Official Press Release: PENN STATE SANCTIONS BASED ON FAULTY SUPPOSITION BY NCAA PRESIDENT MARK EMMERT

PENN STATE SANCTIONS BASED ON FAULTY SUPPOSITION
BY NCAA PRESIDENT MARK EMMERT

SEPTEMBER, 24, 2012 —- NCAA President Mark Emmert revealed last Friday that the unprecedented sanctions his organization recently levied against Penn State University were evidently based on a false assumption.

Speaking to the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field, Emmert said, regarding the criminal case against Jerry Sandusky, if Penn State had brought it forward when initial claims of abuse began and separated itself at that time, the NCAA never would have been involved. The ensuring years of cover-up, Emmert implied, caused the NCAA action.

This bombshell exposes a basic, but colossal error in Emmert’s, and therefore, the NCAA’s understanding of the Penn State case: the first claim of abuse against Sandusky was in 1998, and it was, in fact, Penn State police who sent the case to the Centre County District Attorney at that time. The case was handled by Centre County Children and Youth Services (CYS) and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW), involving interviews with Sandusky by two separate psychologists, and the eventual notification of officials at The Second Mile. The conclusion was that Sandusky exhibited no criminal or pedophile behavior and the District Attorney, Penn State Police, State College Police, CYS and DPW had done the investigation thoroughly and cleared Sandusky.

Further demonstrating the lack of knowledge Emmert seems to have about even the basic details of the Penn State case, he also shared with his audience of business professionals that the Freeh Report was “more exhaustive” than anything the NCAA could have done. In one of the largest inaccuracies of his presentation, Emmert indicated that Louis Freeh “had subpoena power at the University,” which is grossly inaccurate, and one of the universal criticisms of the report. In fact, no one interviewed was legally compelled to tell the truth, or to even participate in the Freeh investigation. None of the major names in the Penn State case was interviewed for the report — including Joe Paterno (although he offered), Tim Curley, Gary Schultz or Mike McQueary – leaving many legal experts to strongly condemn the overall validity of its findings.

Finally, Emmert told his Detroit Economic Club audience that Penn State University officials said they were not disputing the facts in the Freeh Report, “so we had the facts,” Emmert said.

Apparently, though, they did not.

For detailed information on the Freeh Report, which, to date, has never been fully reviewed by the Penn State Board of Trustees, please click on the links below.

PS4RS Review & Analysis Report – Key Failures
PS4RS Review & Analysis Report – Summary
PS4RS Review & Analysis Review – Complete Report

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship with more than 13,000 members nationwide, was formed to effect positive change within the Penn State University Board of Trustees. For further information on PS4RS, please visit http://www.PS4RS.ORG, email ps4rsinfo@ps4rs.org, or search “WE intend to vote out the Penn State Board of Trustees” on Facebook. Follow PS4RS on Twitter at @PS4RS.

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27 comments
  1. hostirad said:

    When I read the story on Emmert’s remarks in the CDT two days ago, I could not have been more flabbergasted. I was floored, not only by his misunderstanding of the events of 1998 and his assertion the the Freeh group had subpoena power when they did not, but also by his declaration that the culture of Penn State is improving due to the intervention of the NCAA. Huh? How can our academic/athletic integrity improve, given that statistics show that Penn State is already a national leader in this area? He offers no documentation of the alleged changes that he says he is so happy about other than the appointment of George Mitchell to oversee the athletic integrity agreement. (“That’s the part that is going to create serious change in the Penn State culture.”). I wish someone could hold his feet to the fire (after said feet are removed from his mouth) and force him to admit that the NCAA actions were based on a set of serious falsehoods.

  2. sherrysauerwine said:

    Let’s make certain that a copy of this is sent to the Detroit Economic Club so that they know that Emmert’s comments were worthless. Also make certain that a copy is sent to Emmert and to JIm Delaney the BigTen commissioner so that he too has to face the fact of how shabbily Emmert handled this situation. This guy needs to be exposed as the twit that he is and the BIgTen needs to realize that they too are just as responsible for this stupid attempt to destroy the PSU football program. Trust me when I say that if it was Michigan or Ohio State involved, the BigTen would have jumped in and tried to persuade the NCAA to take a different approach, Delaney didn’t because bottomline — the BigTen doesn’t and never has wanted PSU in that pathetic conference.

