Tags: ncaa | penn state | emails | penalty | bluff

NCAA's Penn State Emails Suggest Penalty Threat a Bluff

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By    |   Friday, 07 Nov 2014 10:32 AM

NCAA emails connected to its Penn State investigation and a push for penalties regarding former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky suggest the athletic association may have bluffed the university into accepting sanctions.

The emails came to light during in a recent court filing in which Judge Anne Covey ordered a trial on the sanctions' validity, according to the Patriot-News in Harrisburg.

The newspaper reported that Penn State administrators had believed the football program faced the "death penalty" or the suspension of the school's football program because of the criminal allegations against Sandusky.

In one document dated July 14, 2012, then NCAA vice president of enforcement Julie Roe Lach wrote to a colleague about NCAA president Mark Emmert's position on seeking sanctions, characterizing it as "a bluff," given the doubts over the organization's jurisdiction over the Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

"He (Emmert) basically agreed because I think he understands that if we make this an enforcement issue (referring to the NCAA's standard procedures for rules violations) we may win the immediate battle but lose the war when the Committee on Infractions has to rule" if Penn State appealed, Lach wrote, according to the Patriot-News.

The revelation of the email drew the ire of Penn State president Eric Barron and board of trustee chairman Keith Masser, who released a joint statement.

"We find it deeply disturbing that NCAA officials in leadership positions would consider 'bluffing' one of their member institutions ... to accept sanctions outside of their normal investigative and enforcement processes," the statement read, according to the newspaper. "We are considering our options."

Anthony Lubrano, an alumni-elected member of the Penn State board of trustees, told StateCollege.com that the emails are the smoking gun in what many state and university officials have been claiming since the Sandusky situation had started – that the NCAA lacked jurisdiction in handing out the sanctions it did against the university.

"This confirms what I've been saying all along: that the NCAA lacked the authority to act in a criminal matter," said Lubrano. "These emails appear to confirm that they themselves doubted their authority to intervene, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone."

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NCAA emails connected to its Penn State investigation and a push for penalties regarding former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky suggest the athletic association may have bluffed the university into accepting sanctions.
ncaa, penn state, emails, penalty, bluff
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2014-32-07
Friday, 07 Nov 2014 10:32 AM
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