But who will fine the NCAA?

7/22/2012: Word is NCAA Pres Mark Emmert and OSU’s Ed Ray – the head of the NCAA’s Exec Committte – are going to announce tomorrow that they will fine Penn State $30 to $60 million over the Paterno scandal.

But who will fine the NCAA, the enforcers of the system that puts athletics before everything else in higher ed? There’s some tough talk from Ed Ray here. And here’s some tough talk from another university president:

“What stands out, above everything else, is the unanimity of thinking among university presidents who were assembled,” a president said. “There is an unwavering determination to change a number of things about intercollegiate athletics today. Presidents are fed up with the rule breaking that is out there.”

Whoops, that’s a quote from Penn State’s soon to be indicted former President Graham Spanier in 2011 –  12 months before Freeh found the emails showing Spanier was making deals on the Sandusky coverup with Paterno.

And here’s a quote from UO’s soon to be former Interim President Bob Berdahl, on his efforts to weaken faculty oversight of UO athletics and keep us from getting documents and information. More posted on the UO Senate website here.

FROM INTERIM PRESIDENT BERDAHL TO [UO Senate Intercollegiate Athletics Committee] CHAIR

Sent: 23 Feb 2012
Dear Prof. Tublitz,

I write to make explicit my expectations and understanding regarding the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.

1) I have told the Athletic Director that he should expect to meet with the IAC no more than once per academic quarter.

2) Any information that the IAC wishes to request from the Athletic Department preparatory to its meetings should be requested through my office, rather than directly with Director Mullens. My office will determine whether the materials requested to be germane to the charge of the committee. If you were to disagree with such an assessment, you may make your argument with my office rather than with the Athletic Department.

3) The appropriate role of the IAC is to advise the Athletic Department on matters related to the institution’s academic mission, but it has no oversight authority or responsibility. …

But it’s good to see the Register Guard editors are taking a tougher stance on this:

Whoops, that’s their editorial from 1934.
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17 Responses to But who will fine the NCAA?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow. $30-$60 million dollar fine? Just wow.
    Maybe Emmert’s the dude to make real change.

    Don’t hold your breath for the R-G response since the columnist came out with analysis BEFORE the Freeh report saying the NCAA shouldn’t properly do anything. The O isn’t much better.

  2. Old Man says:

    If the IAC wants a oversight responsibility, they should request it from the Senate. If Prexy objects, the Senate can take it to the Assembly. Since a failure of Prexy to allow Faculty oversight would then become VERY public, putting the UO in a dicey position, Prexy might fold. C’mon you guys, get with the Constitution. On the other hand, let’s wait and see how things go with MG.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Here’s my issue with it, and this is in no way meant to defend the actions of Penn St, Paterno, et al, nor the punishments they so rightly deserve:

    The NCAA has never punished a program or player for criminal misgivings or illegalities. They punish participants for violations of NCAA rules. Example: Most programs have a hard and fast rule (including Oregon) that any player charged with a felony offense will be suspended indefinitely from the program until the charges are resolved, dropped or reduced (prompting further review). That is not a standard NCAA rule.

    Under the current NCAA rules and guidelines, Penn St. in the course of covering up Jerry Sandusky’s actions did NOT as far as I’m able to understand commit any violations, at least not “major” ones.

    UO Matters talks all the time on here about what he views as unjust actions from administrators and people with a larger amount of power on campus than most (some of which I agree with or can see his reasoning of, some I don’t). The NCAA in this instance granted unilateral and unprecedented power to NCAA President Mark Emmert to forgo normal and (until now apparently) required process and committees to punish an institution with what’ll likely be the most severe penalties not deemed “Death Penalty” in the history of the governing body.

    I don’t have a problem with the penalties they’ll likely receive; long bowl bans, scholarship reductions that’ll cripple the program, possibly even television penalties to go along with a myriad of other restrictions. It’s likely that Penn. St will have no choice but to voluntarily not play for a year or two – Death Penalty by proxy. However, the way that the NCAA is going about doing so circumvents every procedure and rule in their book and should make everyone watching a little nervous about the precedent it could set. Remember, the NCAA is basing the majority of their punishments off of the legal proceedings and Freeh report.