    Anyone see the Phila. Inquirer a few days ago when Mike Jensen one of their writers discussed that fact that a lot of ADs are looking at what was launched on Penn State and really questioning exactly why the football program is being punished.?
    Finally a few people are beginning to THINK about what has happened and the fact that the NCAA totally overreached.
    Meanwhile Jensen mentioned that he’s contacted Emmert a number of times for an interview and he’s been refused. Sort of similar to the fact that once again Mike Patrick mentioned during the game broadcast this week that Bill O’Brien can’t get a response from the NCAA re: precisely how it will work at the end of the season when our players become “free agents” again thru 8/2013. The fact that the NCAA won’t answer O’Brien shows how totally inept they are and the fact that they don’t and didn’t have a plan in that regard — they just wanted to punish Penn State and to hell with how to implement it or even giving a thought to how totally insane and unfair it is to the players and the coaching staff to go through this season helping kids become better players only to possibly have them lured away by the Lane Kiffens of the world if he “has a need.”

    If we had people on the BOT other than a handful who remotely cared about the university and the football program they’d be pushing back and forcing the NCAA to answer O’Brien. Meanwhile the MD turned AD — Dave Joyner cowers in the corner until Lubbert tells him what he can and can’t do to support the new coach, his staff, and the team.

  3. Ron said:

    Great job you are a great asset to we are, and this fight! II was thinking this as I read his comments! I was waiting for his ego to get the best of him! Arrogance will always expose a fool and criminal intent. If his comments do not result in some member of the NCAA , calling for his resignation I do not know what will? True confessions, made in public! Thank you god, I asked and you were listening! Somewhere a lawyer is smiling, and the legal consul for the NCAA is saying you £#%+\=€ idiot!

    You do email your releases to the members of the NCAA and their staffs! at their university! Sooner or later someone in the media ,likely a espn competing outlet will turn on the NCAA !

    But what is worse is Emmert is correct in one respect, at least on his level , the NCAA does not have the ability to investigate to the low standard set by the Freeh report. If then, why I in gods name would member schools be willing to place any trust of public assets in the judgement of these fools. This is serious ,they are wrecking people’s lives, depleting state assets with out statutory athority! Since when do the people of PA allow any institution that receives state tax money , from allowing such an exposure of the public trust with out ratification by the law makers.

    Great job!

  4. sherrie said:

    I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but comments like this from Emmert and other NCAA members lead me to believe that our own BOT/Erickson must be working in collusion to pin the Sandusky scandal on Penn State. Gene Marsh was retained by PSU to negotiate the consent decree with the NCAA. How could Marsh allow the NCAA’s executive committee to white-wash the true facts/evidence in this case unless he was retained by PSU (similar to the reasons for Freeh’s hiring) to place the blame on PSU’s football program and core administrators (i.e., Curley, Schultz, Spanier and Paterno)? I am left speechless that the NCAA actually believes that Freeh had subpoena power, and access to all pertinent witnesses. How could Marsh as the legal counsel for PSU allow such misperceptions/misrepresentations to occur? Either Marsh is grossly incompetent or we have a “behind the door/wink-wink” deal that the rest of us will never know…

    I hope that the few brave BOT members (McCombie, Clemens, Lubrano, Myers) and former players will file at least a civil lawsuit against the NCAA. If Tarkanian can receive damages with a civil “nuisance” lawsuit against the NCAA, I can only imagine what a federal court judge will award PSU in the future. The hard part is just waiting for Curley/Schultz’s criminal trial to be over (and if it results in a “not-guilty” verdicts), I am praying for retribution against all those who have slandered the Penn State brand (and this includes Erickson, Joyner, and majority of the BOT members.)

  5. w. s. steele said:

    The recent PS4RS reports togther with this type of news release need to get more national media coverage to change public opinion. If PSRS hasn’t already done so, reporters like Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, Mike Isikoff of NBC news and others need to be contacted to try to persaude them to get the facts out about the Freeh report and Emmert’s total misunderstanding of the situation.

  6. Jeff Wojciechowski, '69 Bus Ad said:

    Will Capt Ryan McCombie now move forward on his legal action?

    Or will PS4RS seek a temporary or permanent injunction on the NCAA and their sanctions. Do we need to raise money for legal fees?

    If not, what is the criteria for PS4RS to move on to legal action?

