But… but… we had a deal!

Looks like buyer’s remorse has set in.

At least four Penn State Board of Trustees members intend to file an appeal Monday afternoon with the NCAA over sanctions levied against the university after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal because they say the NCAA did not give the school due process in meting out its punishment.

Trustees and a person with first-hand knowledge of the discussions said the move is a precursor to a federal lawsuit asking a federal judge to invalidate the sanctions, because trustees expect the NCAA to reject the appeal.

The trustees are also trying to determine whether university president Rodney Erickson had legal authority to sign a consent decree agreeing to the package of sanctions — a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, scholarship losses and the vacating of wins from 1998 through 2011.

Erickson signed a consent decree with the NCAA after consulting with Board of Trustees chairwoman Karen Peetz and university counsel, but he did not bring the decree to the full board for review or a vote.

Sounds messy.  Which shouldn’t be unexpected when you’re in a hurry to push a settlement through.  As for the chance of success, it’s not like the NCAA doesn’t lose in court, but you don’t exactly have the most sympathetic plaintiff in the world either.  In any event, it’ll keep things in the public eye – which is what I thought the settlement was supposed to help avoid.


Filed under The NCAA

36 responses to “But… but… we had a deal!

  1. Go Dawgs!

    Sounds like the Penn State community wasn’t as remorseful as the president thought they were.

  2. CarolinaDawg

    Everything Penn State does or says in objection to the sanctions (whether you believe they were justified or not) only validates that PSU should get a swift kick in the nuts as a wake up call.

    • Macallanlover

      Absolutely. I hope they keep the stench alive with their whining until everyone sees just what type of inbreds sit on that board. No wonder the culture was so corrupt, they have no sense of shame. I hope they get their butts kicked in court on thi ssuit, get nailed with civil penalties, then have the NCAA give them the Death Penalty anyway. CFB fans are sick of them and their low-character ways. We are all ready to concentrate on football games and would like to put the worst of the sport behind us. You are lucky you didn’t get more, and you are complaining? Just STFU.

      • Cojones

        Add to that a full investigation of Bd members to ferret out who had personal knowledge of Sandusky and failed to act. Don’t believe that question was asked of that body. Anyone know for sure?

        • Macallanlover

          Would be surprised if some of the BOT at that time didn’t have some knowledge of the cover-up but couldn’t say about any of the current members. Board spots rotate and evolve, no way close confidants of Paterno and the Prez would have never have had a conversation about something this big. They may not have known the whole sordid story, but they couldn’t get past the sudden resignation of Sandusky without some discussion of what went on.

    • gastr1

      It would serve them very well if they appeal, get an NCAA process, and get the death penalty as a result.

  3. Dog in Fla

    Ex-Navy SEAL*. Mission? Terminate with extreme prejudice.

    *”He was on the Second Mile development committee and a mentor in their Friend’s Fitness program.”


  4. Skeptic Dawg

    If Sandusky taught in the science department, would they reduce the number of kids allowed to take science classes? No They would simply fire him and the dean of science for covering it up, let the legal system handle them and move on. The NCAA stepped in due to the public outcry. And for no other reason. PSU should have cleaned its entire atheletic department from top to bottom and all football coaches that worked under JoePa. This is going to get ugly for the NCAA. And they have it coming to them.

    • CarolinaDawg

      Since a good amount of people love to use this analogy, then get it right. It wasn’t just a science teacher and dean of science. It was also a VP and the President. And I’d be willing to bet that their research grant money (i.e. scholarships) would dry up quicker then your bandwagon support when we only gain a yard on 1st and 10.

      • Bulldawg165

        The drying up of research grant money is something I didn’t think of when I originally read his post. Dang if it doesn’t throw his analogy down the toilet though

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Skeptic… No offense here- I am beginning to think from the general tenor of most of your posts that you select a point of view based on what kind of reaction you think it will receive. Generally, kind of a negative response. What’s up with that? Do you leave the copy machine set to reduce 200%, extra dark, 17 inch paper, 99 copies? It ain’t funny.

      • CarolinaDawg

        +1 If a troll actually believes his comments then is he called a “skeptic?”

      • Skeptic Dawg

        As far as this PSU/Sandusky issue is concerned, I believe the NCAA acted on public outcry. Make no mistake about my view, there is no defending anyone involved in this mess. However, it is for the legal system and not an NCAA matter. Due to the horrific nature of the crime, this became an easy witch hunt for the NCAA spurred on by the general masses.

