PSU trustees to meet on NCAA penalty

Submitted by Leaders And Best on July 25th, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Penn State mess continues to get messier.  Reported that Penn State Board of Trustees will meet to discuss whether President Erickson had authority to agree to NCAA sanctions.

Doesn't help when the alumni elect this guy and 4 former football players (out of 9 alumni representatives) to your BOT:

Anthony Lubrano has been doing his own one man press tour in the last 2 days that makes the PSU BOT look like a bunch of delusional football fans:

Also, our tax dollars will be paying former PSU president Graham Spanier soon as somehow he got a job working for the federal government:



July 25th, 2012 at 4:41 PM ^

How can they do anything?  The President already said he was willing to accept it.  The alternative was going to be the death penalty if he didn't accept these terms.


These sanctions happened based on a report from a guy the BOT hired to make. 


July 25th, 2012 at 4:50 PM ^

Also, saying this is NOT a Penn State scandal, or Penn State football scandal, is completely dilusional on that guys part.


How is it neither when it involves the Penn State Athletic Director, Ex. VP, President, Head Football Coach, AND former Defensive Coordinator who was granted emeritus status AFTER the initial investigation, and kept it up until he was arrested?  

When rapes happen inside of Penn State facilities by a man being paid by Penn State, it is a Penn State scandal and problem.  When it is attempted to be covered up by the Athletic Director, Head Coach, along with the VP and President, to preserve the image of the university and football program, it becomes a Penn State and Penn State football scandal.


July 25th, 2012 at 11:23 PM ^

I couldn't believe what I was hearing either:

"What have we learned? First, this is not a Penn State scandal. Second, this was not a Penn State football scandal. Third, this was certainly not a Joe Paterno scandal. To imply or suggest that Joe Paterno would jeopardize the well being of a child to protect a football program tells us you did not know this man."

REALLY?  In what alternate, bizarro universe?  As you said, when boys are raped by an assistant football coach, on campus, and in the football building, and when a football GA notifies the head coach who does next to nothing about it for more than a decade, and the most senior university officials willingly look away--regardless of their motives--and when that same assistant head coach is provided near complete access to every aspect of the program and the university YEARS after allegations first surface, that is the very definition of a "Penn State scandal," a "Penn State football scandal," and, in no small part, a "Joe Paterno scandal." 

Do you think maybe, just maybe, it's possible that YOU did not know this man?  That NONE OF US truly knew this man?  I'm sure JoPa would say, "actions speak louder than words."  And his certainly do now.

This type of response to this whole thing is such bullshit.  The fact that this type of reaction represents not a miniscule but a very prominent portion of the PSU community makes me glad the NCAA burned that place to the ground.  F 'EM.


July 25th, 2012 at 7:38 PM ^

The NCAA is basically one giant middle man with a very hungry mouth to feed.  If they were serious about the victims, they would take that fine and split it up between them.  That would have been the end of the punishment, and the victims would then be able to move toward closure and a higher degree of healing without having to be reminded of it every day for the next ten years or so.  

Instead, the NCAA went for the massive PR shot.  They are going to create one or more "foundations" that burn up most of the money in "administrative costs."  They have guaranteed that every victim will be reminded of it every time he looks at a sports section for however long it takes the program to bounce back.  

The NCAA gets to pound its collective chest and tell everyone how much they "care."  Really, though, in the end, the victims are getting absolutely nothing.  

Consequently, I hope PSU sues the NCAA.  Not so that they can "win," but so that the student-athlete can win.  Because eventually, the NCAA will be exposed for the way it ruthlessly exploits "student-athletes," making millions of dollars off of them, but doesn't even allow them to accept a free pizza.  

If the NCAA has expose its inner workings to the scrutiny of a lawsuit, by an entity that can afford all of the money it will take to actually move it forward and not get buried by the legal obfuscation that will inevitably come as a response, those players are eventually going to be allowed to accept the money they command on the free market, just like everybody else in every other profession.




Everyone Murders

July 25th, 2012 at 5:08 PM ^

It's arguable that the BoT has a duty to make this inquiry, as awful as the underlying crime is.  My understanding of their role is that they have a duty to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Pennsylvania, and prevent the universities' administrations from making commitments that are contrary to the interests of the citizens of the state.  From the BoT's perspective, they are likely concerned about allowing Erickson to set a precedent whereby the president of a public university makes substantial agreements without BoT approval. 

Whether PSU would be better off just swallowing this bitter pill (of the PSU administration's own making) or fighting the proposed sanctions is a fair question.  And I agree that this just prolongs the sh*tshow in the near term.  But if I were a trustee, I may well feel my hands are tied (and be royally pissed at Erickson being so panicked and/or presumptuous).

turd ferguson

July 25th, 2012 at 4:42 PM ^

Trustees are politicians, and to understand why politicians do what they do, you have to understand their incentives.  Nine of Penn State's trustees, including Lubrano, are elected by PSU alumni.  These trustees know that a whole lot of alumni will be single-issue voters over these next few years, and the most fired up of them will be those pissed off by how Penn State has been treated.


July 25th, 2012 at 5:20 PM ^

...back when I was posting BEFORE the MGGoBoard...when I would try to post "first" everytime Brian uploaded new content on the front page.  Back when it was only Brian writing here.


So, I guess it's been a while:


It is derived from an argument I had with my brother about the correct spelling.  It is a reminder of how I love winning arguments. 

