August 6th, 2012 at 6:07 PM ^

The "why" doesn't matter.  Why do I like to drive my car really fast?  Who knows, but I know that I can't do it, because it's both illegal and dangerous.  If I decide to completely ignore those things, drive 100mph down the road and hit someone, I'm a bad person who deserves punishment. 

Sandusky is a capable adult human being, cognitive enough to hold a high position and diagram complex, successful defenses.  Paterno willfully covered him up.  My Grandma is 82 right now, and I can tell you that she might not be able to carry her groceries up her steps very well or stay up past 9am, but she can tell the difference between right and wrong. 

Neither man has any excuse, and it's both surpising and disappointing to hear you giving them as much as the benefit of the doubt.


August 7th, 2012 at 8:57 AM ^

I agree it is astounding that Joe Pa is complicit in this. It is so against the PSU culture and the Joe Pa image, that it doesn't compute. And there are many, many people who have not made the shift because it is so shocking. Especially, it seems, some PSU fans and board members.

I was talking with an Ohio alumn the other night. (We get along down here in ACC land, because at least there is someone who understands.) We both are dyed in the wool / part of our identitiy fans for our schools, and we both feel bad for the PSU fans out there (and by extension the Joe Pa fans). Neither of us could imagine how we'd deal with this if it had been Michigan, or Ohio, especially under say Bo or Woody. I know Bo was black and white on this stuff, and thus would have handled it differently. But what we're talking about is the image of Joe Pa and the Grand Experiment, was similar enough, that when the facts come out, many people cannot handle them.

So the facts still need to come out. Once it is all out on the table, I think there will finally be a point where the shock wears off, and people start to accept that Joe Pa was complicit in a coverup of the worst type.

As for why people do these things: I think it does matter why. Sure it is too late in Sandusky's case, but the only way you really prevent something is to figure out why and either identify it early on, or fix it.


August 7th, 2012 at 10:42 AM ^

It's about finding out why someone like him does these things. It's obvious that the fear of serious punishment will not dissuade someone like that.  So the only way to stop them is to make sure the same problems don't develop in someone else. You can't save Sandusky's victims at this point. But you might be able to prevent the next string of victims of someone else.


August 6th, 2012 at 5:52 PM ^

Autocomplete sucks.

Also, with this move the BOT continues to legitimize the actions. How the fcuk and with what morality does the leadership at PSU determine to propose to appeal and reduce the sanctions.

Screw it NCAA...4 years death penalty.


August 6th, 2012 at 9:47 PM ^

Ipad autocompletes Paterno to "paternoster". If I was going flamebait I might have gone with Paterno$ter.

FWIW I did not know of this...



  1. (in the Roman Catholic Church) The Lord's Prayer, esp. in Latin.
  2. Any of a number of special beads occurring at regular intervals in a rosary, indicating that the Lord's Prayer is to be recited.



August 6th, 2012 at 5:12 PM ^

Can four trustees file suit? I would assume only the university would have any standing, meaning the Board of Trustees as a whole would need to challenge it.

I had originally assumed that threats of the death penalty were a bit of an exageration to convince PSU to go along with sanctions, but it's sounding less like that was the case. Plus, I figured that, even if it was an exageration, the university fighting back might be enough to convince the NCAA that it was appropriate.

You also have to wonder how the Big Ten would respond to a real challenge. The only reason the four years isn't completely disastrous is that PSU will be a member of the Big Ten when it's all done. Even if it doesn't change the NCAA penalty, a challenge could reasonably trigger Big Ten expulsion.

In the end, if this doesn't get quickly rejected by the NCAA and the courts, I really think it could be disaster for Penn State.


August 6th, 2012 at 5:54 PM ^

...I'd think the Board itself might have some issues with members filing a minority action. Here are some excerpts from the PSU statement of "expectations of members of the Board":

5. Speak openly within the Board and publicly support decisions
reached by the Board
6. Make decisions and instruct the administration as a Board,
not as individuals

11. Advocate the University's interests, but speak for the Board or
the University only when authorized to do so by the Board or
the Chair
12. Respect established channels to acquire information or open
communication with constituents

I'll be surprised if the Board doesn't call a meeting, take a vote, and distance itself from this as quickly as it can. Or support it--they need to do one or the other or this is going to be a disaster.


