OT- Phil Knight Issues Statement Condemning Freeh Report

Submitted by yzerman19 on February 11th, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Phil Knight is backtracking and saying he rushed to judgment re: Paterno and the NCAA acted outside its authority when it enacted sanctions against PSU - this based on his reading of the new report commissioned by the Paterno family.  I used to wish UM would go back to Nike but not now and not ever.  Ill never by another pair of Nike Frees again which sucks because they are lightweight and very stylish.




Benoit Balls

February 11th, 2013 at 10:31 AM ^

New Balance used to be made in the USA only...I know that has changed somewhat what with them having to cut some corners to meed price standards and get their stuff in places like Meijer and other large box stores, but they really do make an effort to maintain a manufacturing presence in the USA, which is commendable. It is also why I haven't worn anything but New Balance in clese to ten years.

Screw Nike and Adidas, from a "evil corporation" perspective. They both suck.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:47 AM ^

but you should understand that probably 90% of any manufactured items you buy are made under the same conditions that are so deplorable in the Adidas and Nike factories. That is the norm for almost anything made abroad, be it China, Bangalore, wherever. 


February 11th, 2013 at 11:52 AM ^

I didn't say that.  He's creating jobs overseas and giving work and wages to those who wouldn't otherwise have them.  If you want to call it a sweatshop, fine, but working for $5 a day in a factory sweatshop is probably better than working for $2 a day in a field in Bangladesh.  If you want to advocate for higher wages, fine, but I don't think it is right to condemn every company that doesn't pay foreign workers the American minimum wage + benefits.


Brown Bear

February 11th, 2013 at 12:07 PM ^

Yes. I'm sure that is why Nike has their products produced overseas, TO CREATE JOBS!!! They are such an incredibly nice company. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that with the cheaper than cheap labor and opportunity to maximize profits by taking that produced product by some 10 year old kid for $5 a day and then selling it for $150 around the world!!! Nope, not it at all. Phil just cares about the third world countries of the world that much. .


February 11th, 2013 at 2:28 PM ^

How is in invalid? Because you disagree with Nike (and almost every single business worldwide to be clear) who makes as much money as they can? That's PRECISELY what they should be doing. They, like every business from the local cupcake shop to GM, are in business to make as much money as they can--all of them. You know when they won't? When people stop VOLUNTARILY  paying the money for their product. You miss the part where they offer a product with zero notion of whether or not people will buy it--business in most cases is a voluntary activity. If it's unfair and enough people think so they won't do it anymore because people won't buy the shoes. And you know what is "invalid?" The notion that our workers deserve to put shoes together at $7.50 an hour any more than the workers in "whereveristan" do for $5.


February 11th, 2013 at 4:48 PM ^

I don't think it's black and white, but how well do you think it'll go when 50% of the country here makes minimum wage and the only people with money are executives? How much demand is there then?




That's a good example of what $2/day looks like. It's not about "deserve" man, it's about good commerce and good practices.


February 11th, 2013 at 8:20 PM ^

an environmental policy in China. So you believe Nike shouldn't have workers make money in China because they have a government that doesn't care as much as we do about pollution?

And if there were 50% with money and 50% making minumum wage, that would be bad. That has little to do with this issue however. Both here, and now slowly in China, the entire reason that the middle class EXISTS is because of the profit motive and companies trying hard to make money. That is a fact. Capitalism and the profit motive created the middle class.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:08 AM ^

I'll still buy Nikes because the shoes are durable and stylish. If I boycotted every item that had a less than desirable behind it I would be living under a tree. There are worse things. You could eat at Chick fil a.

snarling wolverine

February 11th, 2013 at 10:10 AM ^

Like Paterno, Knight is an old dude who's hung around way too long at his job.  Nike needs to gracefully put him out to pasture.

(Little-known fact: Knight was the inspiration for Hank Scorpio in that one Simpsons episode.)


February 11th, 2013 at 10:14 AM ^

11 days after the Freeh report was issued, the NCAA levelled Penn State with historically drastic sanctions. it took 14 months for the NCAA to investigate and punish Michigan for stretching. i am not saying that the punishment was undue or that the Freeh report is wrong, but that the timeline does seem to support a bit of a rush to judgment by the NCAA who did not conduct their own investigation or report.

Aug. 30, 2009 , Michigan announces it is investigating allegations made by former players that they violated NCAA rules by practicing more than the allotted 20 hours per week.
Feb. 23, 2010 An NCAA investigation reveals five potential major rules violations concerning in- and out-of-season practice time, including one that Rodriguez “failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance within the football program and failed to adequately monitor” his quality-control staff.
Nov. 4, 2010 In a reduction of its original charge, the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions found that Rodriguez failed to monitor his football program, but not that he failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance. Michigan had earlier agreed with NCAA findings that four major rules violations had occurred within the football program.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

to all the sanctions. If they would not have agreed the public outcry would have been overwhelming. Penn State knew this and agreed to terms. Right wrong or indifferent, Penn State realized they in part were responsible in some way for what had happened. It may not have been a NCAA rules violation in the sense we are use to seeing but Penn State knew they had to do something to change public opinion. So the offered up the football program since that is the doorstep on which this tragedy occurred. All parties agreed so what's the problem.

This happens in court all the time. It's called "Plea bargaining". A person agrees to plead to a lesser crime they didn't commit to have the original crime for which they did commit dismissed. Penn State knew if they didn't do something they would get crucified. So they pled out so to speak to a lesser crime. The original crime was "Allowing the injustice to happen".


February 11th, 2013 at 10:34 AM ^

The NCAA and PSU president (or regents?) signed a contract agreeing to the sanctions -- this is not the same as the NCAA unilaterally imposing sanctions. This is the reason for the dramatically shortened timeline.

PSU wanted to move past this as quickly as possible and tried to do so by agreeing to the sanctions on an expedited basis. PSU traded getting all the facts out through an extended investigation for a quick solution so that they could start a new era after JoePa - now they (or the Paterno family) wish they had gone through with the normal NCAA investigation first instead. This is just buyer's remorse, in my opinion, and there isn't really anything they can do about it, other than raise a stink with the media and hope the NCAA feels bad and wants to renegotiate the deal that was struck. Fat chance of that.


February 11th, 2013 at 10:30 AM ^

I am sure the Paterno report was quite objective and balanced when considering all of the factors and events that took place surrounding the Sandusky scandal. Truly, it can be seen as a beacon of truth giving light to a dark time besmirched by the national media, prosecuturial evidence, and testimony given by various officials at the Pennsylvania State University. 



February 11th, 2013 at 10:37 AM ^

"Additionally, the NCAA's actions are exposed as totally unwarranted," he said. "The NCAA acted outside its charter and rendered judgment absent any kind of investigation or judicial hearing. It was simply grandstanding." - Phil Knight, quoted in the article

The problem with what Knight said here, and I could be wrong, is that the NCAA was determined to be a private entity and not an agent of any state in a ruling about 25 years ago, as I recall, so they do not necessarily need to go through due process. They don't have subpoena power, I believe, but the Freeh report was publicly available and could be used by the NCAA on that basis, as it would be construed as something they could turn up in the course of any investigation they could muster. Again, that might be misinterpreting their powers, but I believe that's why Knight is off here.