Hidden in all of the Ray Rice video drama was a decision in which the NCAA, the Paper Tiger, came to on Monday. I have waited a day to talk about both situations as to try and take my emotions out of it. Unfortunately, in the Penn State situation, I am a fan and have followed the events closely. Again, I am doing my best to take the emotion out of it.
A report was published by Louis Freeh entitled the Freeh report that detailed the events that took place from 1998 until the time of when it hit the presses. Ironically, Louis Freeh who was a director in the FBi headed a massive cover up while a member of the FBI. Louis Freeh was the man who leaked Richard Jewell’s name to authorities in regards to the Atlanta Olympic bombing, which is documented in an ESPN 30for30. Louis Freeh was also called into investigate a FIFA soccer scandal in which the president of FIFA was accused of bribery. Freeh released his report and findings which found the president guilty. The president’s appeal was overturned. Ironically, the decision was overturned due to a report by Freeh that lacked evidence. How shocking!
If were going to go by the report, which I have read, that the NCAA used as fact to sanction Penn State, I will present the facts.
-The 1998 incident was taken directly to the police. Penn State was not involved. The police and Pennsylvania Children and Youth investigated the incident. Jerry Sandusky was cleared of any wrongdoing.
-Jerry Sandusky was no longer an employee at Penn State following the 1999 football season.
-This leads to the 2001 shower incident. Mike McQueary who claims he saw sexual activity. He takes that to Joe Paterno who reports it to President Spanier, Athletic Director Curley, and campus Police director Gary Schultz. Again, this is according to the report. Not surprisingly the hypocrites that is the NCAA just released a handbook “Addressing Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence.” To sum up what it says is that athletic departments should report any sexual violence to campus offices for investigation. They must cooperate with authorities but remain out of investigations unless questioned by authorities. According to the Freeh Report, which is what were basing our decision off of, that is exactly what Joe Paterno did.
-The kid who was supposedly in the shower was deemed victim #2. Victim #2 released a statement that this incident never occurred. Victim #2 went back and changed his story after the trial that something happened but it was not sexual. Ironic as this is when the victims were getting their pay day. Victim #2 received a settlement. This charge in the trial of Jerry Sandusky came to the conclusion of not guilty. In the Freeh Report McQueary claimed that he saw anal sex. McQueary did not testify to that in any trial and in fact has changed his story 5 times as to what happened and if you would like the links, please let me know as I can provide.
-It has been long documented that Paterno and Sandusky did not get along following a retirement settlement in 1999.
-Louis Freeh did not interview Paterno, Spanier, Curley, or Schultz. He based it off grand jury testimony which the grand jury got the date wrong putting it as 2002 in order to meet the statute of limitations. It was then later changed to 2001.
-There was no cross examination or cross report to counter the Freeh report. This would be like going to court and only hearing the prosecution side.
-This report was taken as fact. The report was released and the media and public were in an uproar.
-Mark Emmert president of the NCAA levied the sanctions in a criminal matter which he stated was unprecedented in the history of the NCAA. Again, a criminal matter that was one sided. Oh and this is the same Mark Emmert that under his presidency at LSU 2 female instructors made accusations of academic fraud. Emmert led the investigation and found minor violations. The 2 female professors were fired from their position. Upon the case being heard in court, based on the evidence, the court decided academic fraud occurred and grades were changed for athletes. This is the same Mark Emmert that was Chancellor at Uconn and headed an expansion project. After Emmert left for LSU, the Connecticut governor ordered an investigation of the project. It was found that 100 million dollars was mismanaged and lost due to negligence. This is the same Mark Emmert that prior to UConn was head of senior management at Montana State. During his tenure Montana State was disciplined for lack of institutional control and academic fraud. And yes, this is the same Mark Emmert that was presidnt at University of Washington which tried to cover up a rape by a Husky Football player. Oh and I guess you figured it out by now, this is the guy the hypocrites that is the NCAA elected to be president.
