Originally written on Pitt Blather  |  Last updated 11/18/14

Can we please put to rest the asinine argument that the NCAA somehow over stepped its authority to levy sanctions against Penn State for PSU’s actions during Sandusky’s period of committing child abuse and for their role in covering that up?

We have read time and again in the past five days from people who don’t agree with what happened that Mark Emmert and the NCAA boards circumvented established NCAA bylaws when they determined that PSU was responsible and thus punishable in regards to the findings of the PSU commissioned and accepted Freeh Report.  It is complete misdirection by Penn State apologists and by others who fear that the same type actions could be levied against their schools for similar infractions.

May I suggest these people go to the source itself to see just how the NCAA arrived at their decision making and for what basis they had in doing so?  I believe that the most vocal protesters of the NCAA’s actions in this case don’t want to read or discuss what is found there for fear they would lose a public platform to try to keep Penn State’s reputation, such as it is now, intact.

If anyone has a computer and two working fingers one can find the NCAA’s Constitutional References that PSU did not comply with in this case and how that non-compliance was used as a basis for NCAA sanctions.  These are listed under the NCAA’s “Authority to Act” explaination.  Thus is the meat behind this statement from Emmert at his press conference before he announced the sanctions on Monday:

Our Constitution and bylaws make it perfectly clear that the Association exists not simply to promote fair play on the field, but to insist that athletics programs provide positive moral models for our students, enhance the integrity of higher education, and promote the values of civility, honesty and responsibility.  The sanctions we are imposing are based upon these most fundamental principles of the NCAA.

With these intentions in mind, the Executive Committee, the Division I Board and I have agreed to the following sanctions…

In addition there is a huge misconception and/or outright refusal to believe the basis regarding the NCAA’s statement as follows:

There has also been much speculation on whether or not the NCAA has the authority to impose any type of penalty related to Penn State.

Not only does the NCAA have the authority to act in this case, we also have the responsibility to say that such egregious behavior is not only against our bylaws and Constitution, but also against our values system and basic human decency.

Lets look at that again. “…that such egregious behavior is not only against our bylaws and Constitution, but also against our values system…”  Try as they might PSU apologists can’t avoid the fact that NCAA clearly states what they are doing, why they are doing it and through what authority they hold in doing it.  Ironically, that authority was given to the NCAA by the member schools themselves, including PSU.

Each and every NCAA member university and school knew and excepted these bylaws as written years ago and ratified at regular intervals.  What the opponents of the NCAA actions want to do is express shock and dismay that the regulations, which have been on the books forever, are actually being used to levy sanctions against a university that broke them.  The horror of it all!

Some people just can’t believe there are any responsibilities that coaches and administrators at NCAA member schools have that can’t be concretely listed.  They need to see that a coach knew that Player X was paid $xxx dollars to play for Podunk State or that coach Y played an ineligible player during a specific season.  But that isn’t all that the member schools signed up for when they applied to and were accepted for NCAA membership.

It is true that the NCAA set a precedent in their decisions and actions here.  However that precedent was set based on established requirements which were not changed or modified to fit the situation.  Not at all, they were just being used as a basis for serious sanctions for the first time.  Some people have to be shown that exactly the same thing happened before they accept something, but that isn’t how things work in the regulatory and compliance world.

If it is on the books it is enforceable, plain and simple.

There can be valid differences of opinion on whether the Penn State sanctions were too harsh or too lenient but there can be no doubt that the NCAA levied those sanctions in accordance with their given authority and the established regulations and bylaws.

The schools themselves gave the NCAA the power to act and now have to accept the fact that the NCAA did so.

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