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Old 07-23-2012, 04:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: What did Penn State know?

NCAA official: No death penalty for Penn State

Though he decided against shutting down Penn State's football program in the wake of its child sex-abuse scandal, NCAA President Mark Emmert will announce Monday morning broad and substantial sanctions that will severely affect the program for years, an NCAA official with knowledge of the penalties told USA TODAY Sports.

By John Beale, AP
Outlines of removed players are all that remains where Joe Paterno's statue once stood at Penn State.
By John Beale, AP
Outlines of removed players are all that remains where Joe Paterno's statue once stood at Penn State.
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The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the NCAA has not yet announced the sanctions, says some of the penalties could be non-traditional.
In addressing a case unprecedented in nature and scope, Emmert made a decisive and ground-breaking move, turning to the Division I Board of Directors and NCAA executive committee rather than use the enforcement process the NCAA typically applies to rules violators, according to the NCAA official and another person familiar with the case who is a former NCAA investigator.

The NCAA official said both the board of directors, comprised of 22 university presidents and chancellors, and the executive committee had directed Emmert to look into the Penn State case and to offer recommendations on penalties, which he did. Emmert received broad approval from both groups, the official said, to impose sanctions and bypass the usual investigation process.

Emmert's move is a strong response to a case of misconduct unlike any the association has seen in its history. Rather than view the scandal as an enforcement matter for the infractions committee, which typically acts as judge and jury in NCAA investigations, Emmert saw it as so serious it warranted action by those with more overarching power over the membership.

Emmert will announce the sanctions against Penn State at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis at 9 a.m. ET today, one day after Penn State officials removed coach Joe Paterno's statue outside Beaver Stadium. Appearing with Emmert will be Ed Ray, president of Oregon State and chairman of the NCAA executive committee.
A report by former FBI director Louis Freeh found that top university leaders, including Paterno, who died in January, covered up information for years that could have stopped Sandusky's attacks on children. Penn State's punishment likely will range from postseason bowl bans and scholarship reductions for the football program to other non-traditional sanctions that the NCAA has the authority to impose. In a statement Sunday, the NCAA said it will impose "corrective and punitive measures."
The NCAA's move to take action on the case is unusual because the issues involve a cover-up of criminal activity rather than a violation of typical association bylaws. No obvious on-field competitive advantage was gained by the misconduct. Some questioned the rush to hand down a decision.
"I am completely in the dark," said Anthony Lubrano, a newly elected Penn State board of trustee member. "I am so frustrated as a trustee. It is really disheartening. I am hearing the same things the (media) are.
"It is unforgiveable that Mark Emmert feels he needs to make an example, if what is being reported (is accurate). Joe Paterno is not responsible for pedophilia in America. Louis Freeh reached an (erroneous) conclusion."
ACC commissioner John Swofford, who had no details on the pending sanctions, on Sunday said the case as "goes well beyond anything related to athletics." Swofford said many individuals working in college sports have wrestled with how to sanction Penn State.
"I don't know if there's anything to compare it to," he said. "So it's uncharted waters …a tragedy from every angle, starting with the young kids that were victims. And the question is, where do you put something like that in terms of NCAA violations, recruiting violations or that type of thing."
Unchartered territory for the NCAA
The case is unprecedented — Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of abuse — and the NCAA underscored the point in departing from its typical investigation protocol.
Said former longtime NCAA enforcement head David Price in an email to USA TODAY Sports: "On the surface, they seem to be separating the issue from the enforcement process. … I am curious to learn what they have decided and what process they are using."
Emmert, who at one point said he had not ruled out shutting down the program for a period of time, told Penn State in November that the NCAA would be examining the exercise of "institutional control."
Only one major college football program, Southern Methodist in the late 1980s, has received the so-called death penalty. Several NCAA former investigators have said that one of the reasons why the death penalty has not been imposed since is because of the devastating effect it had on SMU's football program, which has had three winning seasons since 1986.
According to the NCAA database of major infractions cases, the longest postseason ban issued in major college football has been four years, to Indiana starting in 1960.
Sunday's announcement by the NCAA brought mixed reaction in the Penn State community.
Said Michael Robinson, who helped lead Penn State to the 2005 Big Ten title: "I know the NCAA felt like it had to do something, but Jerry and this scandal — it gave us no competitive advantage, you know? We had no idea. … The NCAA, when it talks about docking scholarships, bowls, wins or whatever, the death penalty, I look at it as if you were doing something to create a competitive advantage. That wasn't the case here."
Said William Earley, a retired Wall Street executive who made five-figure donations to Penn State for 20 years: "Is the punishment expected? Yes. Is it deserved? Yes. It is the beginning of the whole rehabilitation process. Just like taking down the statue. You can't avoid it. It is a perpetual reminder of doing the wrong thing. This is one of the ugliest episodes in American sports."
And former Penn State standout Matt Millen said: "Here is what disappoints me: What are they basing it on? They didn't conduct an investigation. They are going off a report the university paid for. So the university's own words killed them.
"Doesn't the NCAA have an investigative arm? Isn't that what they are supposed to do? … This looks to me like the NCAA is doing it while it is hot. There are some positives: The fact that they are being this swift can help with recruiting ."
According to the version of first-year coach Bill O'Brien's contract available on Penn State's web site, O'Brien, whose base salary this season is $950,000, cannot terminate the agreement because of sanctions against the program without having to give the university a sizeable buyout payment. O'Brien has been steadfast in his commitment to Penn State amid the widening scandal.
Just the beginning of sanctions?
Two former chairmen of the NCAA infractions committee as well as former NCAA investigators said last week that the Penn State case, while reprehensible, might not qualify as an enforcement issue.
"You might argue that by what Sandusky did do and by what Penn State did not do, that it is a violation of ethical conduct, but I don't think I have ever seen it used in that fashion," former infractions committee chairman David Swank said. "My opinion would be that it is not (an enforcement issue). There are other venues to take care of the problems that occurred at Penn State, and one of those is not the NCAA."
Chuck Smrt , who was on the NCAA enforcement staff for more than 17 years, said that the NCAA involvement in the case could open a Pandora's Box for the organization in the future regarding criminal activities on campuses across the nation.
"Then the next time an athletic staff member at another school is involved in criminal activity, are you going to look at whether other staff members were aware and followed up on that?" Smrt said. "When a coach is involved in criminal activity, does every school then need to review who knew what along the way and assess whether there has been unethical conduct? Or does it relate only to the significance of the criminal activity? And then, well, where do you draw that line?"
The former investigators and former infractions committee chairman Tom Yeager said that Penn State was eligible for the death penalty even though it is not a so-called repeat violator — more than one major rule violation within a five-year period — because all punitive options are on the table in cases involving major rules violations.
The NCAA penalties could be just the beginning of sanctions for Penn State. The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education are conducting investigations into the school's actions in relation to the scandal.
Also, athletics director Tim Curley, who is on leave, and former vice president Gary Schultz await trial on charges of failing to report child abuse and lying to a grand jury but have maintained their innocence.
And the sanctions will have far-reaching ramifications for the current Penn State players, who had scheduled a meeting for 10 a.m. Monday, according to Twitter reports.

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