    Look at it this way, academic persons: What if the president of the UO had autonomous power to, with a wave of his hand, shut down your entire dept. for at least one year without any review through committees, hearings, proceedings required. Think about that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Shutting down without review? The Freeh report isn’t enough review for you to conclude there was a complete “fail to monitor” and “lack of institutional control”? While it’s true this episode didn’t follow the usual channels, Emmert did follow a provision available to him where the board gave him authority to act.

      A little nervous? Sure, especially given that UO will eventually face some judgement for the Willie Lyles affair. Maybe it will be a harder penalty and UO Athletics will have to seriously evaluate the road they’re on with big time programs and mega-donors. One can only hope.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d advise you to go read the NCAA bylaws and show me where they committed the actual, laid out violation of “failure to monitor” and “Lack of Institutional Control.”

      I’ll be here waiting…

    • Anonymous says:

      You’d ‘advise me’? That’s a good one.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, I would unless you’d rather go off of your incorrect information. That’s fine too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Look, my point is this. The people who were supposed to monitor and be in control weren’t. The bylaws make an assumption that adults in charge would act with truth and integrity. At Penn State, they didn’t. What to do, what to do. Nothing? Of course there had to be a consequence, it had to be football related, and one that not only ups the ante but makes a firm example of the program and school involved. Anything less, in my view, would be a wrist slap.

      This doesn’t circumvent any procedure because, from what I’ve read, there is none. This sets a precedent and where it goes from here is anyone’s guess. Should it make any school out there nervous? Yeah … if they are breaking the NCAA rules. No reason to worry if you’re clean. Or if you have good lawyers on your case.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let me add this link to the conversation: Canzano from tonight, 7-23. Concise and to the point:


    • Anonymous says:

      Like I said, in terms of them deserving punishment, sure they deserve everything that comes to them and probably more. But it’s so far outside the realm of the NCAA that it’s mind boggling. The best analogy I’ve heard so far is if the IRS arrested you for assault.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like a little lawyerly whine to me. Someone’s peeved about lost fees in what would surely have been a long drawn out and expense ‘investigation’.

  4. Anonymous says:

    As MG comes to UO from UCI, he probably hasn’t
    had much to do with NCAA D1 football. And thus,
    unlike RMB, may have a fresh unbiased
    perspective of what goes on across the river…
    Will his response be OMG? WTF? Or maybe just
    ignore the shenanigans across the river and
    that athletics is the now the tail wagging the dog? It will be interesting to see how this
    plays out after MG takes over. Business as usual or real changes?

  5. Anonymous says:

    That Berdahl is facebook worthy. Eugene Magazine, splash it all over the place. Why no FB page, UOMatters?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure the transition to Big Football will be shocking for MG. Good. Let it be. Regarding the Penn State penalties, am I the only one fantasizing about how nice that $60 mill would have been had they diverted to academic programming that might teach about sexual abuse, power structures, American culture, the economics of big business, history repeating itself, etc.?

  7. John says:

    In spring 2011, the scandal with the Fiesta Bowl showed that the people running the bowl were misguided about the importance of football, and Bob DeCarolis, OSU AD, was part of the nepotistic committee evaluating the bowl. This morning’s NCAA sanctions against Penn State are to ensure football has a proper position in school priorities. I take Ed Ray’s presence to indicate that he fully supports the penalties, and the goals of them. As he says in the linked article, “If we really want to have people not just talk about the integrity of the game and about people being accountable and about shared responsibility, we have to do everything we can to make that real.” I wonder if Ray thought DeCarolis could fairly evaluate the bowl in spring 2011, and if he’s changed his mind since then.

    • UO matters says:

      Thanks for this comment. I think people like Emmert and Ray are hoping their enthusiastic punishment of PSU diverts attention from endemic problems such as this. Let’s not let them get away with that!

  8. John says:

    I wish somebody at the Covallis Gazette-Times or the OSU student paper would pick up on it. Cliff Kirkpatrick, the G-T’s OSU sports guy, did a little bit last spring, but I take it that he’s supposed to focus on what happens in the field of play.