Mandel: “Shouldn’t Emmert Step-in [at UN*], too?”

With the unprecedented punishment levied against Penn State yesterday, Stewart Mandel says that NCAA “displinary czar” Mark Emmert “overstepped” and then touches on a question many of us are asking about the ever-inconsistent NCAA (

“While there’s been much speculation about whether this fits this specific bylaw or that specific bylaw,” said Emmert, “it certainly hits the fundamental values of what athletics are supposed to be doing in the context of higher education.”

No argument there. Perhaps this truly is a turning point in the history of the NCAA. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new era where Batman Emmert flies in and saves the day every time the forces of athletic evil make a mockery of academic virtues.

He’d better. Otherwise, this will instead prove to be a crowning moment in NCAA hypocrisy.

Remember when most college football fans assumed Auburn and/or Cam Newton would endure some sort of penalty when the quarterback’s father openly solicited six figures from Mississippi State? The NCAA couldn’t do anything, Emmert insisted, because there was no rule on the books addressing that specific scenario. We’d best not hear that excuse again.

Remember the 2003 murder of Baylor basketball player Patrick Dennehy by a former player, and head coach Dave Bliss’ subsequent attempt to falsely portray Dennehy as a drug dealer to cover up for illegal tuition payments he’d made? Would Emmert (who was not yet with the NCAA at the time) step in if that indisputably heinous case arose today? If not, why? What’s the threshold in determining whether something is special-jurisdiction-caliber repulsive or leave-it-to-the-enforcement-department-level disturbing?

And have you read about the ongoing academic fraud scandal at North Carolina? Since at least 1999, athletes have repeatedly been steered toward a specific professor’s African and Afro-American Studies course that no one actually taught or attended. Last year’s NCAA investigation only scratched the surface. Considering how highly the NCAA portends to value academics, shouldn’t Emmert step in here, too?

“We don’t see this opening a Pandora’s box at all,” said Emmert. “This was a very distinct and very unique set of circumstances.”

That’s easy to say now. Nothing in the history of NCAA scandals has come close to the level of allowing a serial pedophile free reign to a school’s football facility, and basic faith in humanity make us inclined to believe that it will never happen again.

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UNC Scandal

54 Responses to Mandel: “Shouldn’t Emmert Step-in [at UN*], too?”

  1. TOBtime 07/24/2012 at 6:56 AM #

    If I were a PSU alum I’d be screaming at the top of my lungs for Emmert to get his tail down to the hole. There ARE specific rules written to addresss what has happened there.

    Maybe the NCAA has put the hole on a back burner until PSU was handled. I guess we’ll see.

  2. albunde6 07/24/2012 at 7:12 AM #

    To start, hope Sandusky has fun time in prision, sure his dance card will be full. Once reported, the legal system has worked. The civil system will go to work and try to compensate the children he raped. The university will pay as well. Nothing will ever fully copensate these children for what this monster did. A video of him getting the crap kick out of him every day in prision would be a start.

    Now with that said, What NCAA rule did Penn State break? Recruiting? Impermissible benefits? Special Classes for Athletes? Cars for Athletes? Coaches gambling? Accademic fraud? Free tatoos? Tutor who writes your papers?

    This impacts the students,faculty, and the state of Pennsylvania. Not sure why he NCAA had to take action.

  3. ppack3 07/24/2012 at 7:24 AM #

    Not sure why he NCAA had to take action.”

    Public perception. Why else?

  4. UpstateSCWolfpack 07/24/2012 at 7:46 AM #

    I do believe the NCAA had the right to step in at Penn State, as they do at UN*. Both schools have demonstrated, beyond a shadow of any doubts, a “lack of institutional control”.

  5. albunde6 07/24/2012 at 8:30 AM #

    Just a what if? If Bernie Madoff had once been the chief financial officer at Penn State, then would that require SEC action against PSU athletics?