    Others can organize if necessary but too many splinter efforts will waste energy.

  7. barry said:

    “For detailed information on the Freeh Report, which, to date, has never been fully reviewed by the Penn State Board of Trustees, please click on the links below”.

    This statement that the BOT has not reviewed the Freeh report sends chills down my spine. As FIDUCIARIES of PSU they have an obligation to review it. They are failing in their fiduciary duties. I really do not understand how they can take this stance.

  8. joesimonetta said:

    Would someone please update me about whatever lawsuits are in process to challenge the NCAA sanctions?

    Thank you.

    Joe, PSU, ’66.

  9. Nicholas Nemeth said:

    Is there any way that we can get a transcript of his speech? Was it recorded so it can be transcribed? It seems to me that his remarks would be helpful in court or other places to overturn the sanctions or at least embarrass him into admitting he does not know what he is talking about at his next speaking engagement that could then be broadcast by a sports outlet.

  10. geoa201 said:

    The NCAA has complete oversight of its association members’ programs. If there was something wrong with one of its Penn State University programs, wouldn’t it be logical to assume that it would have been looked into before the Freeh Report release? The fact that in 1998 at least five agencies had knowledge of the 1998 Incident and did nothing, shows that the NCAA did little except to listen to the words of Louis Freeh at his press conference. Even Louis Freeh during the Q & A period of his press conference acknowledged that the investigative team did not have subpoena powers. I guess the NCAA was not listening that closely to his words, after all.

    The BoT needs to answer for its decisions and its actions – not with a public apology through the press, but with complete transparency in its decision making process. The Board, specifically the Special Investigations Task Force retained the FSS law group on November 21, 2011 after being formed sometime after November 07, 2011. Is the real reason for the BoT silence to the Report because they did not do an exhaustive search for an “independent investigative team”? Is it because some BoT members, who are leaders in their chosen career fields, do not want to suffer the consequences and humiliation of failing to lead a University during a horrible crisis? Or is it because they know that the Report is flawed, and they wasted University monies on a “not-so-independent” law firm?

    George F. Aul ’08

    • geoa201 said:

      After I wrote my comment, I happened to look at the BoT’s press release on November 08, 2011 (based on the Freeh Report Timeline of Significant Events). The press release states that on November 11, 2011, at a regular Board meeting, the Board will appoint a Special Committee to look into the Grand Jury Report of Criminal Charges. This means that, after being commissioned, the Special Investigations Task Force had ten (10) days – or less – to search, interview, check backgrounds, etc. of law firms and other investigative units before retaining the FSS law firm on November 21, 2011. A complete and exhaustive search for an “independent investigative team” – there is no way!

      George ’08

      • geoa201 said:

        Has anyone checked into the past histories and interactions between Tom Corbett and Louis Freeh?
        Both were assistant U.S. attorneys in different districts during the same time period. Later, Tom became PA Attorney General – for the first time (1995 -1997) – during the time that Louis Freeh was FBI Director (1993 – 2001). Did they have dealings with each other, or even know each other during these times? The PA Attorney General’s office, at that time, was rocked with scandal and Corbett was appointed by Gov. Ridge to replace convicted AG Ernie Preate – who was sent to federal prison. It was PA Attorney General Corbett – during the second time as AG – who initiated the Jerry Sandusky investigation. And it is now Governor Corbett who sits as a member of the Board of Trustees – in an ex officio capacity.

        The Special Investigations Task Force retained the Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan law group within ten (10) days after being formed. Why and how did they come to such a quick decision? Was it because of name recognition and some unwritten credibility? Was it because of friendships or previous working relationships? It has already been established that Merck & Co. used
        Pepper Hamilton lawyers… could other relationships exist that would further explain the Task
        Force’s decision, and further explain the BoT silence?

        George ’08

        • geoa201 said:

          Here are other little thoughts to ponder:
          (1) The Special Investigations Task Force Vice Chairman was Ron Tomalis – who is the Pennsylvania Education Secretary under Governor Corbett. Both are Board of Trustee members in an ex officio capacity.
          (2) Wasn’t it the Board members who recently wanted to change the rules and make the sitting Governor of Pennsylvania – Corbett and beyond – become a non-voting member of the BoT?

