he is right.

        • So what are you nervous about?

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            Ok, Ok, Ok….I’m not nervous…that was the literary equivalent of digging my toe in the dirt and hanging my head and trying to fit in or something.

            “I don’t really have any problem agreeing with Delany….when he is right.”

            The above reflects how I actually feel about what Delany said. My deepest apologies for the attempted deflection.

            • Scorpio Jones, III

              Sorry, but I feel the need for a further pontification.

              What happened at Penn State is so far beyond the pale as to be almost incomprehensible to most of us, I think.

              Early on I was in the “leave nothing but a smoking hole” camp. (HT-Bubba)

              But as I calmed down and listened to the input of folks whose intellect and reasoning I respect…mainly my Life Commander She…I came to believe the only sanctioning body or court which could make an impact on Penn State, and should make an impact on them was the NCAA.

              For the NCAA to have done nothing would have been ludicrous in the extreme, and effectively removed what remained of the organization’s credibility. And I realize that in some areas the NCAA’s credibility was almost nil, anyway.

              I understand the gnashing of intellectual teeth over the way the NCAA seems to have meted punishment.

              The deal is done. Someone up above says Penn State’s punishment was self imposed and I suppose that is essentially correct.

              What I would have preferred is that Penn State did all this on its own, without forcing the sometimes inept, sometimes inconsistent NCAA to help them do it.

              Because what really does make me nervous, Senator, is that a great educational institution like Penn State allowed itself to be corrupted, was complicit in that corruption and that college football was involved in that corruption.

              The Penn State situation has cut me to the very core of my belief system.

              I was raised at the knee of men who believed totally in the incorruptibility of a great university.

              I have no real interest in the finer legal points of how punishment was leveled or whether, at then end of the hunt, it was done according to protocol or according to someone’s reading of a document.

              I am sleeping a bit better knowing punishment was leveled.

              I hope all of us here are.

              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                I actually am in a similar camp to SJ and his “She.” My problem is that the NCAA has certain safety mechanisms built into its Constitution and Bylaws to prevent a screw-up (See Section 19-Enforcement) and those were all bypassed in this situation. Penn State should have been punished but in a thoughtful and rational way. This action has a little too much lynch mob mentality to it and I am fearful that the entire enforcement process, which exists to give the situation time to cool down so such decisions are not made in the heat of the moment, has now been undermined. Before taking action like this the NCAA should have, by its own Constitution and Bylaws, put it to a vote of all member institutions as per the “Special Legislation” section. It didn’t do that probably because Emmert thought that would take too much time and he wanted to finalize this before he left the country for the Olympics. Without such a vote we don’t know if the member institutions as a whole would have approved giving Emmert such power. The NCAA President, Emmert, acted without proper authority and I have a real problem with that. This whole action by Emmert reveals that Mark Emmert shoots from the hip and the next time he may miss and hit an innocent institution (e.g. the Duke lacrosse situation). The guy is dangerous IMHO.

                • Scorpio Jones, III

                  Mayor I understand your concern, but it was my impression, from watching and taping the news conference that, in fact, the punishment “plan” may very well have actually originated with the members or a group of members who are board members of the NCAA.

                  But that is just my interpretation. Emmert is, after all, only a paid mouthpiece…he may appear to be what you say he is, but he does serve at the pleasure of the membership. I find it hard to accept he would have done anything the members did not agree to first.

                  But, as I say above, this whole deal is uncharted waters, and I hope to hell a completely unique situation.

                  You may be unhappy with the process and I don’t disagree that Emmert has said some things that make me itch, but surely you are not unhappy with the fact that Penn State got sent back to the Stone Age in football, sports and public opinion.

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    I don’t give a rat’s ass about Penn State. They probably got what they deserved. But just because a lynch mob lynches someone who is actually guilty of murder doesn’t mean that you do away with the legal system and decide murder cases with lynch mobs from now on–and that is what I fear is happening within the NCAA protestations by Emmert to the contrary notwithstanding.

                • Cojones

                  How did we hear that a tough NCAA was about to lower the boom on PSU? For days. Were all the committees standing around twisting their hands or were they communicating with each other and members making a dicision that bthey gave Emmert the right to impose.

                  Mayor, when you show me what went on with NCAA conversations for weeks before imposition of sanctions and all the communications they each had before Emmert hit the podium, we all may get an entirely different perspective.

                  Right now you sound like an old Dawg barking up a tree with no coon in it.

        • Macallanlover

          Yes, I was startled to see the Big Boss Thug paraphrasing my words. Like a broken clock being right twice a day, Delany has some redeeming value.

  7. Greg

    Has anyone else noticed the resemblance between Tim Beckman and Henry Rollins?

  8. Faulkner

    Legends and leaders baby!