SBD/July 23, 2012/Colleges

NCAA Largely Praised On Twitter For Dropping Harsh Sanctions On Penn State



NCAA can impose additional sanctions after any criminal proceedings
The NCAA today imposed several sanctions against the Penn State football program in connection with the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The school has been fined $60M, the equivalent to the football program's average gross annual revenue. The funds will be put into an endowment for external programs preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims. The team also has been banned from postseason play for four seasons, has been forced to vacate all wins from '98-'11 and will see a severe scholarship reduction for the next four years. The NCAA can impose additional sanctions after any criminal proceedings (NCAA). NCAA President Mark Emmert said, "This case involves tragic and tragically unnecessary circumstances. One of the grave dangers stemming from our love of sports is that the sports themselves can become too big to fail. Indeed, even too big to challenge. The result can be erosion of academic values that are replaced by the value of hero worship and winning at all costs. All involved in intercollegiate athletics must be watchful that programs and individuals do not overwhelm the values of higher education. In the Penn State case, the results were perverse and unconscionable. No price the NCAA can levy will repair the grievous damage inflicted by Jerry Sandusky on his victims. However, we make clear that the culture, actions and inactions that allowed them to be victimized will not be tolerated.” Oregon State Univ. President and NCAA Exec Committee Chair Dr. Edward Ray said, “The message is the presidents and the chancellors are in charge. ... These are extraordinary circumstances. The Executive Committee has the authority to act on behalf of the entire association in extraordinary circumstances and we’ve chosen to exercise that authority” (ESPN, 7/23).

: Emmert and the NCAA are getting generally positive reactions on Twitter for imposing the sanctions. NFL Network's Albert Breer wrote, "NCAA deserves credit today. This move could open a Pandora's box for them, as far as oversight. And they had the guts to move forward." ESPN's Dave Telep: "Prefer strong leadership. Roger Goodell, Mark Emmert. Popular or not, these guys seem to have solid compass for tough decisions." ESPN's Desmond Howard: "Applause for Mark Emmert (and NCAA) for 'walking the walk'. The toothless committee just grew fangs overnight."'s David Aldridge: "Can't believe I'm writing this. The NCAA got this, pretty much, correct. Allowing the current players to transfer immediately is imperative." ESPN's Mark May: "Wow the NCAA stepped up and followed up."'s Gregg Doyel: "Mark Emmert just won the press conference. Drop the mic and walk away, Emmert." ESPN's Jemele Hill: "NCAA President Mark Emmert just dropped the mic on Penn State. Wow."'s Andy Staples: "The NCAA is going to handle stuff that matters now? Awesome. Keep doing it and quit acting like a kid committed murder if he sold a jersey." However,'s Pat McManamon wrote, "Mark Emmert says ALL the right things, but NCAA has way more garbage going on to be considered group of high integrity." Author Dave Kindred: "Emmert insults our intelligence by insisting the NCAA wants football in its proper place in the academy. #TooLateBy100Years."
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