          • geoa201 said:

            Another thought:

            Governor Corbett in his state fiscal budget made cuts in many programs across the state. One of the most unpopular cuts was in education funding. He and the PA Education Secretary – Ron Tomalis… appointed to be PA Education Secretary by Governor Corbett – had to have some discussions about the cuts to the education budget.
            Both are not only connected through state government, but also through the Board of Trustees.
            I wonder which Board members approved the Tomalis selection to be the Vice Chairman of the Special Investigations Task Force?

            George ’08

  11. Jeff Roby said:

    I just pasted this item into an email and sent it to Emmert. That, along with a link to the analysis of the Freeh report. Sorry if I shouldn’t have done it, but I wanted to make sure he saw it. I’ll be shocked if I get a reply but will post it if I do.

  12. Two basic and fair requests to the NCAA given the forfeiture, fines, and unduly harsh sentence levied on Penn State:

    1. Please provide the first time any individual reported to the NCAA the Jerry Sandusky sickness with children. Please advise who it was, what he or she said, when, how reported, and the NCAA response.

    Coaches talk and report more than agents. No secret some did not get along with Joe. It is incomprehensible the NCAA did not have someone report those acts early on. If so, why didn’t it act on its own?

    2. Please provide documentation and/or production of any and all office conversations, communications, concerning or relating to Joe Paterno or Penn State football during the time period of Sandusky’s criminal acts. If the NCAA was not totally impartial or had an agenda or would have responded differently if the allegations involved another school or coach, it was not fit to judge.

    Some of Emmert’s buddies may have been in competition with Joe for all time wins or other honors. Saban, as one example, was the highest paid coach at LSU when Emmert was President. Saban called him called him the best boss ever. They won a national championship together. Emmert stated the future of LSU was directly tied to its football program. Emmert was the highest paid President at the time and moved up from there. It may be enlightening to review that program and how it had such success.

    Most don’t know or have not seen the corruption of big time programs in certain conferences, and the NCAA fraud of Amateurism. I believe now-and finally-Penn State is starting to get it. You are not dealing with pristine folks with the NCAA. You have been railroaded. And I know from speaking publicly about this that Athletic Directors and others at Universities are concerned about the Penn State result and how it all came about.

    • ps4rs said:

      For those who don’t know, Ralph Cindrich was a linebacker for the Pitt Panthers and in the NFL. He is a highly respected sports agent and understands the NCAA as well as anyone in the country.

      Thank you, Ralph, for speaking truth to power.

      Gary Levitt
      Editor

  13. Paula said:

    I agree with several above. I want to know what it will take for us to go on the offensive attack here – I sound like a broken record because I’ve already posted several times that I want legal action taken now against all involved – what other evidence do we need that these idiots injustly attempted to destroy Penn State. What can we do to make these people pay other than lawsuits left and right? I want to be involved if the alumni are ready to take it to the next step!

    • ps4rs said:

      Paula — we are on the offensive. Legal action is slow and expensive, but it is proceeding. If you expect any results in less than two to three years, you are going to be disappointed.

      GL
      Editor

      • Jeff Wojciechowski, '69 Bus Ad said:

        Gary,
        Slow and expensive is relative. There are a lot of people like Paula that are asking why isn’t Penn State defending itself. Silence implies quilt. Taking legal action will generate interest in the press and support will follow if you are organized for it, including financial support. Waiting too long allows the assumption of guilt to become ingrained in the public consciousness. There is an argument that the sanctions are causing irreparable harm to innocent individuals and institution(s) which justifies an injunction.

      • Paula said:

        GL – thank you for your reply. Please forgive me if I sound unappreciative because this is far from the case – I am thankful beyond words for PS4RS and all that you do. My emotions and anger over the entire situation sometimes (often) take over the rational side of me. I inherently know that legal action, done correctly, will take time/money – I will try to be more patient.

        I graduated 20 years ago from Penn State and I love that place and everything it stands for – it is a huge part of my own self identity. The injustice of what has transpired sickens me and I must tell you that I absolutely cannot wait to see the day when these people pay for what they have done to Penn State and the PSU family.

        And I will not be satisfied with an apology from these people or an “….oh, perhaps we made a mistake…” – I hope all involved are not only fired in disgrace and THEIR reputations destroyed, I want them to face criminal charges if at all possible and for them all to ‘pay’ in the literal sense too with lawsuits too numerous to even keep count.