  5. Always Someone Else's Fault

    No, it’s going to get ugly for these trustees. They are going to waste their money fighting their battles in federal court, which is exactly where the rest of the PSU community wants them – off somewhere else, making trouble for someone else.

    Arguing about Erickson’s authority means they are in essence fighting PSU as well as the NCAA. I got $5 says this ends up going nowhere – dropped with no press release. At some point, a good lawyer is going to point out they have only a small chance of winning – and if they do, what do they get? The NCAA initiating its normal COI process, costing PSU even more years in uncertainty and millions in legal fees.

    I’m honestly glad these people are on the outside looking in rather than trying to collar the resources of a state institution to fight a losing battle to restore the honor of Program Paterno. Call it a silver lining of the way things went down.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      The logical extension of Success with Honor. Anyone at Penn State who is actually serious about fighting this has no connection with the real world. Surely to God this is not about Paterno’s legacy.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Sorry Always. There is a high probability that such a lawsuit will be successful. Emmert didn’t follow proper procedure in getting the authority from the NCAA to do what he did because he was in a hurry to get it done before he left town for the Olympics. That is no way to make a serious decision. There is an entire section entitled “Enforcement” in the NCAA Constitution and By-Laws about the procedures that have to be followed before imposing punishment on a member institution. Emmert knew that and tried to by-pass it by using a vote of the Executive Committee and the D-I Board. The problem is those entities do not have the authority to change the process. That takes “Special Legislation” as described in another section of the NCAA Constitution which requires a vote of all member institutions. Emmert is a screw-up. This is the biggest issue that the he probably will ever deal with as NCAA President and he shot from the hip and messed up. When the NCAA action gets voided in court Emmert will lose his job and all of college athletics will be the better for it. This isn’t just about PSU (which I loathe). This is also about the NCAA–an organization that has been a loose cannon for years. Maybe this debacle by Emmert will be enough that all major universities will leave the NCAA en mass and form a new organization. One can only hope.

      • Always Someone Else's Fault

        MD, your version of events would certainly spell trouble for the NCAA. Unfortunately, it’s a selective and incomplete presentation of facts. I’m always suspicious of the NCAA, and I’m highly sensitive to the ways that “ends justify the means” behavior can have ugly unintended consequences. I’ll grant you all of that. But the NCAA did not circumvent a phase of COI. They bypassed COI altogether.

        These trustees are going to have to first win their argument that the PSU president lacked the authority to sign the consent decree. That’s basically suing the university they serve. And even if they win that one, they are going to have to win their argument that the NCAA cannot invoke that morals clause as it did and hand down the sanctions that they did. Again – it’s a long shot. I would put each at 1 in 20, which puts the combination’s likelihood at 1 in 400.

        The NCAA maintains that it can punish institutions outside the COI process for behaviors which do not fall under COI statutes. It has the backing of its membership in that assertion. I’m not a lawyer, but I live in a family of them, both civil litigators and prosecutors. Not one of them can think of a single legal precedent that these trustees could use to argue that the NCAA can only punish members for COI infractions and through the COI process.

        I hope they do win. That would be a disaster for both the NCAA and PSU. But hoping it happen doesn’t make it any more likely.

        • Hackerdog

          I disagree. The president of PSU could sign an agreement allowing me to punish PSU for its actions. Would the fact that I have no authority to penalize PSU be relevant? Probably. I would also imagine that PSU will argue that a university president is required to get a vote of the trustees before spending $60 million. It’s not like that’s going to get them off the hook for the civil lawsuits coming.

          You say the NCAA has the backing of its membership. Are you sure? The membership did not vote on the PSU sanctions. The membership did not vote on any special legislation giving the NCAA authority to act in any such instances. The fact that the membership isn’t (yet) crying foul should not be interpreted as support.

          I think the NCAA will be required to live up to its standards and procedures. I seriously doubt that any university would have ever joined the NCAA if it believed that the NCAA has unlimited power to sanction anything that may, or may not be in the NCAA bylaws with, or without an official NCAA investigation. And if the courts uphold that power for the NCAA, then I predict it will be a Pyrrhic victory for the NCAA.

          • Always Someone Else's Fault

            PSU is a member of the NCAA. PSU can tell the NCAA to stuff its penalties and force the NCAA to make a decision: tuck its tail between its legs or kick them out. I’m betting on the latter if it comes to that. The NCAA represents billions in revenue to its membership. They are not going to blow it up defending the right of member programs to cover up child rape.

