After the details of the Freeh Report were made public last week, the call for Penn State to be sanctioned has grown louder and louder. Some have called for Penn State to be hit with “Lack of Institution Control” tag and some have even went as far as to call for the “Death Penalty”.
Throughout it all, the NCAA has been quietly waiting for the criminal portion of this scandal to run its course so they can begin their own investigation. And not once have we heard a peep of what they were thinking about all this. Or if they even had plans to get involved in this at all.
But we received our first clue into how the NCAA feels about all this from NCAA President Mark Emmert in appearance on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS on Monday. During the show Emmert was adamant that he doesn’t want to “take anything off the table” and that includes the death penalty.
Emmert said he’s “never seen anything as egregious as this in terms of just overall conduct and behavior inside a university.” He added, “What the appropriate penalties are, if there are determinations of violations, we’ll have to decide.”
But even though the NCAA is not revealing its hand, those familiar with NCAA practices say the organization’s involvement in the case is in itself an unprecedented step in NCAA history. “The initial letter from Emmert was a step in a new direction,” said Mark Jones, a former NCAA managing director of enforcement. “Eight years ago, when I was there, I don’t think it would have happened then.
“There’s not much precedent for the NCAA pursuing a matter that didn’t involve violations of student athletes or prospective student athletes.”
So since the NCAA is already setting precedent by even getting involved in this, it seemingly wouldn’t take much for them to go the extra step and come down hard on Penn State. And judging from Emmert’s comments, there’s a chance that that may just happen.
In case you want all of Emmert’s comments on the matter, he is video from his appearance.