This is the same Mark Emmert the was president over incidents that included the likes of Cam Newton accepting money (no penalty), Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State tattoogate (suspended 5 games), Johnny Manziel and his autograph session (suspended a half), and Oregon recruiting violations (slap on the wrist). All of these decisions were made quickly, just quick enough for the Paper Tiger to cash in. You may say these are all different cases and its not apples to apples. Well let me set it straight for you, the NCAA wouldnt know what an apple is if Mark Emmert was hit in the face by a honeycrisp.
While presenting his sanctions Mark Emmert alluded to the fact that there is a culture problem at Penn State. Yes the University that graduates more than 85% of its players yearly consistently ranking in the top 10-15 of universities. The same college that donates millions of dollars for pediatric cancer- to be exact over 13 million was raised last year. And this is the university in which the football coach had his name on the library. Sounds like a major culture problem. PSU was handed a list of 119 recommendations it needed to change. He also handed sanctions that he hoped would cripple the program.
Despite that, PSU football team stuck together thanks to Mike Mauti and Mike Zordich. The have gone 17-9 since the sanctions were levied and are currently ranked in the top 7 for next years recruiting class. The school has also raised thousands of dollars for child abuse.
In the midst of the past couple years, we have had incidents elsewhere. Exhibit A- Florida State, Jameis Winston. Exhibit B- North Carolina academic fraud. Two major allegations and the Paper Tiger is nowhere to be found. They went as far as stating it was out of there jurisdiction, very interesting. I guess there was no culture problems at FSU who graduated 56% in 2012.
In the breaking days, the media piled on after reading the one sided Freeh Report. The public piled on by listening to the media and not reading the report. If you asked the media or the public who the criminal was, it was not the man who sentenced behind bars. It was not the man who was investigated by the state police and children and youth services and found not guilty in 1998. It was not the man who was a grad assistant who has changed his story five times. It was the man who reported to his superiors. And the reason he was the criminal….because he didnt follow up. I would love for another civilian in the country to call the authorities over someone who is not employed by them nor who witnessed a crime to follow up on a case. Please get back to me and let me know what you find out. While you do that, sign on to the internet or read the newspapers, or better yet turn on ESPN. The same talking heads that jumped on without the facts have mostly changed their tune.
So I have asked myself many times, what exactly did these sanctions prove? What exactly was Mark Emmerts purpose? Jerry Sandusky was found guilty and will die in jail and rightfully so. Joe Paterno was fired and later passed. Tim Curley, Graham Spanier, and Gary Schultz were no longer employed by Penn State and are waiting to have there day in court. Those who suffered kids who were between the ages of 5 and 9 at the time of the events.
I leave you with this question…If the NCAA really believed that PSU harbored a child molester, do you think sanctions would have been reduced? Do you think they may have connected the dots as facts have come out? Do you think they realize this was never their place to intervene as it was a criminal matter? Or do you think the big bad Paper Tiger is so afraid of another lawsuit and the fact they may have to open up their discovery?
No matter, the fight for PSU may be over. They have come out of it relatively unscathed. The fight for the NCAA is ongoing. They have pending lawsuits from this matter. They attempted to take the 60 million dollar fine imposed on PSU to distribute as they wished. The state of PA filed a lawsuit asking the court to rule it has to remain in state. When the NCAA was asked to produce discovery, ironically, they issued a statement indicating the fine can stay in state for child abuse programs. Other lawsuits are still pending and not just lawsuits in regards. The Paper Tiger has dug itself a big hole with other schools and athletes.
I am thrilled for the current players who now have bowl eligibility in their futures. But on a day I should be thrilled about the sanctions being eliminated and PSU surviving them, I am just content. Penn State had its day. The day for the NCAA is coming. They cant run and hide forever. And I will wait patiently and be one of the first in line to celebrate the day the Paper Tiger is crumbled.