  14. ps4rs said:

    I am not a lawyer. I’m a communicator. It is my understanding that legal options are being pursued as expeditiously as possible. I doubt that anything will move forward until after the January trials.

    GL

    • sherrie said:

      I believe GL is right. Although our own BOT/administrators rushed to judgment, we (those who deeply care about this university) must bide our time — especially if it’s litigation. Unfortunately, the delay to Curley/Schultz’s trial schedule has made a big impact on how quickly the few BOT members, Paterno Family, and former players’ lawsuits can move. I also read that Curley/Schultz’s counsels have requested to bifurcate their respective trials so probably Curley’s trial moves forward in January 2013, and Schultz’s trial follows. However, if Curley’s trial results in a “not guilty” verdict, my guess is that Schultz’s trial will never go forward. There are those who have speculated that McQueary is going to have a “complete melt-down” on the witness stand, considering the implications for both criminal charges to Curley/Schultz and civil liabilities for the school, as well as Joe Paterno’s lasting legacy — unfortunately, the fate of PSU’s reputation/liability hinges on McQueary’s testimony.

      It’s very difficult waiting … especially when majority of us feel like the university has fallen prey to corrupt politicians and inept leadership. Think of how each of us have felt when we wear our PSU gear and outsiders jeer at us for our affiliation/loyalty to a school who allegedly gave free reigns to a known sexual predator.

      However, once the trials are over, and these trials result in a “not guilty” verdict(s), then we’ll probably see the beginning of major counter-attacks from the aforementioned BOT members (Lubrano, McCombie, Myers and Clemens), along with former players. I am hoping for at least civil lawsuits against the Freeh Group for gross negligence (I believe PSU indemnified the Freeh Group, but if Louis Freeh altered emails to fit his narrative, then hopefully, he will be known as the fraud that he is). I am also hoping for lawsuits against the NCAA — unfortunately, by the time these lawsuits are resolved, the damage will already have been done. 2016 is the year when all the sanctions have been played out. But think about the damages the university has incurred due to the rush to judgment by greedy/corrupt/inept individuals (in those 4 years). I am assuming billions of dollars in damages. Who knows? Maybe other schools would recognize that the current framework for the NCAA cannot work and that Emmert will step down as President for abusing his authority, and the NCAA as we know it will be dismantled. Once again, Penn State will lead the way to make these changes.

  15. bobagain said:

    Emmert said that if the Freeh report had not been accpted by BoT that the NCAA would have launched an investigation on its own. Here’s the key: after legal proceedings concluded. The BoT just can’t escape the ineptitude when you see this.
    The outcome, two-three years from now when the NCAA began its investigation would have been much better that what happened here. Three years cures lots of things, and provides better reflection on what actually happened,

  16. Jill Ruspi said:

    To everyone who volunteers what must be hundreds of hours for the PS4EVER campaign, “Thank you!” My family now has 7 Penn Staters in it and we are saddened beyond words at what has happened TO Penn State from so many people. I believe there is collusion on many fronts in this case, and my hope is that some investigative reporter will write the truth and get some of the biggest rats into cages. Jill R.

  17. geoa201 said:

    This is a continuation of my comments above:

    In 2005, then PA Attorney General Tom Corbett started the Child Predator Unit within the AG’s office. One of their objectives was to catch and prosecute online child sex predators… a very noble cause indeed. Governor Corbett has been, for years, involved in protecting children. Even with that being said, of all of the Board of Trustee members Governor Tom Corbett would be the most likely Board member to have had the best knowledge, either personal or working, of Louis Freeh… unless other BoT members had ever been under investigation by the FBI during Freeh’s reign.

    In Louis Freeh’s remarks to the press, he talks about three very important items that happened during the Sandusky scandal:

    (1) A cover-up by individuals

    (2) Extremely little transparency within the system

    (3) Attempt to avoid bad publicity

    In view of some of the facts that are now starting to be uncovered, I find it ironic that these same three items talked about by Louis Freeh can be directly linked to the Penn State University Board of Trustees during the investigation of the Sandusky scandal.

    George F. Aul ’08

    • geoa201 said:

      Let me clarify my last statement from above:

      In view of some of the facts that are now starting to be uncovered, I find it ironic that these same three items talked about by Louis Freeh can be directly linked to the Penn State University Board of Trustees – before, during, and after – the Freeh investigation of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

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