August 6th, 2012 at 5:22 PM ^

I don't think the BOT would be appealing this if the NCAA had just punished the football program, but when they tacked on the $60 million fine and did it without due dilligence, then it's not too surprising the BOT wants to take another look at it. I'm thinking they all had to be in agreement on the whole paying $60 million, and some of them weren't...


August 6th, 2012 at 9:03 PM ^

The BoT isn't appealing this.  read the news.  Four trustees are appealing.  Actually, they are extremely unappealing, but you get my point.

As for the assertion that the NCAA acted "without due dilligence," I'd suggest you look up the term before using it again.  Maybe you meant "due process," but in that case I would point out that you utterly failed to provide due process in making your assertion, and you have as much obligation to provide due process as the NCAA has.



August 6th, 2012 at 5:41 PM ^

Here's a description of the reponsibilities of the BOT, which might be of interest to anyone curious about counsel's decision that the Board didn't need to be consulted. I suppose you could make a case that the fine might trigger the Board's responsiblity for "prudent oversight of the University's endowment, finances, and other tangible assets," and the board's responsible for review of the annual budget.

Role of the Board of Trustees in University Governance

Probably depends more on historical precedent--what kind and scale of decisions are ordrinarily presented for Board approval?--more than on the actual wording here.





August 6th, 2012 at 5:53 PM ^

While I may be in the minority, I'm glad Penn St. is giving The NCAA the finger. I hope theyvein their federal suit and put the NCAA in their place. We have criminal an civil courts for a reason. This was none of the NCAAs business.


August 6th, 2012 at 6:16 PM ^

You are in the minority.

Sure, we have civil and criminal courts. Various enforcement entities have overlapping jurisdiction all the time. Just because something is punished in criminal court doesn't mean it isn't also punishable in civil court. Look no further than Tatgate; that was a federal drug investigation that happened to have an NCAA component.

Besides, as a general rule, when in doubt I tend to side with potentially overreaching enforcement agencies over child rapist enablers.


August 6th, 2012 at 6:24 PM ^

Im not sure you read what I wrote. I'm not objecting to the use of criminal AND civil courts, the NCAA is neither of these. Of the NCAA is such the enforcer of good, why does Baylor still have athletics? I'm guessing covering up a murder, along with a truckload of other violations just isn't a big deal?


August 6th, 2012 at 6:52 PM ^

My point was that just because this is a criminal and/or civil matter doesn't mean that it isn't ALSO an NCAA matter (much like something can be a criminal matter and a civil matter at the same time). 

I'm also incredibly unpersuaded by the "others have done it and weren't punished like this" argument; try it next time you fight a speeding ticket. But if we're talking about Baylor, they got a half-season ban, a couple of show-cause orders for the coaches, scholarship reductions, recruiting limitations, and five years probation. And that was all because of the actions of a rogue coach, not a conspiracy among the entire upper echelon of a university.  


August 6th, 2012 at 7:14 PM ^

Nobody at Baylor covered up a murder. Bliss tried to throw the murder victim's reputation under the bus and tried to get his players and coaches to lie to investigators, but he wasn't covering up the murder or protecting the murderer--he was trying to cover up the fact that he'd been slipping improper benefits to the victim by inventing another source for the cash.

It's not really a parallel for Paterno/Sandusky; it was its own peculiar form of heinous, but Bliss didn't enable continued crimes the way Paterno and his colleagues did and he acted on his own without the support or cooperation of his AD and President.


August 6th, 2012 at 7:31 PM ^

They're free to leave anytime they want if they don't like living under their rules. Lots of schools thrive without athletics. So it's completely within the NCAA's purview to punish an athletic program for having major participants in that program covering up a crime.


August 6th, 2012 at 8:07 PM ^

It doesn't. But being a private organization does. So there is absolutely no constitutional right to due process in re: the NCAA.