    Former officals at PSU are possibly guilty of criminal conspiracy? Possibly guilty of supression of evidence. State and federal law enforcement agencies will make that determination. Not sure how individual criminal acts and a cover up of criminal acts create the leap to lack of institutional control with regard to NCAA

  6. 4in12 07/24/2012 at 8:35 AM #

    I disagree that there was a loss of institutional control – the institution was controlling the cover-up!

  7. phillypacker 07/24/2012 at 8:47 AM #

    As a resident of Pennsylvania and someone who lives in the midst of a host of PSU alums, parents, fans and hangers on, I will tell you that most I know are very sad but very glad to move on. They are very much family people and are so sickened by Sandusky and what Paterno and his cronies did that they want the cancer burned out and to make as sure as possible that other institutions get the message that severe consequences follow this kind of behavior.

    They are sick to have their football program reduced to rubble, but would not argue that it is any less than what the program deserves. So many of these folks are Catholic, family oriented folks who understand that football is actually less important than the lives of young men and all the people they will affect in their life times. And of course, Sandusky’s crimes are the kind that keep giving, from perpetrator to victim to victims often becoming perpetrators.

    The PSU folks I talk to welcome the opportunity to have the cancer burned away so as to start the recovery. The bitterness toward Joe Paterno and his lying ass is black.

    This scandal went all the way to our current governor, who was the attorney general at the time this scandal first came to light in the early 2000s and declined to pursue an investigation, while, oh by the way, accepting contributions from a group close to Sandusky. There is a lot of talk about impeaching him.

    So good job Emmert. You can look all over PA and you won’t find many people complaining about what he did or how he handled it.

  8. NCSU84 07/24/2012 at 9:45 AM #

    To all those who are comparing PSU to the UNC investigation, please stop. Children were molested and PSU administration knew.that this activity occurred and did NOTHIING – let that sink in for a minute. . PSU’s punishment may seem harsher, but it should.

  9. daughtry 07/24/2012 at 9:53 AM #

    Don’t forget about the former players who have now been punished as part of the collateral damage:

  10. packalum44 07/24/2012 at 10:12 AM #

    I’d be pissed if I was a PSU fan. $73,000,000 is a HUGE # for a University. HUGE.

    Let’s put it this way, the $40,000,000 gift to NCSU from Lonnie Poole was the largest in our history. It was transformative for the b-school. Taking away $73 million is transformative too, just not in a positive manner.

    Doesn’t really matter “where” the money comes from. If I take money from my left or right pocket, its all the same to me. PSU is almost self-funded, similar to Michigan. The gov’t does not give them much $. They make so much $ from football that they use it to benefit the entire campus.

    Do they deserve such punishment? Yes. Do other schools get away with stuff? YES. Hypocrisy is rampant in NCAA. That’s the issue and point Mandel was making.

  11. TruthBKnown Returns 07/24/2012 at 10:24 AM #

    To all those who are comparing PSU to the UNC investigation, please stop. Children were molested and PSU administration knew.that this activity occurred and did NOTHIING – let that sink in for a minute. . PSU’s punishment may seem harsher, but it should.

    Yes, the crimes were incredibly worse than what went on at Carolina. And PSU’s NCAA punishment SHOULD be worse that Carolina’s NCAA punishment. We all get that.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that Carolina got a slap on the wrist from the NCAA. Their punishment should have been worse than it was. As we’re finding out, Carolina was doing everything possible to keep players eligible who had no business being eligible. And it seems the NCAA has completely ignored that. But they came down with the hammer of Thor on PSU (justifiably so). So they could do a lot more to UNC if they wanted to, and they should. But to date, they have not.

    I think we’re satisfied with the punishment the NCAA levied against PSU. They just need to do a little more to Carolina now, because they have some egregious academic problems of their own that were all but ignored by the agency that should be MOST concerned about it.

    In a sense, the NCAA could have left PSU alone and just let the legal system handle the Sandusky/Paterno issues. Justice would still be served if they had. But in Carolina’s case, the NCAA is the ONLY sheriff in town because the law doesn’t care about academic issues. The NCAA is a sheriff that let us down in Carolina’s case.

