Skip to comments.Spencer: Corbett makes right call challenging NCAA
Posted on 01/05/2013 9:19:35 AM PST by FlJoePa
By GIL SPENCER firstname.lastname@example.org
So finally someone in a position of authority in this state is standing up to the late-hitters and pile jumpers that used the Penn State scandal for their own shameful and hypocritical purposes.
That someone is Gov. Tom Corbett, who has finally filed a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association and its publicity-whore President Mark Emmert.
Better late than never.
Last summer, Emmert declared PSU in violation of the NCAAs regulations without citing a single concrete NCAA rule that the school had broken and imposed crippling sanctions on its storied football program including a $60 million fine.
Back then, Corbett suggested the school accept these draconian punishments and move on. Well, he has changed his mind. Good!
Whether the governor has done this because he thinks it will help him in his bid for re-election next year or because he truly believes a real injustice has been done and needs to be righted, is, to my mind, completely irrelevant.
I have a suggestion for those cynics who want to dismiss Corbetts action as nothing more than a political stunt and here it is: Read the complaint.
It isnt long, just 43 pages, doubled-spaced. But it is far more convincing in its assessment of the motivations of Emmert and the NCAA, than the Freeh Report ever thought of being concerning its sad targets.
One of the complaints authors is Melissa Maxman, an expert in antitrust law for the Washington firm of Cozen OConnor. Daily Times readers will remember her from her 2001 run for the state Senate as a Democrat from Swarthmore.
When I called her about the suit, she said she couldnt talk about it and referred me to the governors office. But the lawsuit speaks eloquently enough for itself. It lays out the case against the lazy and arrogant NCAA, clearly and damningly.
The NCAA has announced itself disappointed in Corbett for challenging its authority to arbitrarily and capriciously harm a member institution. Youd be disappointed too to have your shortcomings pointed out so accurately to the public at large.
Remember how the alleged cover-up of Jerry Sanduskys crimes was supposed to have been motivated by PSU officials fear of bad publicity? Well, thats something the NCAA well understands.
For years, the NCAA has been mocked in the press for its multiple failures to enforce its own actual rules and regulations.
So when this unprecedented case presented itself, it also provided the NCAA a chance to finally enhance its own public image.
As the lawsuit states, with Penn State still reeling from the scandal last July, the NCAA was not about to miss an opportunity to bring Penn State down even further, or to attempt to improve its own public image by asserting its relevance as a protector of student-athletes.
Never mind that the school hadnt violated a single, specific NCAA rule. And never mind that, in the past, the NCAA had steered clear of criminal matters far outside of its purview.
When in 2003 a Baylor University basketball player murdered another player and the coach was caught on tape arranging a cover-up, the NCAA imposed no penalties relating to the murder and cover-up.
In 2010, when a University of Virginia mens lacrosse player murdered his lacrosse-playing former girlfriend, the NCAA found no reason to sanction the school. And this, despite the victims mothers allegation that the university repeatedly ignored signs of the killers violent, erratic and threatening behavior.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, the University of Montana recently failed to investigate numerous allegations of rape by Montana football players. Sanctions from the NCAA? None.
All these cases show that the NCAA has held Penn State to a very different standard than other member schools.
Remember, its not as if the guilty parties in the case werent being punished. Sandusky was prosecuted and jailed. Others were charged with crimes and fired. Justice was being done without the help of the NCAA.
But the Sandusky scandal proved too tempting for the likes of Emmert and his fellow due-process-be-damned moralizers.
Ignoring their own protocols and procedures (well documented in the complaint) the NCAA put a gun to the head of Penn States accidental president, Rodney Erickson. Either he agree to their demands or the school could face the dreaded death penalty. Erickson agreed to all the penalties that the NCAA decided to inflict.
So what if thousands of completely innocent people were hurt in the process from waitresses and bartenders in Happy Valley, to students, athletes to just plain Nittany Lions fans and taxpayers? The hell with due process. And a bunch of outraged, drooling know-nothings were fooled into believing this is what justice is supposed to look like.
Even Emmert admitted last year that the sexual abuse of children on a university campus by a former university official and even the active concealment of that abuse, while despicable, ordinarily would not be actionable by the NCAA.
But this was different, according to Emmert. The culture of worshipping football at Penn State had to be changed, he said. That was his justification for his taking all these unprecedented powers and actions. This from the head of a $1 billion-a-year organization that makes its millions helping to create the very sort of sports-crazy culture it now claims is evil and must be destroyed. At least in Happy Valley.
Last July, right after Emmert held his now-famous press conference and admitted the lack of institutional precedents for his actions, one prescient wretch wrote:
In ignoring just about every one of its own procedures for handling disciplinary actions, Emmert has opened the NCAA up to a civil action from Pennsylvania taxpayers, some of whom dont like the idea of a publicly owned university ceding control of its future to a privately run association with an agenda geared to money-making and heavily greased with sanctimony.
Well, thank you Gov. Corbett, whatever your motives, for stepping up on behalf of not only Pennsylvania taxpayers, but for the students, athletes, football fans and the small business owners in Happy Valley that financially depend on the competitiveness of the Nittany Lions.
The NCAA now stands formally accused of violating Section 1 of the Sherman (Antitrust) Act.
Oh, and that prescient wretch? Well, youre looking at him.
But what I wrote then is nothing compared to the ugly truth exposed in this needed and poignant complaint.
Read it, Dr. Emmert. And weep.
Read it, the rest of you, and learn something.
