Pete Thamel’s heart’s gone all pitter-patter over Northwestern AD Peter Roby, in part for Roby saying stuff like this:
And he took Louisville officials to task for hiring Petrino earlier this month. At Petrino’s previous job at Arkansas, he got fired after having an affair, hiring his mistress and then lying to his bosses about the whole sordid mess. (In the most precious moment of that debacle, Petrino showed up at a press conference in a neck brace.)
In his comments, Roby didn’t address Petrino and Louisville specifically when mentioning ethics among power schools. But everyone knew what he was talking about. To Roby’s credit, he didn’t hesitate to expound on the Petrino hire afterward when asked by SI.com.
“We keep telling (coaches that) they have to be men of integrity and character,” Roby said. “Yet (Petrino) gets another opportunity and is going to make $3.5 million. It’s like he didn’t pay any price for all the embarrassments he caused to the institutions where he was at, to his family, to the NCAA and to the member schools. We all get painted with that brush.”
… He added about the Petrino hire: “What does that have to do with education? What does that have to do with leadership? We’re supposed to be leaders of young men. What messages does it send to the rest of the people on the campus?”
Before you snicker at this (Roby’s upset that Petrino didn’t pay a price with his family? How does he know and what business is it of his anyway?), consider the NCAA’s most famous foray into integrity and character, the Penn State sanctions. Now what Jerry Sandusky did was monstrous and in no way compares with putting a mistress on the company payroll, the fact is that we’re still looking at a difference from the NCAA’s standpoint that’s a matter of degree than of kind. There were no rules that Mark Emmert was following or enforcing, unless you want to accept the language stretching he did as a fig leaf to justify the need… no, make that the desire, to be seen as weighing in with the strongest disapproval of Sandusky’s behavior and the institution that employed him for many years. Roby doesn’t have anything to point to either. He just wants to send a message.
I doubt the NCAA has the stomach to take up his suggestion – how many schools have hired coaches with ethical baggage? But that sure doesn’t mean Roby’s paving anything new with his good intentions.