    I’m not saying the NCAA should have left PSU alone. I believe the exact opposite. But the NCAA did not do an adequate job of policing Carolina. They let them get away with academic murder. All I’m saying is the NCAA (arguably) had more jurisdiction over Carolina’s problems than the PSU problems.

  12. triadwolf 07/24/2012 at 10:58 AM #

    In general, I think the level of punishment for Penn State is appropriate. However I do question whether the NCAA overstretched their boundaries and question the process they used.

    Once the limits of power for somebody are increased, rarely do those limits return to where they were; it becomes the new standard. What happened at Penn State was ugly and unprecedented, but extreme cases and situations have been used as excuses to grant additional power and authority to people/entities over the course of history and in many cases that new level of power was subsequently abused.

    It’s not exactly the same thing, but imagine if the NCAA levied sanctions upon NC State based only off Peter Golenbock’s “investigation”. The NCAA acted pretty much how they should have in that case, although I still think the punishment outweighed the crime at the time. But in the case of, the UNC BOG, Poole Commission, etc., I think they ended up putting more faith in the book than their own investigations – the ole where’s there’s smoke there must be fire approach. That approach cost several people their jobs and set in motion an administrative philosophy that set back NCSU athletics and academics 20 yrs.

    Just saying if the NCAA uses this as a jumping board to start enforcing outside the box, it could get interesting.

  13. Alpha Wolf 07/24/2012 at 11:03 AM #

    I think comparing PSU to UNC is a bit of a red herring, but at the same time I also understand why people don’t quite understand how UNC got off so easily.

    Bottom line is that Carolina probably got off easier because of the violations and sanctions coming out before PSU was hammered. Now a new precedent has been set and expectations for the punishments for the sorts of violations UNC committed will be far higher to boot. That UNC got its wrists slapped prior to the Freeh Report was nothing but serendipity.

    Mandel makes a good point, but if you want to put it bluntly, I think that the main reason that the NCAA won’t dive deep into the murky waters of malfeasance in Chapel Hill is institutional self-preservation. Never forget that the biggest jewel in the NCAA crown is the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which Carolina is a near annual threat to go deep into. That makes Carolina popular nationally, and that in turn gets eyeballs watching TVs all around the US, which is nothing but money in NCAA pockets. Hurting Carolina hoops — and please don’t tell me it is ONLY football misdeeds over there — hurts the NCAA itself, which it has been loathe to do.

    Always, ALWAYS…follow the money.

  14. Greywolf 07/24/2012 at 1:58 PM #

    albunde6 Says:
    “Just a what if? If Bernie Madoff had once been the chief financial officer at Penn State, then would that require SEC action against PSU athletics?”

    Not a similar analogy. Not even close.

  15. Pack Mentality 07/24/2012 at 2:11 PM #

    First I should say that I hope Carolina gets very harsh punishment.

    Next I will say that there is no comparing any cheating to what happened at PSU and say that they didn’t get hit hard enough based on the harshness of PSU. Every hypothetical example that I have ever heard given is not an apples to apples comparison. Until another head coach and school covers up and protects a pedophile for years to protect their “clean” reputation and not take a recruiting hit, and the NCAA doesn’t punish them to PSU’s extent, we have no comparable example to hold up and claim unfair penalties based on what PSU got.

    PSU is lucky they still have a program in place. This wasn’t just regular cheating, this was an abomination of human decency over what – a game of football.

  16. packplantpath 07/24/2012 at 2:40 PM #

    If you think this case has anything to do with football you are in denial of the depths that human beings often go to deny things they really, really don’t want to be true.

  17. UpstateSCWolfpack 07/24/2012 at 3:59 PM #

    No the case doesn’t have anything to do with football, but it became about football when the head FOOTBALL coach decided to cover for his assistant FOOTBALL coach. The sanctions have been handed down and the Nittany Liars administration has accepted the sanctions. So let’s stop the whining already.