My problem with the lawsuits concerns the cost. Presumably, Pennsylvania, like most states, is cash strapped. For example, we have crumbling roads and bridges, and public transportation systems are broke. I would rather see the money spent on transit matters than this lawsuit.
I thought it was pretty remarkable that after everything that happened to Penn State to include loss of some of their star players, scholarships and sanctions that they did as well as they did in 2012.I have never been a Penn State fan, but I think that the coaching staff deserves a lot of praise for the job they did. Well done Nittany Lions!
The lawsuit has merit but I think Corbett himself made the move to save face with PSU voters in time for reelection. He flip-flopped on the sanctions and faces a GOP challenger in Bruce Castor.
Nothing will ever go to court. If it does it will be the trial of the century as far as sports goes. The entire existence of the ncaa could be on the line.
Sure the state has spent money to prepare this suit - as has Corman and his suit, but if Judge Kane gives them standing, the ncaa is going to look for a way out. They can’t even go into discovery with what they have - a deeply flawed freeh report and a direct 180 on their own rules and bylaws.
The suits left to come that I’m aware of are the Lettermen - looking for their wins restored, and the Paterno family - looking for the wins restored and massive, massive likeness damages.
Total Revenue 106,614,724
Total Expense 88,041,921
BO’B did a great job coaching and did a great job shaking down the cowards in Old Main the other day.
PSU has a top 25 recruiting class coming in and it includes the #1 drop back passer and the #1 tight end.
If it was all about football for these kids (Hackenberg and Brenneman), they wouldn’t choose PSU.
The most appalling thing to me about the sanctions was the multi-multi-million dollar fine that Penn State had to pay to the NCAA!! Supposedly it was “for the children”, but how much do want to bet that no more than 5% will ever be used for outreach, and the NCAA profits as they use the rest for “administrative purposes”. The NCAA is so full of it.
Exactly. It’s a $60 million slush fund. I would rather have seen the money earmarked for the investigation of Second Mile Foundation and the network of pedophiles it was involved with.
I believe there are dozens of high-level, prominent politicians and influential people involved in this. Except for internet blogs and an occasional article here and there, it’s the story that will never see the light of day. IMHO, the state prosecutor who disappeared without trace a few years back paid with his life for having the names and the goods on these people.
google Greg Bucceroni sometime. I don’t find him particularly credible. Yet.
I think the fellow poster was referring to the costs of filing and pursuing the suit to the state of Pennsylvania.
Penn State University has nothing to do with the filing of this lawsuit - in fact the milquetoast morons in charge have practically disavowed it.
Someone could make the case that the NCAA ruling will cost Pennsylvania more in the long run. Don’t ask me for numbers!
Joe Paterno to the students who had assembled outside his home:
“I wish I had done more.”
John - the exact quote was: “In hindsight, I wish I had done more”. And it wasn’t to the students, it was to the local media.
The key word is “hindsight”. It is no more an admission of any sort of guilt than me wishing I had done something about 9-11.
Read Posnanski’s book and it talks a lot about this quote and what the media (espn) did with it. Watch Ziegler’s film and you’ll see how a genuine act of sorrow and remorse (not guilt) is spun into some sort of confession.
Ridiculous. Especially when it comes from the mouth of an 84 year old man dying of lung cancer.
Pedo State should have been bulldozed to the ground and then nuked from orbit just to be sure.
The author actually describes you in his column (which you didn't read). Here's where you come in:
"The hell with due process. And a bunch of outraged, drooling know-nothings were fooled into believing this is what justice is supposed to look like."
Good move on the lawsuit....with Penn State being a “state funded school”...the PA govt has every bit of standing in this case. And, if the NCAA forced this agreement on PSU with intent to commit fraud or deceive....the courts will void the settlement
The NCAA should have kept out of the Sandusky matter.
They will lose the lawsuit brought by the Paterno family, as SCOTUS has already ruled in the 1991 case Tarkanian v NCAA that the NCAA must give “due process” to coaches when considering punishment (there was no hearing before the NCAA stripped JoePa’s wins). I could be the lawyer for the Paterno family and win the case...that is how certain I am the NCAA loses that
The NCAA has a little more leeway with the member schools...but still...that Freeh Report and Agreement cannot withstand scrutiny under discovery and deposition. PSU should not settle with the NCAA without a massive reduction in the probation and other punishment.
What morons are doing the legal work and risk management for the NCAA?
And, I know the Sports Media (which is in bed with the NCAA) is not going to give proper analysis of any action favorable to Penn State. Sports Media is too busy cheering on their alma mater (Syracuse) and celebrating Jim Boeheim record setting win mark....but will never mention how Boeheim covered up child molesting by his long time buddy Bernie Fine...during SU basketball road trips
Thanks SeminoleCounty. Judge Kane (Harrisburg) could hold the future of the ncaa in her hands - that’s how far they overstepped their bounds in this case.
As for the Paterno suit, if I was Mary Kay Paterno - who holds the licensing rights to her Father, I would sue the ncaa for $100 million. Then I would sue louis freeh and whats left of his tattered business for another $100 million.
Wick Sollers is no schlep. He’s been waiting for the right time to pounce on the ncaa and that time is near. In addition the Lettermen will be filing as well. There is also rumor of a Centre County lawsuit - to be filed by local business owners.
Good news about the other potential lawsuits.
The NCAA cannot afford to have the Freeh Report and its own rulings go under scrutiny in depositions and hearings. Even the media, who has been the PR firm for the NCAA in the PSU matter, will turn on the NCAA