Once more, to review: most constitutional rights are restrictions on government action. They don't apply to private action. The only exception is slavery. You can't own slaves. That's it.

Other things the NCAA can do to its members:

  • Quarter soldiers in its dorms
  • Restrict its members rights of free speech, assembly, and the press.
  • implement cruel and unusual punishment
  • Take away its members' guns

But again: no slaves. 


August 6th, 2012 at 8:12 PM ^

opting to take a plea deal to avoid the four year death penalty that due process is likely to bring.

PSU is trying to get this thing out of the headlines, not figure out how to be a rules merchant and fight this sucker out in court.  They're making moves settle with the victims of Sandusky, get the media to move on to other topics, and hope that the Clery Act violations don't destroy them.  

The NCAA had every right to send PSU a notice of possible infractions.  Given scandal and athletic department, the NCAA has every right to express interest.  PSU's response was merely "We don't wish to contest, what will it take to make this all go away?"  They got what they asked for and if you notice the B1G and other associations of schools backed the NCAA on this.  Schools that could one day find themselves facing the same type of dilemna granted the power to the NCAA President to directly punish Penn State via a vote of NCAA members. PSU asked for it, the other schools granted the NCAA a mandate, this was not illegal or a lynching.  


August 6th, 2012 at 9:40 PM ^

With no concept of what they mean or how they work. You're like the guy who screams about his 1st Amendment rights being violated when his board post gets deleted, not understanding what the government is required to do over a private organization.


August 6th, 2012 at 6:58 PM ^

I forgot how much everyone here likes reading the exact same opinion 100+ times in a row.

/drinks mgoblog kool-aid...   Only five years!?? Make it ten years, dammit!!!

I must have missed all this NCAA love when they handed down our sanctions for stretching too much.  M Wolverine probably pointed out that it was "completely within the NCAA's purview" to do so.


August 6th, 2012 at 7:11 PM ^

I think we got what we deserved from the NCAA. We broke the rules, we deserved to get punished. It was pretty minor violations with no ill intent, just confusion of rules and protocol, so we got minor punishment. Is it something they could have found anywhere if they looked? Sure. And they only looked because of a newspaper vendetta. But we handled it te right way, admitted our mistakes, investigated ourselves with an anal probe to show that really was it, and took our lumps.

And while we're on it, I thought we got what we deserved for the Fab Five too.


August 6th, 2012 at 6:58 PM ^

that if we found out that Hoke, Dave Brandon, and Mary Sue Coleman were actively covering up, for DECADES, a child rapist associated with the football program, that we would disappointedly accept the punishment handed out. And beyond that, I would really, REALLY hope that even if some fans had a hard time accepting it, that our leaders would be reasonable enough to say, "no, guys, we fucked up."

Drew Sharp

August 6th, 2012 at 7:20 PM ^

Off topic to the BoT actions. While do agree with what you say, BiSB, put yourself in the board's shoes. I'm going to assume that the board's assertion that the president didn't have the authority to bind the school to these sanctions is correct. I respect their decision to challenge that.


August 6th, 2012 at 8:53 PM ^

The Board already agreed that the President had the authority to enter the agreement; they also approved the agreement itself when it was presented to them. If they thought he'd exceeded his authority they had the option of removing him; they didn't. They also could have requested that he or his replacement appeal the sanctions; they didn't.

If these guys want to dispute those decisions because they think the Board violated its own by-laws, they can sue the board. Otherwise, they've already lost their case in the only place that mattered: the board meeting that considered the sanction agreement. Going after the NCAA because of alleged misdoings by Penn State's president and/or trustees isn't going to get them anywhere.


August 6th, 2012 at 9:02 PM ^

also says the president consulted with the chairman and several members of the executive committee. So just because the four yahoos were not consulted, does not mean the entire board was kept into the dark.

In essence, there are the wise(er) board members trying to navigate PSU through this mess, and the Joe Pa crazies, trying to preserve the smoking crater that was his legacy.

Fortunately for PSU, the navigators appear to hold the decision making roles.