  18. Pack Mentality 07/24/2012 at 4:11 PM #

    And good riddance to a once proud group of holier than thou sports fans.

  19. Pack Mentality 07/24/2012 at 4:17 PM #

    “If you think this case has anything to do with football you are in denial of the depths that human beings often go to deny things they really, really don’t want to be true.”

    Will you please explain this to me? I thought Paterno and Sandusky had something to do with football. I thought loss of scholarships and decimating the program had to do with football. I do understand that sexual encounters in the locker room don’t take place on the field of play. If you are saying that they gained no competitive advantage, I disagree.

  20. Hungwolf 07/24/2012 at 5:11 PM #

    Penn State is a criminal situation and needs to be treated as such, I don’t relate Penn State’s actions to anything the NCAA is suppose to be governing which on the flip side everything at UNC that has been uncovered so far is a slap in the face to what the NCAA stands for and what it governs. Penn State had no recruiting violations, no academic fraud, and did nothing to gain an unfair advantage on the field. Penn State had criminal activity happen in a football facility that was used by the university also. Lock the crooks up at Penn State! But what the NCAA did is nothing short of grandstanding, and I would have really like to have seen this thing play out and all the real proof be brought out before Papa Joe was taken down when he has been charged with no crime and no one has considered anything he did to be illegal.

  21. UpstateSCWolfpack 07/24/2012 at 6:21 PM #

    So a person with knowledge of a crime and didn’t report it to the police didn’t do anything criminal? Give me a break. And, he allowed the guy to continue his employment. Joe basically gave him a stamp of approval to abuse children. Joe is as guilty as Jerry just as the driver in a drive by is guilty of murder.

  22. Wolf74 07/24/2012 at 7:41 PM #

    Let me see if I understand this, PSU kept a modesting criminal on its payroll and this gave them a competitive advantage so the NCAA came crashing down on them. I really don’t have a problem with that. However, I personally feel it is not the NCAA’s place to punish criminals. That is the job of the State of Penn Justice System so the NCAA’s punishment should be all about competitive advantage and not about criminal punishment. The State should lower the boom on all those in the cover up and give them jail time.

    On the other hand UNC-CHeats gains a competitive advantage by keeping players eligible in fake classes, by promising parents questionable degrees for their children, allowing players to fly and party all over the country, giving agents and runners almost free run of the athletic department and looking the other way as players copy papers and have others write papers for them. Seems to me if you look at the competitive advantage part, UNCX has it all over PSU.

    Now if the NCAA is in the business of criminal punishment I understand. If not, UNCX should get hammered and championships forfeited.

  23. Hungwolf 07/24/2012 at 8:10 PM #

    I try to see both sides of people judging Papa Joe, but keep in mind Joe did not witness any crime and only “1” person reported anything to him which in a court of law is only “hearsay” and would not have stood up in court. The person that reported the incident to Papa Joe said he reported the incident to the police and they at the time did nothing. What happened was bad and inexcusable, but really Joe had no first hand knowledge. I still wonder if he is being judged fairly or just victim of a media frenzy/ mob rule. Remember the duke lacrosse players!

  24. Pack Mentality 07/24/2012 at 8:33 PM #

    Well the independent investigation that PSU PAYED FOR and accepted holds Joe responsible.

    When your own investigation comes to the conclusion that you are in the wrong – case closed.

    You don’t really think that this wasn’t known by every coach on the team do you?

  25. Hungwolf 07/24/2012 at 8:54 PM #

    @Pack Mentaltity

    Joe was vey old and so much a figure head. I wonder how much he really knew or how much he was kept in the dark. Joe hasn’t even wore a head set at games in years as he was not really coaching anyway. I don’t doubt others knew, but I wonder how much Joe was kept in the dark? Joe has only been tried in the media and by those feeling the media pressure, his family and others say he victim of a witch hunt. Prosecutors have yet to implicate Joe so I am holding judgement myself.

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