            The NCAA has set some conditions for PSU to play football for 4 years and remain an NCAA member. Can we stop acting like the NCAA shut down the university? PSU is going to suck at football for awhile, and they’re going to donate huge sums of money to help abused children. Oh, the horror.

            “The NCAA has no right…!” It’s a membership organization. If the Paterno Apologists want to argue that this particular set of sanctions, based on this particular set of justifications, does not work legally, then the NCAA will drop back to a set of procedures clearly outlined within their charter and that PSU will have no legal basis to argue about whatsoever.

            And that would be a Pyrrhic victory for the apologists.

            • … then the NCAA will drop back to a set of procedures clearly outlined within their charter and that PSU will have no legal basis to argue about whatsoever.

              Which is the course that should have been followed in the first place.

              • Always Someone Else's Fault

                Maybe – but that would have meant kicking PSU out under the assumption that the JoePa apologists were going to win the power struggle within PSU.

                To be clear, nothing’s changed here. It was clear from the beginning that PSU’s consent was necessary for this to move forward. IF these trustees win their power struggle and manage to roll back the consent, then the NCAA moves to a Plan B that does not require PSU’s cooperation. But that doesn’t make Plan A illegal or ill-advised. It means the NCAA gave PSU an opportunity, and PSU refused it. If I’m going to vote to kick someone out of the club, that seems a necessary precursor for ethical reasons.

                The NCAA is not going to spend thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars defending their right to offer PSU sanctions less severe than kicking them out of the NCAA for four years. Think about the absurdity of that for a moment….

                Whiny Booster: “Oh, yeah? You can’t cut back our scholarships! You can only kick us out!”
                NCAA: “Well, you’re wrong, but I’m not wasting any more time on this. Wish granted.”

                • Maybe I’m wrong about this, but even with what’s involved at PSU, I don’t think the NCAA kicks a school out as casually as you suggest.

                  • Always Someone Else's Fault

                    Nor do I. They would have to cover up something like child rape for years, agree to penalties, let the cover-up apologists win an internal power struggle, rescind their agreement, and then file all sorts of lawsuits debating how and when the NCAA should impose penalties. Something along those lines.

                    The ultimate power in any association is the power of dis-association. If PSU has a section of trustees that can gather enough votes and file enough lawsuits, then they will put that power to the test. I wasn’t being casual. I was pointing out the precariousness of the whiny trustees’ position.

                    • Hackerdog

                      For the record, insisting that people who want the NCAA to abide by its own procedures and bylaws are apologists for child rape might be the dumbest thing ever written on the Internet.

                      And I doubt that PSU would leave the NCAA over sanctions that come about from an NCAA investigation that uncovers violations of the NCAA guidelines. I don’t think any institution would.

                      But I think that, if the NCAA were to take its bylaws and throw them out the window and declare that Emmert is the new dictator of college sports with unlimited power, even that power will only be used “for the children,” then member institutions will seriously consider leaving en masse.

                      I would support UGA leaving the NCAA under those circumstances.

  6. LRGK9

    Pick a side and Holler ‘Ultra Vires’. Either way you do have a case.

    Filing a suit is easy, now winning it, that’s another matter…

  7. mike

    Lets put it terms that even the inbred people of PA can understand:
    Problem: Conceal child rape for FOOTBALL.
    Solution: Take away football, permanently.

    • 69Dawg

      +1 The NCAA can kick out a member. If PSU doesn’t watch it they will be playing in the NAIA.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        If the NCAA kicked out Penn State I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the entire Big 10 left the NCAA. If the Big 10 were to leave, its partner the PAC 12 would probably go, too. If those 2 left what do you think the Big 12 and the SEC would do? And the ACC? And the Big East, if anybody would want them? Make no mistake, if Emmert kicked Penn State out of the NCAA, the NCAA would be finished. A new organization of just bigtime schools would emerge and grab all the TV money that the Senator was talking about in that thread higher above and the NCAA would become irrelevant over night.

        • Always Someone Else's Fault

          If the NCAA kicks out PSU, it’s going to be with the support of the majority of B1G schools – which means PSU would have to become a complete liability to both the conference and the NCAA as a whole. We’re not nearly there yet, and frankly, I would be stunned to see the PSU board of trustees give in to the apologists and declare legal war on the NCAA.

          The big-time schools are going to split in the near future – but they’re not going to do it in defense of Penn State. They have spent too much time moving chess pieces to have the final break associated with the image of Sandusky in a Penn State locker room shower raping an 11 year old boy. Not happening.