Everyone Murders

July 25th, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^

When the story broke I was surprised that Erickson felt he had the authority to agree to accept the NCAA sanctions.  It seems that most public schools require board approval for relatively minor undertakings (e.g., expanding or updating training facilities).  Erickson, seemingly acting on his own, made one of the biggest decisions in PSU history.  It seems fair for the Board of Trustees to look into Erickson's authority to bind the university.

"It's really simple: I am frankly outraged as a member of the board of trustees that the university entered into a consent agreement without discussing it with the Board in advance of signing," trustee Anthony Lubrano told USA TODAY Sports on Monday after the NCAA sanctions were announced. "If I'm going to be held accountable, I feel like I should've been part of that process," Lubrano added. "I think it's fair to say that a number of board members are upset."

It certainly looked like Erickson had a Home Alone panicked response to the NCAA's ultimatum from the outside.

Anyway, I think the OP's correct - this situation could somehow become even messier than it already is.  Yeesh!


July 25th, 2012 at 4:44 PM ^

Yeah, it could get messy.  From what I understand, the Board wasn't informed of the agreement and alot of them are upset over this.


July 25th, 2012 at 6:15 PM ^

I don't get it. If they weren't informed about it, what was the emergeny meeting over the weekend about, which ultimately ended in removal of Paterno's statue? At the time everyone said they were discussing how to avoid harsher sanctions from NCAA, like a four-year death penalty. 


July 25th, 2012 at 4:50 PM ^

They probably can't back out of the bowl ban or the scholarship limits, but I'm guessing the President doesn't have the authority to cut a $12,000,000 check to the NCAA each of the next five years without the board's approval.

If the board refuses to give him the authority to pay the fine, or if they specifically forbid him from paying the fine, it could get even uglier between the NCAA and Penn State. 


July 25th, 2012 at 5:01 PM ^

Yeah, exactly.

Thinking this through a little more...If the PSU Board of Trustees tries to nullify the consent agreement in court, which maybe they could do, the NCAA would simply tell the Board of Trustees that they have 72 hours to either (1) ratify the consent agreement or (2) allow NCAA investigators access to all University records that Freeh had access to, and all other athletic department records over the last 15 years on top of that, so the NCAA infractions committee can make a decision on their punishment.

The Board of Trustees can't make this any better for Penn State football, but they can make it much, much worse. 


July 25th, 2012 at 6:41 PM ^

Yeah - and all that will do is delay the penalties, but they'll still have kids transferring, and more importantly, recruits not wanting to come play for them.  The only thing worse than 4 classes of 15 kids, is a shitty recruiting class, and then 4 classes of 15 kids. 

Actually, that's kind of what they have now.  So instead they'd have 2 shitty recruiting classes, and then 4 classes of 15 kids.  So it would just prolong the suck.

Zone Left

July 25th, 2012 at 7:55 PM ^

I'd guess the agreement with the NCAA is impossible to back out of given the circumstances. The school's president probably didn't have the authority to commit the school to a $60M payout, or any of the other sanctions, without receiving Board of Trustees approval. If I were on the Board, I'd be pretty pissed too. Frankly, I'd be weighing the shitstorm that would come from firing the guy against not having to deal with someone who thinks it's okay to sign away a huge amount of cash without asking anyone's permission. That said, they'll ultimately accept the punishment because the alternative might be putting a padlock on Beaver Stadium for a while.

The NCAA did a terrible job of selling its rapid decision. They should have said PSU was attempting to gain a competitive advantage by avoiding the scandal, which is covered by its bylaws, and that the Freeh report was more than sufficient to satisfy the standard investigation conducted by schools charged with rules violations. They also could have actually talked to the Board a few minutes before the press conference to get their (reluctant) approval.

Zone Left

July 26th, 2012 at 12:25 AM ^

Fair enough, but it was one of the biggest moments in the school history. Regardless of his technical level of authority, he should have talked to them. The NCAA is/was out for blood, but they would have given Erickson time to organize a teleconference to inform his university's Board. Again, I'd be really pissed if I were a board member and found out about the punishment on TV. Regardless of the penalties directly related to football, $60M is a lot of money to commit for any school


July 25th, 2012 at 4:58 PM ^

According to rumor central at the CiC (which has been running slightly above average in accuracy these days) this would be suicidal by the board to fight.  The Presidents/Chancellors have already met and if PSU makes a fuss about this they're gone.  Supposedly that was the deal for PSU remaining in the conference, that they shut up and take whatever the NCAA dishes out.  That's why we had our announcement out hours after the NCAA's and Erickson made those back to the wall comments.  The other B1G Presidents signed off with the NCAA and made it clear they'd support Emmert over PSU.  

If the BoT fights this, they're gone from the conference and in turn that likely triggers their expulsion from other academic groups.  In turn that leaves PSU sitting there all by itself when the Department of Education shows up to discuss Clery Act violations.  

Basically the threat was if you take this to court and turn this into a multiyear bitchfest, we're booting you rather than be dragged down with you.  Plus we boot them and no one is going to risk the NCAA's wrath by scheduling them/letting them in.  The ACC already has 99 problems with Miami, they don't need PSU.  So football dies eitherway.  

Assuming the BoT is intelligent, this is just to appease the angry alumni base and look like they're doing something.  

Mr Miggle

July 25th, 2012 at 6:06 PM ^

I think PSU knows they are getting expelled if they fight the penalties. There are trustees who need to put on a show and there are probably a few too dumb to comprehend what's going on.



July 25th, 2012 at 4:59 PM ^

If the BOT can reopen the mess, then surely the Big 10 can do the same thing. Perhaps they didn't reach the correct decision the first time around.